In Cole Trial, All Claims Except Nuisance Dismissed Against Town

by | Mar 20, 2015

cole kent county courthouseSuperior Court Judge Gallo dismissed all damage and negligence claims against defendants in the Cole construction trial Friday, leaving the Sarah’s Trace homeowners with a single claim of nuisance against the town and the EG School Department on which to hang their hopes.

The other defendants – Gilbane Construction, Fleet Construction, Manafort Brothers Construction, Aldinger & Assoc., architect/engineer SMMA and Strategic Building Solutions (SBS) – were dismissed for the remainder of the trial.

Gallo made his ruling after David Maglio, lawyer for the homeowners (the plaintiffs), rested his case following 12 days of testimony at Kent County Courthouse.

The plaintiffs – Chris and Susan Lamendola of 50 Sarah’s Trace, Tom Hogan and Cynthia Pelosi of 40 Sarah’s Trace, and Wendy and Keith Amelotte of 35 Sarah’s Trace – had argued that vibrations during construction of the school building on Cedar Avenue had caused damage to their homes. The Lamendola and Hogan/Pelosi properties abut Cole; the Amelotte property sits across the street. On Thursday, however, Gallo ruled that damage testimony could not be admitted, paving the way for his dismissal rulings Friday.

Without the jury present, Gallo Friday said there was no evidence of negligence against any of the defendants, no evidence of a “breach of the standard of care,” no evidence of a breach of contract claim (facing the town, EGSD and Aldinger) and no evidence of tortuous interference.

The plaintiffs declined to comment as did lawyers for the defense.

The trial will continue. The defense begins to put on its case Friday afternoon. You can find an archive all the EG News stories on the Cole construction lawsuit and trial here.

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March 21, 2015 6:48 am

Unbelievable! The construction company with wealth and rich lawyers who DID the damage gets off the hook leaving the taxpayers of EG to pay! This smells.

March 21, 2015 8:02 am

I find it odd that the town already made concessions on the homeowners’ property taxes, in advance of the ruling. In doing so they have inflicted a greater tax burden on the rest of us, while these families have wasted the town’s time and money on this case. Infuriating.

Given the dismissal of damage claims, is the town able to revisit this ill-informed decision?


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