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Construction & Design

Sue everyone! PWC breaks down construction lawsuits

Professional Women in Construction (PWC) presented a dynamic interactive program on May 22, “Sue Everyone! The Anatomy of a Construction Lawsuit,” the latest installment in PWC’s ongoing Continuing Ed series.

A group of five attorneys from Goldberg Segalla enacted a mock mediation session that dramatized the litigation process as the lawyers took on the roles of plaintiff (here, the building’s owner) and the co-defendants – the design professional (architect) and GC.

 Participants were given a rare inside look at frequently made claims and counter claims in construction litigation including construction defects, personal injury, and workers’ compensation. Topics such as self-certification of projects by architects and “means and methods” were also explored. An audience of construction and design professionals had an opportunity to share their opinions – and frustrations – on the litigation process.

The speakers/players from Goldberg Segalla were: Theodore M. Baum, Esq., partner; Eric S. Cohen, Esq., special counsel; Ellen H. Greiper, Esq., partner; Theodore W. Ucinski III, Esq., special counsel; and Debra L. Doby, associate. Goldberg Segalla attorneys handle all forms of dispute resolution and provide proactive counsel to help minimize and manage risk in a broad array of areas.

Attendees came with various agendas. Marjorie Lynch, PE, president, Lynch & Ferraro Engineering, DPC, said, “I’ve been involved in a lot of litigation work and am interested in hearing the lawyers’ perspective.”

The response following the program was enthusiastic. Said Christian Madera, senior analyst with E3 Federal Solutions, “Seeing all the parties involved I see that you want mediation, not a lawsuit.”

May Chu, director, Arch. Global Design & Build, said the event gave her “knowledge – which is important in what we do.”

Shaquandra Cherry, contracts and compliance coordinator with Manhattan Business Interiors, said, “This was extremely helpful – it gave me a better understanding of lawsuits and workers’ comp.”

A lawyer, Olga Vinogradova, Esq., said, “This is exactly as it really happens – it represented the clients’ points very well. It’s great that this was not a lecture, but a performance.”

Maeve Marcello, assistant project manager with MBI Group, said, “I write contracts. A lot of the issues here flow into design/build – it dovetailed perfectly.”

Debora Stonitsch, a sales representative found the program “extremely informative” noting that “a mock trial was a great way to showcase the legal issues in construction projects.”

The program was held at the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, NYC. For information on upcoming PWC programs contact, call 212-486-7745; or visit For more detailed informatin on the topics covered at this event or answers to other questins regarding litigation impacting the construction industry, contact Eric Cohen at 646.292.8718 or

L-R: May Chu, Arch. Global Design & Build; Dorothy Wasiak, Matthew Adam Properties; Attys from Goldberg Segalla – Debra Doby; Ted Ucinski; Ellen Greiper; Eric Cohen; and Ted Baum; Jean Hanson, Marsh Risk Consulting; Calvin Lee, Hill International; Shaquandra Cherry and Renee Fields, Manhattan Business Interiors. Photo by Christian Madera.

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