Depending on which side you’re on, a jury verdict after only 45 minutes of deliberation can be either a disaster or a decisive victory. In CMM Senior Partner Scott Middleton’s recent trial representing the Town of Smithtown, it was the latter – with a twist!

The case concerned an accident that occurred on a Town-owned dock located at Kings Park Bluff Park. The plaintiff was walking down a gangway towards a floating dock when they slipped and fell on the transition plate, resulting in injuries. The plaintiff alleged that the gangway and transition plate were at a too-steep and therefore unsafe angle, that the transition plate was slippery due to allegedly improper application of non-skid surface and poor maintenance, and that the handrails were inadequate.

After careful consideration of the evidence and arguments presented during the trial, the jury reached a verdict after only 45 minutes of deliberation. The jury determined that although the Town was negligent, any negligence was not a “substantial factor” in causing the accident. Consequently, a defendant’s verdict was delivered, marking the end of a successful trial for Middleton and CMM and more importantly, the client.

CMM has a proven track record in defending Suffolk and Nassau County towns and villages. Visit our Municipal Liability page to read about more successful cases.