Through his representation of a professional engineering firm client, Joe Ciampoli argued a statute of limitations issue before the Appellate Division. The matter arose from a motorcycle accident resulting in horrific personal injuries to plaintiff. The allegations against the firm’s engineering client related to alleged deficiencies associated with the design of the intersection where the accident occurred. Plaintiff did not file suit against the firm’s client for more than two years following the date of the accident. Following extensive discovery, Ciampoli filed a motion for summary judgment seeking the dismissal of plaintiff’s claim as the claim was initiated beyond the governing two-year statute of limitations. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice.
Plaintiff thereafter appealed the trial court’s ruling. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the statute of limitations should not preclude his personal injury claim as the engineering firm’s allegedly negligent design services caused plaintiff to sustain a cognitive impairment. The argument on appeal centered on the interpretation of a statutory tolling provision that operates to preclude the enforcement of the statute of limitations where the plaintiff in unable to cognitively appreciate the significance of the governing statute of limitations. Although ample evidence existed in the record to support the conclusion that plaintiff, who was represented by legal counsel from the date of the subject accident, had every opportunity to initiate suit in a timely manner, the Appellate Division reversed the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s claim. The Appellate Division directed the trial court to conduct a pretrial hearing to specifically evaluate the level of plaintiff’s cognitive impairment caused by the subject accident and whether it negatively impacted plaintiff’s ability to initiate suit in a timely manner.
The parties thereafter participated in a full pretrial hearing involving both fact and expert testimony. While awaiting the court’s ruling as to whether plaintiff’s cognitive impairment precluded the enforcement of the governing statute of limitation, the parties entered into a settlement agreement for an amount favorable to the client and significantly less than the plaintiff’s multi-million dollar demand.
Thompson Becker, LLC provides a wide range of both transactional and litigation services for the construction related professionals and their businesses. We have successfully prosecuted and defended various types of construction related claims. Contact us at (856) 616-8886 to see how we can help you with your construction law needs.
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