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Philip Odett Secures Summary Judgment in Essex County

December 4, 2019

Philip Odett represented a property owner in a catastrophic injury case.  Plaintiff was struck and run over by a dump truck.  Plaintiff filed suit against the owner of the property, an investor of the owner of the property, the general contractor and various contractors.  As a result of the incident, plaintiff sustained catastrophic and life threatening injuries.  Plaintiff’s catastrophic injuries consisted of amputation of the entire right leg, amputation of the left leg below the knee, degloving injuries to both legs and the penal area, right complex proximal femur fracture, left tibia fracture, right femoral neck fracture, multiple left foot fractures, loss of vision in the left eye, removal of a testicle, removal of the gallbladder, chronic cholecystitis, septicemia (blood poisoning), staph Infection,  colostomy (a surgical procedure in which a piece of the colon is diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall so as to bypass a damaged part of the colon), and internal organ damage to the liver, kidney and heart.

Plaintiff was hospitalized for approximately five months and in an inpatient rehabilitation facility for approximately nine and half months.  The medical bills were approximately $2,000,000.

While discovery was ongoing, Mr. Odett filed a motion for summary judgment.  Mr. Odett argued his client was not liable as they did not oversee or control the work of the driver who ran plaintiff over.  Additionally, the owner did not enter into any contracts or agreements with the driver of the truck that ran plaintiff over.  Plaintiff opposed the motion and argued Mr. Odett’s client had a duty to keep the construction site safe and prevent dangerous vehicles from leaving the site.  Plaintiff also argued the dump truck that ran plaintiff over was overweight, not registered, not insured, and had faulty brakes.  Plaintiff further argued discovery was outstanding and the motion for summary judgment was premature. 

After over six hours of oral argument, the Judge granted Mr. Odett’s motion for summary judgment.  Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration.  Oral argument was held for over 90 minutes in regards to the motion for reconsideration.  The Judge ultimately denied plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and upheld the granting of summary judgment in favor of Mr. Odett’s client. 

Mr. Odett used a tactical decision to file for a motion for summary judgment while discovery was ongoing as Mr. Odett’s client did not control, supervise or oversee the truck driver at the time of the incident.  Additionally, Mr. Odett argued his client derived no benefit from the truck driver’s work.  The Judge agreed with Mr. Odett’s arguments, granting the motion for summary judgment and subsequently denying plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration.

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