Lary is a Chair of Marshall Dennehey's Amusements, Sports and Recreation Litigation Practice Group which defends theme parks, water parks, roller skating rinks, golf courses, ski areas, bowling centers, minor league baseball stadiums, concert venues, sports stadiums and arenas. Lary handles serious claims arising in this practice area and oversees cases defended in our regional offices. Lary has also been active in establishing Marshall Dennehey as a partner in national amusement industry insurance programs for bowling, roller skating and recreational go-karts.
A senior attorney with 35 years of litigation experience, Lary has tried over 150 trials to verdict in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In 1983, Lary was designated a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of the state of New Jersey. This designation, which requires 50 completed trials, testing and recommendations, has been earned by only one percent of all active trial attorneys in New Jersey. Lary has maintained this designation for 28 years. In 2011, Lary became a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society.
In addition to his trial practice, Lary is legal counsel to the New Jersey Amusement Association, a trade association of amusement parks, theme parks and water parks. As counsel to the Association, Lary is an advocate on regulatory and legislative matters.
Lary is also a founding member and Director of the International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association (IALDA), a national network of amusement defense attorneys and claims professionals who focus their practice on legal issues in the amusement industry. As part of the national IALDA network, Lary has access to an extensive expert witness database and up-to-date information on the latest legal developments in the industry. Lary is also a member of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA), the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the National Association of Ride Safety Officials (NARSO), the World Waterpark Association (WWA), the International Recreational Go-Kart Association (IRGA) and the Roller Skating Association International (RSA), where Lary serves on the Risk Management Committee.
Prior to joining Marshall Dennehey in 2002, Lary was a partner with the firm of Spector Gadon & Rosen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he successfully defended cases involving amusement facilities, product liability and liquor liability claims. Before that, Lary was a partner with the firm of Ostrager, Fieldman, Zucker, Kachmar & Nirenberg. From 1972 - 1975, Lary served as Legislative Counsel to the Honorable Matthew Feldman, Majority Leader of the New Jersey Senate.
Featured November interview on BlooLoop.com, website for amusement park and industry news.
Significant Representative Matters
Settlement before trial in an amusement ride accident resulting in the death of a mother and her five-year-old daughter and posttraumatic stress disorder in a sibling who witnessed the fatal accident involving her family members. Lary was called in to investigate the accident within minutes after it occurred and secured the accident scene, interviewed witnesses and handled the crisis management and communications for the park owner. The plaintiff alleged that our client, the park owner, failed to properly test and inspect the anti-rollback device on the car that the plaintiff's decedents were riding in. Our client was also facing a claim for punitive damages based on its failure to close the ride one hour before the fatal accident when the anti-rollback device first began to show signs of slippage. The case settled in private mediation after the surviving husband/father committed suicide, leaving the surviving sibling to be cared for by her relatives.
Summary Judgment was granted by the trial court to all defendants in a RICO class action lawsuit filed by a group of New Jersey physicians who claimed that they were fraudulently induced to enroll in a welfare benefit program that was later declared unlawful by the IRS. The plaintiffs claimed that our client, the New Jersey Medical Society, endorsed the program and was primarily responsible for their losses. The plaintiffs' treble damages exceeded $21 million. Summary judgment was granted by the trial court based on a novel application of the RICO four-year statute of limitations. The Order was affirmed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. (Cetel v. Kirwan Fin. Group, Inc., 460 F.3d 494 (3d Cir. 2006)).
Settlement prior to trial in a case involving 18 plaintiffs who sustained severe posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of an amusement ride accident that affected the entire ride and all the riders on it. While the plaintiffs were riding on the Sky Ride 150 feet above the ground, a storm suddenly hit the park with high winds, thunder and lightening. The wind snapped the cable holding the gondolas, which caused them to gyrate wildly up and down for more than 45 minutes. The 18 patrons in the gondolas feared for their lives and experienced symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Two plaintiffs were so severely traumatized that they were declared totally disabled by the Social Security Administration. The case settled in private mediation.
Settlement before trial in a case involving the drowning death of a Waterpark patron who slid into a 10-foot deep catch pool and did not return to the surface. The lifeguard failed to notice the 14-year-old girl enter the pool and her body was not discovered until 90 minutes later, when one of the defendant's employees dove into the pool in order to retrieve a pair of prescription sunglasses that had been lost by another patron. The Waterpark surveillance system recorded the girl's entry into the pool and the retrieval of her body. Lary was called in to investigate the accident within minutes after the girl's body was discovered; he secured the scene of the accident, interviewed witnesses, handled crisis management and negotiated the release of the surveillance video to state investigators on the scene.
Mediated settlement in a public entity case involving an inexperienced motorcyclist who severed his right leg at the groin (and suffered other severe internal injuries) when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a road sign stanchion. The plaintiff and his fellow motorcycle riders asserted that he lost control of his motorcycle after hitting a deep pothole in a county-owned road. The case was referred to Marshall Dennehey by an insurance carrier after its house counsel lost a motion for summary judgment and the case was set for trial. The plaintiff's pretrial demand was $20 million. Immediately, Lary filed a motion for reconsideration of the motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff agreed to submit the case to private mediation. Prior to the mediation, the insurance carrier conducted three mock trials, on liability only, damages only and all issues. The mock trials helped the carrier evaluate the case by proving the probable strength of the legal defenses afforded by the public entity statute. The case settled for a figure that was less than half of the plaintiff's future life care plan.
Summary judgment granted to Marshall Dennehey client in a product liability/industrial accident case in which a 26-year-old factory worker lost both arms, which were traumatically amputated at the shoulder after his jacket was caught in an unguarded pulley nip point. Our client helped to design the machinery involved in the accident. Summary judgment was granted to our client based on the New Jersey Statute of Repose since the machinery was designed and installed more than ten years prior to the date of the accident.
Jury verdict for defendant in a liquor liability case on behalf of a restaurant/bar. The plaintiff was a 27-year-old teacher who claimed that she became intoxicated in the defendant's bar. Within minutes of leaving the defendant's parking lot, she drove in the wrong direction on an interstate highway, lost control of her vehicle and drove into a storm drain. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff's blood alcohol exceeded the legal limit. There were issues of fact as to the time the plaintiff began drinking, the time she took her last drink and her signs of intoxication. The plaintiff sustained brain damage and significant cognitive deficits that prevented her from teaching. She demanded an award of $10 million prior to trial The case had to be tried because our client was uninsured and an adverse verdict would have put him out of business. The jury's verdict in favor of the defendant was sustained on appeal.
Jury verdict for our defendant in a product liability action involving a metal "roof jack," which is used by roofers to maintain their balance. The plaintiff was a 38-year-old worker who claimed that he broke his back and fractured his pelvis after falling from a pitched roof. The plaintiff claimed that he was totally disabled as a result of his injuries and his special damages exceeded $2 million. The plaintiff claimed that he fell due to a defective weld in the metal roof jack that he was using at the time he fell. The defense denied that the roof jack was defective and claimed that the weld on the roof jack had been tampered with after the plaintiff's fall. The trial featured testimony by metallurgical experts who offered sharply conflicting technical opinion. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant which was upheld on appeal.
Areas of Practice
Co-author of Risk Management Guidelines approved by the Roller Skating Association International for use in the RSA Endorsed Insurance Program
Co-author of Risk Management Guidelines approved by the Bowling Proprietor Association of America for use in the BBAA Endorsed Insurance Program
"Defending Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Claims," For the Defense, 2006
"Moving On After A Crisis," FunWorld Magazine, 2002
"Investigating Workplace Harassment Claims," FunWorld Magazine, 2003
"Paperwork Plays a Valuable Role in Running a Successful Skating Center," Roller Skating Business, 2000
"The Truth About Legal Depositions," Right Track Magazine, 1999
"Inflatables: Risk Management Tips for Operators and Renters," Right Track Magazine, 1996
"New Jersey & The Concession Go-Kart Industry: Perfect Together?," Right Track Magazine, 1997
"Techniques for Writing Thorough Accident Reports," Roller Skating Business, 1999
"Interviewing a Sexually Harassed Employee," Roller Skating Business, 2001
"Signs Promote Safety Through Partnership," Roller Skating Business, 2002
"Adjuster's Outline - How to Handle Roller Skating Liability Claims," Seminar material
"Challenging the Medical Aspects of Common Personal Injury Claims," Seminar material
"Do's and Don'ts of Taking a Deposition," Seminar material
"Tips for Investigating Lane Approach Fall Down Accidents in Bowling Centers," BPAA Magazine, 2006
Civil Trial Preparation for the Skills and Methods Course Required For All New Jersey Attorneys (1979-1981)
Annual New Jersey Case Law Update Seminar, (approved for CLE credit by the Philadelphia Insurance Society)
Challenging the Medical Aspects of Common Personal Injury Claims (presented to insurance company claim departments 1990-2005)
Preventing Sexual Harassment Claims in the Amusement Industry (web based seminar offered by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions 2006)
Tips for Testifying in Depositions and Trial (Pennsylvania Amusement Park Association Annual Safety Seminar 2005 2006)
How to Adopt the New Roller Skating Risk Management Guidelines, (Roller Skating Association International Convention Seminar 2003-2006)
Anatomy of a Roller Skating Liability Claim, (Roller Skating Association International Convention Seminar 2006)
Risk Management in Waterparks, (World Waterpark Association Convention Seminar 2005 and 2006)
Preventing Claims Under the Americans With Disability Act (ADA), (IAAPA Convention Seminar 2007)
Safety and risk management seminars and mock trial presentations for owners of roller skating rinks, amusement parks, ice skating rinks, bowling centers, go-kart tracks, water parks, sports arenas and stadiums, ski areas and motor sport venues (1985-2008)
Areas of Practice
- The University of Akron (B.A.,1969)
- The University of Akron School of Law (J.D., 1972)
- New Jersey, 1972
- U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1988
- Supreme Court, 1988
- Pennsylvania, 1991
- New York, 2000
Associations & Memberships
- Bowling Proprietor Association of America (BPAA)
- Defense Research Institute
- International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association, Inc. (board of directors)
- National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association, Inc., (board of directors)
- New Jersey Bar Association
- University of Akron School of Law (board of directors and Alumni Association)
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
Honors & Awards
- Litigation Counsel of America Fellows
- Certified Civil Trial Attorney, designated by the New Jersey Supreme Court , 1983-Present
- New Jersey Super Lawyer , 2005-2009, 2011-2013