Cases

 

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Cetrulo LLP brings substantial human, intellectual and experiential resources to its representation of clients in high-profile, complex litigation. Some of the Firm’s most noteworthy cases are set forth below:

Big Decision In “Big Dig” Megaproject

  • Client:  Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Issue:  MassDOT believed it was being taken for a ride after a contractor was awarded more than $48 million in arbitration for work done in connection with Boston’s “Big Dig,” the most expensive highway project in the U.S.
  • Outcome:  Cetrulo LLP took the wheel, securing a series of orders from the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court vacating the arbitration awards. The case is now the subject of an appeal.
  • Co-counsel:  Kilpatrick Townsend

Risky Business

  • Client:  Insurance Company of North America v. International Insurance Co.
  • Issue:  International Insurance Co. found it was at risk when Insurance Company of North America sought to recover damages under an alleged reinsurance agreement. The case focused on (1) whether a contract of reinsurance existed between the parties, and (2) whether the plaintiff had properly allocated losses under the alleged agreement.
  • Outcome:  To date, this matter is one of only two cases to be argued in Massachusetts. Following an eight-day bench trial, Cetrulo LLP obtained a favorable settlement for the client.

Brooklyn Naval Shipyard

  • Client:  Multiple defendants in re New York City Asbestos Litigation (Brooklyn Naval Shipyard Cases), New York State Supreme Court (New York County)
  • Issue:  In a series of wrongful death and personal injury cases, plaintiffs alleged exposure to asbestos at the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard. The cases involved hundreds of plaintiffs whose actions were consolidated into trial groups in the New York Supreme Court, New York County, and the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York.

Extinguishing Future Property Damage Claims

  • Client:  America v. Turner & Newall, PLC, supplier and installer of asbestos-containing fireproofing
  • Issue:  Prudential Insurance Co. of America owned several high-profile buildings in downtown Boston and sued our client to recover the cost of removing fireproofing from all properties. Prudential alleged more than $200 million in property damage.
  • Outcome:  Following a two-month jury trial, Cetrulo LLP received a precedent-setting defense verdict, concluding that property owners are not responsible for the cleanup of asbestos materials in buildings.

High-Profile, High-Stakes Litigation

  • Client:  Riva, et al. v. Ashland, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court (MA)
  • Issue:  On Thanksgiving Day-eve, 2006, a chemical factory explosion occurred in Danvers, Massachusetts, which allegedly caused more than $30 million in damages and was the largest chemical explosion in Massachusetts history.
  • Outcome:  Cetrulo LLP is actively engaged in litigation of complex class certification issues, indemnification and subrogation issues, as well as expert preparation and development of media relations strategies in this high-profile case.

Station Nightclub Fire

  • Client:  Building products manufacturer
  • Issue:  A building products manufacturer was entangled in a civil litigation arising from the 2003 fire at The Station Nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, which was the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in American history claiming 100 lives.
  • Outcome:  Cetrulo LLP took a leading role in obtaining a global settlement. The case involved over 550 plaintiffs, 98 defendants, and a collective settlement in principle of $176 Million.

Early And Equitable Resolution

  • Client:  Defense Liaison Counsel (MA and RI)
  • Issue:  Lawrence G. Cetrulo, serves as the court-appointed Liaison Counsel for asbestos defendants in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island asbestos litigations. In this capacity, Mr. Cetrulo, in conjunction with the firm’s other attorneys, plays an instrumental role in the promulgation of the Massachusetts Asbestos Litigation (MAL) Pre-Trial Orders, widely praised for promoting speedy resolution of claims, predictability in results, and lower litigation costs.
  • Outcome:  Cetrulo LLP’s close working relationship with the MAL Presiding Judge, Special Master, and opposing counsel allows for the early and equitable resolution of issues between co-defendants and with plaintiff's counsel.

Synchronicity

  • Client:  Fortune 500 Company
  • Issue:  Cetrulo LLP serves as National Coordinating Counsel for Fortune 500 companies in industry-wide, multi-jurisdictional toxic substance litigation, developing clients’ litigation strategy and managing local and regional counsel.
  • Outcome:  Our attorneys have defended our clients in almost every state in the United States, and have tried cases in all of the New England states, New York, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Color of Justice

  • Client:  Sherwin-Williams, the nation's largest specialty retailer of paint, stains, coatings, and wall coverings
  • Issue:  Sherwin-Williams was painted into a corner when it, along with other paint companies, was found liable in a Rhode Island court for the cost of lead removal from public buildings under a theory of public nuisance.
  • Outcome:  In a landmark ruling with nationwide implications, the Rhode Island Supreme Court overturned the trial court decision. The ruling was the culmination of a process that began with Cetrulo LLP's Motion to Dismiss at the trial level.

When The Dust Settles

  • Client:  Two Subcontractors and a Surety Company
  • Issue:  The clients are involved in a complex lawsuit concerning the Boston construction project known as the "Historic Renovations to the Suffolk County Courthouse." The lawsuit comprises eight consolidated actions and more than twenty parties, with alleged damages in excess of $53 million.
  • Outcome:  At its conclusion, this case promises to settle longstanding questions of law, including the circumstances under which subcontractors can recover for work gone awry through no fault of their own.

Creating New Law

  • Client:  Plaintiff in a personal injury case
  • Issue:  When a tenant’s guest seriously injured himself falling from a defective second-story porch, the court awarded a $450,000 jury verdict in the victim’s favor. This verdict was quickly appealed.
  • Outcome:  Cetrulo LLP argued successfully in the trial court and before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to make new law establishing that the injured party may recover from the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. The firm’s appellate success was featured in Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly as one of the most important decisions issued by the SJC in 2009.

A Framework For Defense

  • Client:  Fraco, a Canadian manufacturer of mast climbing work platforms, transport platforms and hoists
  • Issue:  When the collapse of Fraco’s scaffolding at the Boylston Street, Emerson College construction site in Boston resulted in three deaths, the international scaffolding company was one of several defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Outcome:  Cetrulo LLP guided the case to a pre-trial settlement, and was subsequently retained by Fraco to consult with its general counsel in other regions of the country.

Landmark “BIG DIG” Case

  • Client:  Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (now the Department of Transportation)
  • Issue:  In this nationally publicized case, a woman died when falling ceiling panels from the “Big Dig” tunnel struck the automobile in which she was a passenger. The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority was one of several defendants in this historic lawsuit.
  • Outcome:  Cetrulo LLP played a pivotal role in the negotiation of a multi-million dollar global settlement involving all defendants.
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