The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT W. SWEET
Plaintiffs' Counsel, Levy, Phillips & Konigsberg ("LPK"), has moved for an order directing Aetna Casualty & Surety Company ("Aetna") to pay attorney fees and disbursements pursuant to New York State Worker's Compensation Law § 29.
For the following reasons, the Plaintiffs' motion is granted.
The Parties, Prior Proceedings and Facts
The parties, facts, and prior proceedings of this case have been thoroughly discussed in prior opinions of this Court, familiarity with which is assumed. See, e.g., Violette v. Armonk Assocs., L.P., 849 F. Supp. 923 (S.D.N.Y. 1994); Violette v. Armonk Assocs., L.P., 823 F. Supp. 224 (S.D.N.Y. 1993); Violette v. Armonk Assocs., L.P., 808 F. Supp. 1060 (S.D.N.Y. 1992). They will be described below only to the extent necessary to decide the present motions.
James Violette was injured on November 10, 1988, when a chain (the "hoist chain") broke and a ripper fell upon him, causing serious injury. Violette's wife, Loretta, has brought suit for loss of consortium. Both Plaintiffs are residents of the State of Connecticut.
Defendant Armonk Associates, L.P. ("Armonk") is a New York partnership which was and is the owner of property known as the Dellwood Estates ("Dellwood Estates"), in the Town of New Castle, County of Westchester, New York. Defendant Carol Management Corp. ("Carol") is a New York corporation and a real estate developer which initiated the construction of condominiums at Dellwood Estates. Defendant CMC Realty and Development, Inc. ("CMC") is also a New York corporation and successor to Carol.
Defendant Campbell, a North Carolina corporation and a division of defendant Cooper, is alleged to be the manufacturer of the defective hoist chain.
Defendant and third-party plaintiff Elmar Contracting Corp. ("Elmar") is a New York corporation and the general contractor for construction on Dellwood Estates.
Major Machinery ("Major") is a Connecticut corporation that directly employed James Violette and that leased a bulldozer and a ripper to Elmar. Aetna Casualty and Surety Insurance Company is the Worker's Compensation carrier for the claim filed by Violette.
On September 19, 1991, the Court granted Major's motion to intervene as of right to assert a claim for recovery of Worker's Compensation benefits, past and future, pursuant to § 31-293 of Connecticut's Worker's Compensation Statute.
Following the conclusion of discovery, Major made a motion for summary judgment dismissing the Third Party Complaint and any cross-claims on the grounds that Connecticut law controlled the issues and that no right of actions existed under the laws of Connecticut by virtue of the payment and acceptance of Worker's Compensation in accordance with the Connecticut statutes. No opposition was made to the motion, which was granted on March 31, 1994.
On May 26, 1994, the Plaintiffs and Major signed a stipulation in New York which stated:
Whereas the plaintiffs upon the trial of the lawsuit referenced above will offer into evidence and attempt to recover amounts for medical expenses and lost wages past and future at least to the extent of ...