Joseph B. Carini, III: Representative Cases
- Secured a defense verdict for an inspecting architect in breach of contract case wherein plaintiffs sought $1.7 million in damages. In this case, the plaintiffs, who were first-time developers, were converting a three-flat building into condominiums. The “gut rehab” was nearing completion in 2009 when the contractor left the job, and the project was never finished. Shortly thereafter, the development was foreclosed upon by the bank financing the project. The plaintiffs filed lawsuits against the general contractor and the inspecting architect, among others. The lawsuit against Mr. Carini’s client alleged that the inspecting architect approved payment for work that wasn’t done or was done defectively and that these approved payments led to the failure of the development project. Mr. Carini argued that the inspections were not performed for the plaintiffs’ benefit and that there was no breach of contract. In addition, Mr. Carini argued that the foreclosure was caused solely by plaintiffs’ conduct. After a three-week trial, the plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury for $1.7 million from Mr. Carini’s client. The jury deliberated for 4 hours before returning a defense verdict.
- Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a traffic signal maintenance contractor in a wrongful death case wherein the estate of the plaintiff sought $11 million in damages. The plaintiff, a 21-year-old father of a 15-month-old child, was killed in an auto collision with a semi-tractor truck that entered an intersection against a red light. One of the two red lights at the intersection was not illuminated. The lawsuit alleged that the defendant's failure to properly maintain the traffic signals contributed to causing the accident. The plaintiff also contended that the other red light was obscured by a telephone pole. The plaintiff charged that the light malfunction made the signals impossible to see which contributed to the crash, and contended that the condition existed for a lengthy period of time in violation of the defendant's maintenance contract with the State of Illinois. The plaintiff survived the crash for eight days and sought in excess of $11 million for the benefit of the child. Mr. Carini successfully argued that the sole proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the truck driver, who was not a party in the lawsuit. The jury reached a defense verdict.
- Obtained a defense verdict in favor of an electric company and its contractor in a personal injury case wherein plaintiff, an electrical contractor, sought $6.4 million in damages. The plaintiff was employed as a hoisting engineer and was operating a combo front-end loader and backhoe at an excavation site for a sewer project, when he struck an object in the street, causing the vehicle to come to a sudden and violent stop. The plaintiff was ejected from his seat and catapulted into the windshield, striking his head, and his left foot went through another window. Plaintiff contended that the object the backhoe struck was an I-beam that had been installed by the defendants to brace a power vault for the electric company's underground cables at the site. The plaintiff sustained a closed head injury, post-concussion syndrome, left shoulder SLAP tear requiring surgery, and lower back injuries ultimately resulting in fusion surgery four years after the accident. The defense contended that the beam was properly installed below grade, and that the plaintiff struck another object, not that installed by the defense. The defense also argued that the plaintiff was at fault for traveling too fast for conditions, such that he was catapulted from the operator’s position of his vehicle upon impact with the unknown object. Also, the defense contended that the lower back surgery was not related to the incident. The jury returned a defense verdict finding the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for causing the accident and injury.
- Secured a defense verdict for a traffic signal maintenance contractor in suit brought by estate of deceased person killed crossing a street. The plaintiff contended that the timing of the pedestrian walk light was too short in violation of applicable codes. The defense contended the light was properly timed and that the accident was caused by plaintiff and driver conduct. The jury returned defense verdict.