April 1, 2024

DSB obtained summary judgment in Supreme Court, Suffolk County, on behalf of a local municipality. The plaintiff tripped and fell at a fireworks show held in a local park. Plaintiff alleged that the municipality was negligent in not providing proper lighting at the event. DSB argued that the municipality neither owned nor controlled the site of the incident. The Supreme Court, Suffolk County, agreed and held that the municipality was not responsible for any of the conditions at the subject park, and accordingly, the complaint was dismissed.

March 28, 2024

DSB moved into our new offices in Hauppauge, New York, more centrally-located on Long Island. We have beautiful newly-renovated space in a Class A building that suits our needs for many years to come.

December 27, 2023

DSB obtained an Order from the Appellate Division, Second Department, reducing a damages award for past pain and suffering by more than half, from $634,000 to $300,000. The 20-year old Plaintiff had been rear-ended by a bus in a mall parking lot, and claimed that she sustained two cervical disc herniations that significantly limited the range of motion in her neck and caused tingling and spasms in one of her arms. The trial judge declined to disturb the jury’s verdict, but on appeal DSB’s municipal defense team successfully argued that the jury’s award deviated so materially from reasonable compensation that it needed to either be reduced to an amount comparable to what has been awarded in prior cases for similar injuries or remanded for a new trial on damages.

December 1, 2023

DSB obtained summary judgment on behalf of a residential property owner in Bronx County, New York in a personal injury action involving an infant who was injured due to a falling flower planter on a wall. The infant Plaintiff climbed onto the exterior wall and the flower planter dislodged and fell onto him. The Court held there was no evidence that the planter was inherently dangerous and defective and the homeowner could not reasonably be expected to guard against plaintiff’s decision to climb a wall when there was a safe means of egress available to the child.

September 21, 2023

DSB Partner Justin Rowe obtained a defense verdict in Supreme Court, Nassau County, on behalf of a local municipality. The infant plaintiff fell from playground equipment sustaining a complex dual fracture of her arm. Plaintiff alleged the Town was negligent in its design of a playground and in the placement of signs indicating the age appropriateness of various playground equipment. DSB argued that the signage and design was safe, and plaintiff’s father failed to read the signs that were present. The jury unanimously agreed and found the playground was safe.

July 13, 2023

DSB obtained orders from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming the dismissal of three lawsuits against a Long Island school district that had been accused of discriminating against or otherwise violating its special education obligations with respect to a disabled student. The student’s parents had a preference for a particular middle and high school, which did not have an appropriate class in the student’s age range that met his needs, and thus the District offered and recommended placement in a special education class at another nearby school. This prompted numerous lawsuits and eight years of litigation, wherein the parents argued that the district failed to accommodate and generally discriminated against the student, that it violated the Equal Protection Clause by not having an appropriate class at the preferred schools at the time their child enrolled but starting one a few years later when a group of younger disabled students moved up from elementary school, and that it had violated its obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and related state and federal regulations. The lower court dismissed the actions and the parents appealed. After hearing extensive argument, the Second Circuit took the unusual step of holding its decision in abeyance and referring the matter for mediation, and the case became the first in-person mediation conducted by the Court’s CAMP program since Covid. The parties eventually advised the Court that they had reached an impasse and asked that a decision be issued, resulting in Orders affirming the Judgments in favor of the school district for substantially the reasons DSB had argued before the lower court an on appeal.

March 27, 2023

DSB was successful in moving for summary judgment on behalf of a municipality on Long Island. The Supreme Court, Suffolk County, agreed with DSB that the municipality did not owe plaintiffs’ decedent a duty of care for a roadway for a roadway outside of the municipality’s jurisdiction. Additionally, the municipality did not create a dangerous condition upon the roadway by failing to replace a lightbulb along the roadway. Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed.

March 22, 2023

DSB was successful in moving for summary judgment on behalf of a municipality on Long Island. Plaintiff was injured when the bicycle he was riding struck a divot, causing him to fall. The Supreme Court, Suffolk County, determined that DSB established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that the municipality had enacted a prior written notice statute regarding defects in the roadways, and that the municipality had not received the requisite prior written notice. The Court granted DSB’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety.

February 17, 2023

DSB successfully moved for summary judgment on behalf of a commercial landlord in a personal injury action involving a slip and fall in a grocery store. Plaintiff had allegedly slipped on water in the produce aisle of a supermarket operated by the landlord’s tenant. DSB successfully argued the out-of-possession landlord had no duty to plaintiff, absent a statute or regulation, contract, course of conduct or creation of the condition. Following oral argument, the Supreme Court dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint and all cross claims.

February 8, 2023

DSB prevailed in the Appellate Division, Second Department on an appeal in a personal action alleging assault and battery. In the lower court, DSB moved to have plaintiff’s complaint dismissed as time-barred; in response, plaintiff opposed the motion and cross-moved to amend the complaint to add timely allegations for violations of New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law and Civil Rights Law § 79-n. The Supreme Court, Nassau County granted DSB’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s Complaint and denied Plaintiff’s cross-motion to amend. On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the lower court’s order finding plaintiff’s proposed amendments to be palpably insufficient and patently devoid of merit.

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