Mr. Van Naarden played an integral part as co-counsel for this record setting verdict. A medical student fell into an open manhole vault shattering his spine. During the trial the manhole cover was brought into the courtroom for display by the defense to support their contention that the cover was just too heavy to lift making it unforeseeable that anyone could remove it. This contention was refuted when during the trial Mr. Van Naarden lifted the cover with one hand in front of the jury. During the course of the litigation, after the defendants were forced to produce of thousands of documents maintained by the defendants for each manhole vault, Mr. Van Naarden and a team of lawyers and staff spent weeks pouring through each document. The evidence contained in these files proved to be truly shocking as it was evident that people were actually living in these vaults for warmth and shelter. Ultimately the jury rejected the defense and returned a stunning $85 Million verdict. At the time, it was the largest single victim premises liability verdict in Pennsylvania history.