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Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP attorneys Mario Castellitto and Jamie Kuebler obtained dismissal of a third-party complaint seeking contribution and indemnity from a geotechnical engineer in a property damage claim alleging failure to provide adjacent support during construction. In Bentoria Holdings, Inc. v. 525 Court Street, LLC, et al., Index No. 10230/09 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Kings County), plaintiff alleged that defendants, the owner, general contractor and other contractors of a construction project, caused damage to plaintiff’s adjacent building as a result of excavation and underpinning work on the project that undermined the building’s foundation.  The owner, 525 Court Street, and the general contractor, Basile Builders impleaded a number of contractors and design professionals, alleging that they had caused or contributed to the damage to plaintiff’s building as a result of negligent design and construction.  TLSS client, Geotechnical Engineering Options, one of the impleaded parties, had prepared a geotechnical engineering report regarding soil conditions on the project site prior to the commencement of construction.  Geotechnical Engineering also prepared the design for a soil improvement program for the project site.  525 Court Street and Basile alleged that Geotechnical’s design work contributed to the damage to plaintiff’s building.

Following completion of discovery, TLSS filed a motion for summary judgment. Through its motion, TLSS was able to demonstrate that Geotechnical engineering was not negligent, and that its engineering report and design work with respect to the soil conditions on the project did not cause or contribute to the damage to plaintiff’s building.  Accordingly, all third-party claims asserted against Geotechnical Engineering were dismissed.