Adam C. Calvert
Areas of Practice
Adam Calvert is a shareholder in the firm's Casualty Department where he represents clients in the fields of construction injury litigation, retail liability, automobile litigation, trucking and transportation litigation, product liability actions, and amusements, sports and recreation liability. His clients include retail stores, construction companies, maintenance companies, amusement parks, theaters and product retailers, among other clients.
Adam has extensive experience representing clients in labor law cases, including those involving Labor Law 240(1) claims. Many of the plaintiffs in these cases allege serious debilitating injuries that prevent them from working again and the settlement demands are often in the multi-million dollar range. In addition to defending these claims, Adam has also successfully brought third-party actions against subcontractors to defend and indemnify his clients.
He also handles a large amount of retail and premises liability cases. These cases involve everything from slip and falls to design and construction defects to assaults and inadequate security claims. He regularly works with experts and investigators to present the best defense for his client, but in doing so, he always takes a practical approach to the litigation by not needlessly retaining these experts and always does so with a purpose.
Since joining the firm, Adam has handled many high-exposure cases where the plaintiffs alleged damages have the potential for a seven-figure recovery. For example, he has handled multi-fatality automobile accidents, construction site falls and traumatic product liability injuries. In these, and in all of his cases, he conducted site inspections and investigations, conducted all parts of discovery, drafted and argued summary judgment motions, and successfully settled cases at mediation. Throughout his cases, Adam always works closely with his clients to guide their cases to a successful resolution. He also prides himself on maintaining good relationships with opposing counsel to avoid needless disputes that waste time and money and do nothing to resolve the case.
Prior to joining Marshall Dennehey, Adam worked at a New York City law firm where he represented one of the country's largest construction management companies and the area's largest cable television company.
Adam is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law where he was a competitor on the Moot Court Team, the chairman of the Unemployment Action Committee, and a member of the International Law Journal and Federal Litigation Clinic. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland-College Park.
Successfully defended a Labor Law 240(1) case where the demand was reduced from $750,000 to a settlement of $150,000. The plaintiff was a roofer who fell after improperly using his retractable harness. The plaintiff suffered debilitating back injuries requiring several surgeries.
Successfully settled a case for a nuisance value where the plaintiff's demand was over $500,000. The plaintiff alleged that our client negligently built a handicapped ramp. Neither the plaintiff nor the other codefendants realized that the ramp that the plaintiff fell over had been rebuilt since Adam's client had built the original ramp. Adam was the only attorney to realize this fact after careful inspection of the ramp with his expert. When this fact was revealed at mediation, the plaintiff and codefendants were left without any claim against Adam's client, and he was able to obtain an easy settlement.
Obtained a summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's case against an out-of-possession owner of a building where the plaintiff was injured on an elevator.
Obtained a summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's labor law claims where a pry bar broke, causing a wall to fall on the plaintiff.
Obtained a summary judgment and indemnity from a subcontractor on behalf of a construction management company in a case where the plaintiff's settlement demand was over $2,000,000.
Obtained summary judgment in the New York State Supreme Court, Kings County. Adam represented a maintenance company that provided management of the janitorial services for the codefendant hospital. The plaintiff was a patient in the hospital who slipped and fell on water outside of her room. Adam was able to have the plaintiff's direct claims dismissed because a contractor does not owe a duty to the plaintiff under the New York Court of Appeals case Espinal v. Melville Snow Contractors. He was also able to have the hospital's cross-claims for contribution and indemnity dismissed because he was able to show that the hospital also had some involvement with maintenance and janitorial services at the hospital.
Obtained summary judgment in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Adam represented a grocery store. The plaintiff testified that she slipped and fell on smashed and dirty vegetables in the frozen food aisle. She also testified that there were cart tracks near the vegetables. She argued that this description of the vegetables and cart tracks was sufficient to show constructive notice to the store. At the beginning of oral argument, the judge commented that he viewed it as a “very close” case. Adam was ultimately able to convince the court to dismiss the case by arguing that the plaintiff’s description of the vegetables was just as consistent with the plaintiff slipping on the vegetables or someone creating the defect just before the plaintiff’s accident. Therefore, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s constructive notice argument was speculative and dismissed the case.
Successfully settled wrongful death and survival claims for millions less than value suggested by the mediator. Adam's client allegedly caused a fire at the decedent's home, causing the decedent to suffer severe burns and a three-month hospital stay before she passed away. Adam performed a site inspection with a cause and origin expert a few days after the fire, coordinated with investigators in obtaining statements from eyewitnesses and the local fire departments, and participated in a mediation that ultimately settled the case.
Adam obtained summary judgment in New York State Supreme Court, Bronx County on behalf of the owner of high-rise residential building that was undergoing a construction project. The plaintiff worked for a company that would clean each apartment after construction was completed in that particular unit. The plaintiff was injured and required multiple surgeries after falling from a kitchen counter while cleaning the top of a cabinet. The main issue in the case was whether the plaintiff’s work qualified for protection under Labor Law 240(1), which imposes absolute liability upon the owner of a construction projects for workers who fall from height. Based upon a recent Court of Appeals case, Soto v. J. Crew, Inc., 21 N.Y.3d 562 (2013), whether plaintiff was protected rested on 4 factors: (1) whether the work is routine, in that it is done on a recurring basis as part of the ordinary maintenance of the premises; (2) requires neither specialized equipment or expertise; (3) generally involves insignificant elevation risks comparable to those in typical household cleaning; and (4) in light of the core purpose of Labor Law 240(1), to protect construction workers, is unrelated to any ongoing construction project. There are very few post-Soto decisions. However, Adam was successful in convincing the court that plaintiff did not qualify for protection of the statute. The court felt that factors 2 & 3 clearly weighed in favor of the defense and also found relevant plaintiff’s deposition testimony that she performed similar cleaning work in her own home. In distinguishing the 4th and final factor, the court noted that although cleaning was related to the building’s construction, it was a separate phase of the project.
Obtained summary judgment in the New York State Supreme Court, Richmond County on behalf of an amusement park. The plaintiff claimed that he was injured on a water slide because of an improperly inflated inner-tube. The court found the defendant did not have notice of any alleged inflation issue based upon plaintiff’s own testimony that he held the tube for 15-20 minutes before the accident without noticing a problem. The court was further influenced by the fact that numerous safety checks were performed by the park and that plaintiff could not establish a specific defect with the tube or how the tube’s inflation caused his accident. The court also found that plaintiff’s claims were barred by assumption of the risk, particularly given the plaintiff’s age (in his 40s) and past experience with water rides.
"COVID-19's Impact on the Future of Civil Litigation in New York," The New York Law Journal, February 25, 2021
Case Law Alerts, regular contributor, 2017-present
"Federal Court Notice Standard in Premises Cases," The New York Law Journal, March 2, 2015