. .

Invest in your success.
JVRA helps lawyers win cases by providing critical information you can use to establish precedent, determine demand and win arguments.


Employer’s Liability – Failure of apartment building superintendent to turn off pilot light before plaintiff independent contractor performs work in apartment using highly flammable lacquer – Failure of plaintiff to read label – Fumes mix with pilot light and cause explosion – Plaintiff suffers 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 70% of body – $________/$________ high/low agreement.

Bergen County, NJ

The 24-year-old plaintiff, a handyman who previously worked for the defendant apartment complex, had been retained to paint and refinish portions of the apartment. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant’s superintendent was aware that the plaintiff would probably use a highly flammable lacquer, and should have turned off the stove’s pilot light because of the danger of an explosion in the event fumes from the lacquer mixed with it. The superintendent indicated that he assumed the plaintiff would use such a lacquer.

An explosion occurred. The plaintiff was hospitalized for 4 1/2 months, at least two months of which he was kept in a medically induced coma. The plaintiff suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 70% of his body. The evidence reflected that almost every portion of his body had some scarring, with the most prominent scarring on the legs. The face sustained moderate scarring. The plaintiff also suffered bilateral foot drop and limited use of his right, dominant hand.

The evidence established that the plaintiff did not read the label, which discussed the risk of explosion resulting from contact between the fumes and a pilot light. The defendant maintained that the overwhelming cause of the incident was the failure of the plaintiff to do so. The defendant’s construction safety expert maintained that the plaintiff independent contractor had a duty to comply with OSHA, which required him to have such knowledge.The jury found the defendant 40% negligent, the plaintiff 60% negligent and a defense verdict was entered. The parties had entered into a $________/$________ high/low agreement and the case settled for $________.

To read the full article, please login to your account or purchase

5 ways to win with JVRA

JVRA gives you jurisdiction-specific, year-round insight into the strategies, arguments and tactics that win. Successful attorneys come to the table prepared and use JVRA to:

  1. Determine if a case is winnable and recovery amounts.
  2. Determine reasonable demand for a case early on.
  3. Support a settlement demand by establishing precedent.
  4. Research trial strategies, tactics and arguments.
  5. Defeat or support post-trial motions through past case histories.

Try JVRA for a day or a month, or sign up for our deluxe Litigation Support Plan and put the intelligence of JVRA to work for all of your clients. See our subscription plans.