Directed verdict in property damage case.
We obtained a directed verdict following a six-day jury trial in York County, Pennsylvania under COVID-19 restrictions. In this property damage case, the plaintiff claimed that his house was flooded when his local property manager and water company failed to coordinate the turn-on of water service while he was residing in Colorado. Brooks represented the water company at trial and demonstrated that the plaintiff failed to prove that the water company owed any additional duties of care to him, or that any breach of those duties was a factual cause of the harm which occurred—namely, flooding of the house for seven days. A directed verdict was granted in favor of the water company at the end of trial. The plaintiff passed on a joint offer of $100,000 in the days leading up to trial. The property manager secured a defense verdict just hours after the water company’s directed verdict. The judge, jury, staff, and all counsel wore masks and socially distanced during trial. Testifying witnesses were asked by the court to remove their masks in order to testify, with the witness stand encapsulated in Plexiglass. All but one witness consented.