Bennett C. Lofaro Partner
Bennett C. Lofaro is a partner with the Firm. He began his law career in New York where he is from, but has now settled in the Tampa, Florida area where he practices out of the Firm’s Tampa office. Bennett has been practicing law for 32 years. His area of practice is general civil litigation with an emphasis on trial practice. Bennett’s diverse practice includes employment law, products liability, general tort liability, personal injury, automotive/transportation, insurance defense, executive liability (officers and directors) and general commercial litigation. Ben’s trial experience includes over 25 jury trials in many jurisdictions throughout the State and Federal Courts of Florida and New York. He has successfully defended numerous cases in jury trials where he represented insurance companies and both national and local area businesses. Ben has defended numerous wrongful death lawsuits and claims involving catastrophic injuries, and has also represented both individuals and management in employment disputes in the areas of employment discrimination, retaliation, non-competition agreements, wage and hour violations and breach of contract. Ben attended the Bernard M. Baruch College (City University of New York) receiving a Bachelors of the Arts in 1982 and went on to receive his Juris Doctorate degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1984.
ADMISSIONS, PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
Ben is a member of the Florida and New York bars. He is also admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, Middle District of Florida and the Northern District of Florida.
St. John’s University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1984
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a property developer in a case involving a fatal accident occurring during construction of a sewage treatment plant on the property.
Obtained voluntary dismissal of a federal lawsuit alleging negligent security on the part of a shopping center owner. The suit arose from a fatal shooting during the robbery of an employee of a business in the shopping center who was accompanying the manager of the business to her car as the manager was carrying the store’s cash receipts. The suit was dismissed after evidence was uncovered which demonstrated that the robbery was an “inside job” involving the victim and another employee of the business.
Obtained a defense verdict, after a federal court jury trial, on behalf of the President of a condominium association, who was accused of disability discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Represented a franchisee of a nationally known pre-school chain in a case involving the sexual assault of a four year-old student. Obtained a favorable, confidential settlement, thereby avoiding negative publicity for the client. Obtained a defense verdict after a one week jury trial on behalf of a general contractor who was sued by a sub-contractor who sustained serious injuries after a fall from an elevated work site. The plaintiff claimed that the general contractor failed to provide proper safety devices as required by the law of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. Represented a notional security company in an extensively litigated case involving the rape of an elderly woman who raped at knife point by a homeless man who gained access to the victim’s apartment building. A favorable settlement on behalf of the security company was obtained after evidence was developed that rules dictated by the building owner hampered the security company’s ability to properly screen individuals who claimed they were at the building to visit a resident. Represented the world’s largest retailer in a trucking accident case where the collision between the tractor trailer and car in which Plaintiff was a passenger resulted in the car leaving the roadway and hanging off a bridge. The case, which was tried before now U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, resulted in a jury verdict apportioning liability 60% against the driver of Plaintiff’s vehicle, and a modest damages award. The case was retried after the court vacated the verdict as being against the weight of the credible evidence. Upon re-trial, the jury found the driver of Plaintiff’s vehicle to be 100% at fault.