Vincent Saccomando is a partner practicing in the areas of insurance defense, professional malpractice defense, and insurance coverage. Vince regularly represents clients in both state and federal court, and is admitted to practice in all federal district courts in New York.
His insurance defense practice includes defense of both insureds and self-insureds with an emphasis on claims involving products liability, construction accidents, trucking accidents, large scale property damage and fire loss cases, and premises liability. Vince has defended products liability claims involving a wide variety of industrial, commercial and consumer products. He also has extensive experience in litigating construction accident cases brought under the New York State Labor Law including prosecution and defense of contractual indemnification and additional insured disputes arising from such cases. He has lectured on the Labor Law for the New York State Bar Association.
In more than twenty years of practice, Vince has defended many cases involving wrongful death and catastrophic injuries. He has represented defendants in a wide range of general negligence and premises liability claims such as cases involving diving accidents, fraternities, security companies, sexual abuse claims, and dram shop actions. He has also represented defendants in toxic tort cases involving mold and asbestos exposure.
Given Buffalo’s proximity to the Canadian border, numerous Canadian insurance carriers have retained Vince to defend their insureds sued in New York in connection with trucking and motor vehicle accidents, premises liability claims and products liability actions. He has made presentations for local chapters of the Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association and has written articles for its journal.
Vince’s motor vehicle accident defense experience includes all types of accidents, vehicles and injuries. In addition to automobiles, he has handled cases involving various types of commercial vehicles, from tractor-trailers to cargo vans as well as buses, taxis and construction vehicles. Vince has represented defendants in cases involving multiple vehicles, chain reaction collisions, motorcycles, pedestrians, bicycles, intoxicated drivers, drivers with medical conditions as a contributing factor to the accident, and loading and unloading accidents. He also represents insurance carriers with respect to prosecution and defense of property damage claims involving motor vehicles, including subrogation actions.
Vince has dealt with vicarious liability issues involving vehicle owners and employers including permissive use issues, uninsured and underinsured claims and New York State loss transfer claims involving no-fault subrogation. He has also been involved in claims of defective road design and vehicle defects. Vince regularly works with accident reconstruction experts and biomechanical engineers with respect to low-speed impact analysis and seatbelt defenses.
Vince is well-versed in the New York no fault "serious injury" threshold and, with the assistance of IME physicians, pursues the no-fault defense where available. He has extensive experience in federal court and will generally remove motor vehicle accident cases to federal court as a matter of strategy where there is a basis to do so. In all of his cases, he evaluates the potential for early resolution where appropriate and advises as to options for alternative dispute resolution including mediation or arbitration, always keeping an eye on costs and budgeting.
Vince regularly represents attorneys in the defense of legal malpractice actions. He has also defended trustees against claims by the New York State Worker's Compensation Board and by trust members involving worker's compensation self-insurance trusts. As an appellate litigator, Vince has handled dozens of appeals in litigation matters, and has successful argued at the state’s highest court, the New York State Court of Appeals.
Vince’s insurance coverage practice includes defending and prosecuting declaratory judgment actions and handling appeals in coverage actions. He has served as a Local Chair for the New York State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Program “Insurance Coverage Update” and is a contributing author for Insurance Law Practice published by the New York State Bar Association. He has handled a wide variety of issues in coverage cases including analysis and litigation of priority of coverage, late notice, exclusions, misrepresentation claims, proof of lost insurance policies, manuscript endorsements and additional insured provisions. He has also handled life insurance actions.
- Obtained defense verdict in case where plaintiff truck driver claimed injuries due to a defective dock plate while unloading a tractor trailer (March 2017, Erie Co., New York)
- Obtained appellate decision reversing trial court and holding that plaintiff-passenger injured in car accident involving vehicles driven by her co-employees was not entitled to supplementary underinsured motorist benefits under her employer's automobile policy because the Workers’ Compensation Law barred plaintiff-employee from bringing an action for negligence against her co-employees. Hauber-Molota v. Philadelphia Insurance Companies, 121 A.D.3d 327 (4th Dept. 2014).
- Obtained decision from Court of Appeals reversing Appellate Division which had permitted plaintiff in legal malpractice action to pursue damages for pain and suffering resulting from alleged unjust imprisonment against his criminal defense attorney where plaintiff claimed he was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. The plaintiff had obtained habeas corpus relief dismissing his conviction following five years in prison. The Court of Appeals agreed with the defendant’s public policy arguments as to why pain and suffering claims should not be permitted in attorney malpractice actions and dismissed plaintiff's complaint. Dombrowski v. Bulson, 19 N.Y.3d 347 (2012).
- Established that client was an additional insured on co-defendant's carrier's policy and that co-defendant's carrier was required to share in client's defense, despite limitation in policy that additional insured status applied only for vicarious liability, arguing that co-defendant's carrier was obligated to share in client's defense until jury determines whether the client was negligent or only vicariously liable. Also established that client's work involved "ongoing construction operations" so as to require additional insured coverage. Further, established that "hold harmless agreement" included duty to indemnify despite not referring to "indemnification." Based on these arguments, without necessity for a declaratory judgment action, the co-defendant's carrier agreed to provide co-insurance, reimbursing half of all defense costs incurred by client’s prior counsel and sharing in half of defense costs going forward (2012, Erie Co., New York).
- Obtained summary judgment for insurance carrier declaring it had no duty to defend its insured in personal injury action. The summary judgment motion was based on the insured's late notice of the accident to its carrier. The insured was the injured plaintiff's employer, had knowledge of plaintiff's workers' compensation claim and had reported the accident to its workers' compensation carrier, yet failed to notify its general liability carrier of the accident until a third-party action was filed against the insured by a property owner who was sued by a plaintiff in connection with a construction accident. The summary judgment motion was based on document discovery and notices to admit in order to avoid expense of depositions as well as to avoid the possibility that deposition testimony would have created issues of fact on late notice (October 2012, Monroe Co., New York).
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of trucking company dismissing wrongful death case based on argument that the driver of the other vehicle involved was sole proximate cause of accident (September 2011, Chautauqua Co., New York).
- Obtained verdict at trial in favor of a manufacturer of joists installed in plaintiff's basement. Plaintiff claimed the joists contained mold spores at the time they left the manufacturer’s possession and alleged both property damage and personal injuries due to mold. The defense presented expert proof at trial, resulting in the jury’s finding that the joists were not defective, although the jury did find liability against the co-defendant construction company for improper construction techniques that caused the mold (June 2010, Monroe Co., New York).
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's complaint in wrongful death case where plaintiff failed to follow proper procedure for adding defendant as party to the action and which was then time-barred. Public Adm'r v. McBride, 15 A.D.3d (2nd Dept. 2005).
- Obtained reversal of trial court's decision, resulting in dismissal of product manufacturer's third-party action against client, plaintiff's employer, by establishing that plaintiff did not sustain a "grave injury" under the Workers' Compensation Law as he retained some, albeit severely limited, use of his hand following the accident at issue. Trimble v. Hawker Dayton Corp., 307 A.D.2d 452 (3rd Dept. 2003).
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant in $2 million fire loss case by disproving plaintiff’s expert’s causation theory through defense expert’s testing by establishing that defense expert could not prove his own causation theory due to plaintiff-insurance carrier’s spoliation of evidence after the fire (February 2004, Yates Co, New York)
- Obtained appellate decision reversing trial court's decision and holding that both automobile carrier and homeowner's carriers were obligated to defend their insured against plaintiff’s complaint and co-defendant-client’s cross-claim in a wrongful death case where claims involved negligent operation of motor vehicle and failure to supervise. Progressive Insurance Co v. Zurich Insurance, 288 A.D.2d 879 (4th Dept. 2001).
- State University of New York at Buffalo, summa cum laude, 1991
- Boston College Law School, J.D., 1994
- New York
- U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
- New York State Bar Association
- Erie County Bar Association
- "An Overview of Trial Practice in New York State and Federal Court," Without Prejudice, December 2017
- "Construction Site Accidents – The Trial of a Labor Law Case, "Writer and Speaker for New York State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Program, 2008
- "Exclusions in Commercial General Liability Policies," Chapter in Insurance Law Practice published by the New York State Bar Association, 2000-present
- "Overview of No-Fault in New York and Michigan - First Party Benefits," Journal of the Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association, April 2010
- "A Brief Overview of Insurance Defense Litigation in New York State," Journal of the Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association, October 2005
- Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York: Civil Ligation Defense, 2012-2018
- Damon Morey LLP, Partner, 2002-2015
- Damon Morey LLP, Associate, 1998-2002
- Hurwitz & Fine, P.C., Buffalo, N.Y., Associate, 1996-98
- Drake, Sommers, Loeb, Tarshis & Catania, P.C., Newburgh, N.Y., Associate, 1994-96