Hedges vs. East River Plaza, LLC
A New York philanthropist was shopping at East River Plaza, a Manhattan shopping mall located at FDR Drive near the Harlem River between 116th and 119th Street in East Harlem, New York City on October 30, 2011. Two 12 year old boys threw a shopping cart off a fourth floor walkway, causing her lifelong brain damage and significant other physical injuries.
Thomas Moore of Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore, represented the woman and received a $45.2 million dollar verdict from a Manhattan Supreme Court jury, after a month long trial and only three and a half hours of jury deliberation. She and her 13 year old son were at the mall to buy Halloween candy and he witnessed the ordeal.
Moore successfully proved to the jury that the East River Plaza mall and the mall’s security provider, Planned Security Services, did not take steps to keep patrons like her safe from objects thrown from the upper levels of the open mall in East Harlem. “It was a mini war zone up there,” Moore said in his closing statement, “and they did nothing, absolutely nothing.” Moore effectively contended that the mall company and security firm were aware of the risks the open walkways presented, and had done nothing to take preventative action against the obvious dangers to pedestrians on the street level, when the dangers were present and known about before the near-fatal incident. Moore also brought out that security logs and emails, about these dangers were missing with no explanation. He asked the jury to find the East River Plaza Mall 65% responsible, Planned Security 25% responsible and the two young boys 10% responsible. The jury agreed and returned a verdict with those identical percentages, awarding the Hedges a total verdict of $45.2 million dollars.