Middlesex County, New Jersey (02/04/15) – According to nj.com, train dispatcher John Kwityn has been awarded approximately $2.89 million in a employment lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (John Kwityn v. Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. and Modern Facilities Services Inc., No. MID-L-7869-11) by a Middlesex County jury consisting of three men and four women on Dec. 4, 2014, for a Jan. 31, 2011 workplace fall, where he slipped and fell in a puddle of water at the Journal Square PATH station while working. According to his lawyer, Jaclyn Gannon of the Shrewsbury law firm Cerussi & Gunn, P.C., the puddle of water was determined to be leaking from a nearby water cooler.
As per verdictsearch.com, Kwityn suffered the following injuries: back-herniated disc (herniated disc at L3-4), lumbar (herniated disc at L3-4); back-herniated disc (herniated disc at L4-5), lumbar (herniated disc at L4-5). Kwityn continues to suffer from chronic pain in his back, according to his attorney, Jacklyn Gannon.
According to verdictsearch.com, Kwityn’s expert engineer, Daryl Smith; P.E., testified that PATH failed to regularly inspect the tray, causing the water to leak onto the floor. Kwityn stated that PATH’s own investigator also determined that the drip tray was overflowing on the date of the incident. In its own defense, PATH stated that Kwityn was also negligent for not paying attention at the time of the accident, and also stated that earlier that same day plaintiff had walked in and out of the room with no problems. PATH also stated that its actions were reasonable in the maintenance of the water cooler. However, after a three-day trial, a Middlesex County jury determined negligence on behalf of PATH for the incident, citing that PATH was responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the water cooler and had failed in those responsibilities. The jury awarded Kwityn a total of $2,897,955.40 in damages as follows: $397,955.40 for lost wages and medical costs and $2.5 million for pain and suffering.