Two Defense Verdicts in Separate Injury Actions Involving Same Plaintiff


Over the course of several months, Attorney Gerard T. Donnelly secured two defense verdicts in Hampden Superior Court in two separate actions involving the same plaintiff.

The first trial involved two plaintiffs, one a tenant of public housing and the other her guest to the property. The plaintiffs alleged that they both fell on snow and ice located just outside the entranceway of the public housing property. The plaintiff tenant was hosting a Super Bowl party and was seeing her guest out after the party. The plaintiff guest allegedly slipped on ice and started to fall and the plaintiff tenant allegedly tried to catch her, resulting in both parties falling to the ground and sustaining injuries. Both parties treated for back pain and underwent physical therapy with the same medical provider over roughly the same treatment period. Prior to trial, plaintiff counsel made a demand for $75,000 to resolve each plaintiff’s claim. The defendant made no offers.

During trial, Attorney Donnelly pointed to the many inconsistencies in the plaintiffs’ testimony over the course of the litigation. Further, he was successful in introducing the tenant’s history of other fall down and personal injury claims. As for the plaintiff guest, Attorney Donnelly focused on the weather and maintenance records showing that the Housing entity had treated the subject area in a timely and reasonable manner prior the guest’s fall. After deliberating for approximately 40 minutes, the jury returned with a verdict for the defendant housing entity.

The second trial involved the same plaintiff tenant. The plaintiff alleged that a defective latch in a window in her apartment caused the window to fall out, striking her on the head and face. The plaintiff claimed she sustained a broken nose and facial contusions. Plaintiff counsel made a settlement demand in the amount of $75,000. The defendant made no offers.

During trial, Attorney Donnelly argued that the plaintiff tenant had not made any prior complaints about an allegedly defective latch or loose window prior to the accident. Further, Attorney Donnelly used an exemplar window to demonstrate to the jury that the accident simply could not have occurred as the plaintiff described. The jury returned with a verdict in favor of the defendant housing entity.

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