Superior 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.