Associate Dana Ricci obtains summary judgment on behalf of Harleysville Insurance Company

The case of Jones v. Environmental Consultants, Inc. is a personal injury action which arose from Plaintiff's trip and fall accident at a roadway, which recently had construction work performed on it. Defendant Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. hired the insured, ECI, to install an electric underground cable underneath the subject area of the roadway. As part of the installation, ECI excavated a trench along the roadway, which it later refilled to street level. ECI completed its work four months prior to the accident, was paid in full, received no complaints from O&R and had no obligation to repave the roadway.

A motion for summary judgment was filed requesting dismissal of plaintiff's action, as well as any cross-claims by co-defendants, in its entirety as against ECI. The Court, agreeing with our argument, found that the accident location marked by plaintiff, although in close proximity of ECI's work, was insufficient to establish that ECI created said defect. Further, the Court agreed that we met our burden of showing an absence of negligence on behalf of ECI because the insured had completed its work with no complaints and was not responsible for repaving the roadway.

As for plaintiff's and Valley-View's arguments that ECI's machinery, which straddled the trench, could have created the defect, the Court agreed that such assertions were entirely speculative and insufficient to overcome the evidence provided in support of our motion.