Appeal Defeated in Construction Site Accident Case

March 29, 2011

London Fischer LLP congratulates Daniel Zemann, Jr., for successfully defeating Plaintiff’s appeal in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, in Jeffrey and Nadxelly Buttermark v. A.J.D. Construction, et al.. This appeal arose from a defense verdict in favor of London Fischer’s client, A.J.D. Construction (the general contractor and sole defendant), in a case brought by Plaintiffs for injuries allegedly sustained by Jeffrey Buttermark on January 16, 2003, after he allegedly fell on a construction.

Plaintiffs challenged the Trial Court’s decisions on two distinct evidentiary issues: (1) prohibiting rebuttal testimony from witnesses not previously identified before trial, neither of whom would have testified to a “new subject,” as required; and (2) allowing testimony on Mr. Buttermark’s consumption of an alcoholic beverage on the date of the accident as one of several examples of his contradictory tale of events, in turn used to impeach his credibility. Although recognizing the sensitivities of allowing evidence of a plaintiff’s alcohol consumption, the Appellate Division explained that Mr. Buttermark’s credibility was a critical issue in this case, and thus, admitting the evidence in such a cumulative manner was harmless error. The Appellate Division also held that the rebuttal witnesses were properly excluded, as they would not have testified to a proper subject for rebuttal, and furthermore, such was an insignificant factor in the overall context of trial.