Iannone v. Cayuga Construction Corp.

66 A.D.2d 745, 411 N.Y.S.2d 599 (1978)

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Iannone v. Cayuga Construction Corp.

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
66 A.D.2d 745, 411 N.Y.S.2d 599 (1978)

Facts

Carmine and Julia Iannone (plaintiffs) ran a store that was located in a building on Second Avenue in New York City. Di Giorgio (plaintiff) owned the building. The Iannones and Di Giorgio sued Cayuga Construction Corp. (Cayuga) (defendant), alleging that blasting operations Cayuga had undertaken in connection with the construction of a new subway line had caused damage to the building and the Iannones’ business. Specifically, the Iannones and Di Giorgio each pleaded two claims against Cayuga: (1) claims for absolute liability (counts 1 and 3) and (2) claims alleging negligence in the performance of the blasting operations (counts 2 and 4). In response to Cayuga’s demand for a bill of particulars, the Iannones and Di Giorgio reiterated the allegations in their complaint, i.e., that Cayuga’s allegedly negligent blasting had caused their claimed injuries. In its defense at trial, Cayuga focused on the alleged lack of a causal relationship between its blasting operations and the claimed injuries, which, if proven, would defeat both the absolute-liability claims and the negligent-blasting claims. However, in its charge to the jury, the trial court stated that the negligence claims were based on Cayuga’s allegedly deficient pre-blasting conduct, not its conduct of the blasting itself. Cayuga objected to the negligence charge, arguing that the complaint’s negligence allegations concerned only the actual blasting, not any pre-blasting acts or omissions. The supreme court rejected Cayuga’s objection. The jury ruled against Cayuga. Cayuga appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

Concurrence (Kupferman, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Sullivan, J.)

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