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Timing is Everything – Re-try of World Trade Center 1993 Bombing Case

Case Study

Timing is Everything – Re-try of World Trade Center 1993 Bombing Case

January 19, 2011

Paul S. Devine had the opportunity to re-try a World Trade Center (WTC) 1993 bombing case which culminated in a defense verdict on January 19, 2011. He previously tried this case in December 2008.

In the case, the plaintiff safely evacuated the WTC, but complained of an undiagnosed knee injury. She was obese and had to descend 100 stories using a staircase. Ten days later she claimed her knee gave way and she suffered a trimaleolar fracture of the right ankle with open reduction, internal fixation. Mr. Devine defended on the basis that her descent on February 26, 1993 was not a substantial factor in her fall at home on March 8, 1993. In the first trial, the jury did not accept our proximate cause defense and awarded $533,000. Mr. Devine moved to set aside the verdict on the basis of an improper jury compromise. There were issues with the jury and how they apportioned damages for past and future pain and suffering. The trial court granted the application and ordered a new trial.

The plaintiff took an appeal to the First Department and we were successful on appeal. The matter was remanded to the original trial judge of the Supreme Court of New York.

On re-trial, Mr. Devine used a different medical expert, a new PowerPoint, and new demonstrative evidence. The jury determined no proximate cause, and therefore, no damages. The demand was $1 million.