Ashville woman injured in fall wins case against state

Special to the OBSERVER

Jamestown attorney, John I. LaMancuso, of Lewis & Lewis, P.C., obtained a liability verdict on behalf of Ashville resident Rebecca Frye in a personal injury lawsuit against the state of New York.

Frye was seriously injured in a fall at the Prendergast Boat Launch in Mayville on Aug. 10, 2014. LaMancuso tried the case before the Honorable Michael E. Hudson of the New York State Court of Claims in Buffalo on Aug. 3 and 4. At trial, the New York state Attorney General’s Office represented the state. Hudson reserved decision following the two-day liability trial.

On Oct. 31, Hudson issued a 19-page decision, ruling the state was negligent in maintaining the Prendergast Boat Launch and bears 70 percent liability for the fall. In so ruling, the judge found that the trial evidence demonstrated that the State failed to establish a program or policy to regularly clean or inspect conditions at the boat launch.

“Like every landowner, the state owes a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition. Unfortunately, it did not do so in this case. I am very pleased that we were able to obtain this just result for Mrs. Frye and her family. And, we hope that she is ultimately able to make a full recovery from her injuries,” LaMancuso said .

The parties are to appear in the Court of Claims in Buffalo on Jan. 3 to select a date for the damages phase of the trial.