PHILADELPHIA – February 24, 2020 – Cozen O’Connor today announced it has secured major wins in two high-profile commercial litigation cases, one in Pennsylvania and the other in California. Both victories were brought home by national trial counsel Paul K. Leary, Jr., co-vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Business Litigation Group and a member of the firm's board of directors; with assistance from second chair litigator Dylan Alper, who focuses his practice on commercial construction and premises liability disputes.
In Pennsylvania, Leary’s team obtained a unanimous defense verdict in what turned out to be the first personal injury case involving Philadelphia’s massive Comcast II construction project to go to trial. The plaintiff sought seven-figure damages for pain and suffering, lost wages and loss of future earnings in the wake of multiple knee injuries and surgery alleged to have been caused by Leary’s client, JW Carrigan LLC, an electrical equipment supplier.
By uncovering and focusing on social media posts and other detailed discovery, the Cozen O’Connor team revealed and demonstrated a range of inconsistencies in the plaintiff's case, both as to liability and damages. The jury deliberated for only 30 minutes before returning a unanimous defense verdict.
In Los Angeles, Leary and his team represented the plaintiff—a global enterprise that handles and stores petroleum products. In this case Cozen O'Connor filed suit against CMAC Construction, a company that Leary claimed mishandled a hydrostatic pressure test — which checks for pipeline strength and leaks — on a major pipeline, resulting in a significant oil spill in Los Angeles Harbor. The spill was significant enough to be investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
CMAC Construction disclaimed all responsibility for the spill and called investigators to testify against Cozen O’Connor’s client at trial. During the four-day trial, Leary and his team examined 25 witnesses, including experts, under court-imposed time restrictions. The jury then returned a unanimous $3 million verdict in the client's favor.
“These were difficult, complex matters. Both cases involved hotly contested trials that hinged on substantial disputes over liability,” Leary said. “However, as both clients had to live with each matter for quite some time, I must say it was gratifying to finally see the relief and vindication on their faces when the juries ruled in their favor.”
About Cozen O’Connor Commercial Litigation
With 350 highly respected litigators, including numerous fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Cozen O’Connor is a go-to firm for sophisticated clients with complicated and consequential business litigation. The firm’s lawyers routinely appear in courtrooms across the nation. They know the judges and procedural norms of nearly every state and win cases in the most challenging jurisdictions. That commitment to actual trial work benefits its clients both in the form of decisive verdicts and advantageous settlements.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 825 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.