Dan Schiavetta Obtains Dismissal of Significant Wrongful Death Case in Kings County Supreme Court
We recently represented Care at Home, a home health care agency affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. Care at Home was sued after an unfortunate accident in which Care at Home’s patient was found dead in her home, having fallen onto a radiator pipe. The patient had sustained facial burns which if allowed to go to trial could easily result in a seven-figure verdict. Care at Home’s aide stated under oath that she was on time that morning and rang the doorbell with no answer. But a jury would have been free to discount her testimony, and plaintiff’s counsel argued that she was late, and if she had shown up on time, the woman would not have fallen and this horrific accident would not have happened. We tracked down the Medical Examiner who had done the autopsy, who had relocated and was now teaching in a college upstate. With the help of the M.E.’s affidavit we established that the time of death could not be ascertained; it could have occurred before the aide’s shift began, in which case Care at Home of course would not be liable. If a jury has to guess as to the liability facts – here, whether the accident happened before the shift, or during it – a defense verdict is the only proper legal result. On this basis the trial judge granted our motion for dismissal on July 7, 2019. Faced with the proof we had assembled, plaintiff’s counsel decided that an appeal would not succeed. Estate of Muhammad v. Care at Home et al.