A New York City man was not deprived of a fair trial in a personal injury suit against Consolidated Edison Co. when a defense attorney said in closing argument that the man “gamed the system” and “doesn’t have a concern about working,” a divided First Department panel has ruled.

The 4 to 1 ruling Chappotin v. City of New York, 107593/04, overturned a July 2010 decision by Justice Marcy S. Friedman (See Profile), who had set aside a jury verdict in Con Ed’s favor after finding that the statements by the in-house Con Ed attorney, Arthur Lewis, were “highly improper.” The majority of the First Department panel, while agreeing that the statements “came close to overstepping” the bounds of acceptable advocacy, said the plaintiff had not been denied a fair trial because he had not objected to most of the statements.

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