GREER v. (and another action).

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Christopher GREER, et al., appellants, v. LONG ISLAND LIGHTING COMPANY, respondent (and another action).

Decided: March 22, 1999

CORNELIUS J. O'BRIEN, J.P., DAVID S. RITTER, WILLIAM C. THOMPSON and DANIEL W. JOY, JJ. Amrod & Ricci, L.L.P., Garden City, N.Y. (John Amrod and Robert F. Van Der Waag of counsel), for appellants. George D. Argiriou (Majewski & Poole, L.L.P., Garden City, N.Y. [Michael Majewski and Nicole Norris Poole] of counsel), for respondent.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, etc., the plaintiffs appeal, as limited by their brief, from so much of a judgment of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (Driscoll, J.), entered February 24, 1998, as, upon a jury verdict in favor of the defendant and against them, dismissed their action.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs.

The plaintiffs commenced this action against Long Island Lighting Company (hereinafter LILCO) to recover damages for personal injuries sustained by Christopher Greer when an alleged high voltage surge melted a circuit breaker panel at his home, started a fire, and caused him to suffer an electrical shock while he was attempting to put out the fire.   After the jury returned a verdict in favor of LILCO, the plaintiffs moved to set aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence.   The Supreme Court denied the motion and we affirm.

Under the circumstances of this case, it cannot be said that the jury's verdict could not have been reached upon any fair interpretation of the evidence (see, Carotenuto v. Harran Transp. Co., 226 A.D.2d 334, 640 N.Y.S.2d 209;  Keegan v. Prout, 215 A.D.2d 629, 628 N.Y.S.2d 124;  Martin v. McLaughlin, 162 A.D.2d 181, 184, 557 N.Y.S.2d 1;  Nicastro v. Park, 113 A.D.2d 129, 495 N.Y.S.2d 184).   Accordingly, the verdict was not against the weight of the evidence (see, Heineman v. Long Is. Light. Co., 185 A.D.2d 334, 586 N.Y.S.2d 306).

Contrary to plaintiffs' contention, the trial court properly refused to charge the jury that it might infer that LILCO was negligent pursuant to the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.   There was evidence that the plaintiff contributed to his own injury, inter alia, by failing to properly maintain the water pipe ground at his home (see, Kambat v. St. Francis Hosp., 89 N.Y.2d 489, 495, 655 N.Y.S.2d 844, 678 N.E.2d 456;  Bass v. Otis El. Co., 255 A.D.2d 284, 680 N.Y.S.2d 113).


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