News & Publications

ZK Results – Attorney Ryan Zeli receives verdict in favor of contractor client

On September 28, 2017 shareholder Ryan Zeli received a non-jury verdict from the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, Pennsylvania in favor of a contractor he represented who struck a transformer while clearing brush on state game lands. The impact with the transformer caused an oil spill and required specialized environmental cleanup. The Plaintiff, owner of the transformer, alleged that the defendant contractor was negligent for failing to inspect the land for obstructions prior to clearing the brush, and for failing to keep a proper look out prior to striking the transformer. Mr. Zeli argued on behalf of the contractor that it was reasonable for the contractor to rely on the land owner to identify and mark any obstructions prior to the carrying out the job detail and that given the large machinery that was necessary for clearing the brush, it would be impossible for the defendant to see the transformer prior to making contact with it. At the conclusion of the trial, The Honorable Timothy Sullivan authored an Opinion and entered an Order indicating that the Plaintiff did not meet the necessary requirements to establish a negligence case against the defendant and ruled in favor of the defendant on all counts.