May 10, 2019

DSB successfully moved for summary judgment on behalf of property owners in Nassau County. Plaintiff injured herself while walking on the driveway, resulting in an ankle fracture and surgery. Although it was snowing at the time of plaintiff’s accident, plaintiff did not know if her foot slipped prior to feeling her ankle “click.” The court granted the firm’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the Complaint, finding that plaintiff’s failure to identify the cause of her injuries mandated dismissal of her causes of action. The court also held that the defendants were entitled to summary judgment under the “storm in progress” doctrine.

April 15, 2019

DSB prevailed before the State Division of Human Rights in an age discrimination claim brought by a disgruntled food service worker at a school district on Long Island. She had complained that she was transferred to a different school because of her age but the State Division found there was no evidence of age discrimination or even of an adverse job action. The State Division found that, at most, the evidence revealed personality conflicts and possible favoritism, none of which supported a valid age discrimination claim.

April 8, 2019

DSB was successful in moving to dismiss a claim against an individual defendant in New York State. Plaintiff was allegedly injured during the course of an African hair braiding procedure when her scalp was scalded with hot water. The defendant, the sister of the owner of the salon, was found to owe no duty to the plaintiff as she did not own, operate, manage or control the salon where the incident occurred. Defendant’s only nexus to the salon was the collection of rent from the independent stylists working there while her sister was away. The Court further determined that even if the defendant was found to be an operator of the salon, she still could not be held liable in her individual capacity for the negligent acts of an independent stylist.

April 4, 2019

DSB successfully moved for summary judgment on behalf of a wireless retailer in Suffolk County. Plaintiff, a pedestrian in a parking lot, claimed to be injured while walking through the lot which served several commercial properties. DSB proved to the court, on the motion, by the introduction of a survey, that the condition which caused the accident was located beyond the boundary line of the demised premises leased to the retailer.

April 3, 2019

DSB was successful in having a wrongful death/survivor claim dismissed in the Supreme Court, Westchester County on a motion for summary judgment.  Plaintiff’s decedent, an elderly man, was found injured in the driveway after allegedly falling from a 5-foot high retaining wall above.   Plaintiff died shortly after the fall.   Plaintiff alleged that the walkway above, located alongside the top of a retaining wall, was defective due to a lack of safety railing and a lack of lighting.  DSB argued that plaintiff’s theory of negligence was speculative in that the accident was unwitnessed.  Plaintiff offered no evidence as to how the accident occurred and had not established the existence of a defect.  The defense expert was able to demonstrate that the retaining wall was not defective.  Plaintiff was not able to prove the decedent actually fell from the wall.

March 27, 2019

DSB successfully opposed plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on his Labor Law 240 claim. Plaintiff, who was allegedly injured when a scaffold collapsed, provided different accounts regarding the manner in which he was injured. The New York County Judge who decided the motion agreed with this firm’s argument that plaintiff’s credibility raised triable issues of fact sufficient to defeat the motion.

March 12, 2019

The firm won a summary judgment motion for a Town on the east end of Long Island in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, which dismissed the demands of commercial baymen for fishing licenses from the Town. The Court upheld the town’s ability to limit licenses to inhabitants of the town based on the continuing validity of an underwater land grant given to the trustees of the town in 1686 by King James II. Judge Leis held that the trustees’ rights continue to this day, allowing the Town to regulate fishing that disturbs the trustees’ lands. The Court summarily dismissed the fishermen’s claims that the Town’s licensure restriction was preempted by the State Environmental Conservation Law. The Court also held that restrictions in General Municipal Law § 80 which apply to municipal corporations did not apply the trustees, and that the town and trustees were not engaged in a conspiracy to restrain trade in violation of the Donnelly Act.

February 21, 2019

DSB successfully opposed an appeal of a judgment of dismissal, after trial, of a defamation action by a university professor against other faculty members based on a defense of qualified immunity. The Appellate Division, Second Department ruled that the purportedly defamatory statements concerned a matter in which the defendants and the recipients of the defendants’ emails had a common interest, namely, the academic reputation and integrity of the school and its faculty.

February 13, 2019

DSB successfully obtained a complete defendant’s verdict on liability, at binding private arbitration, on behalf of a homeowner. Plaintiff alleged that our client’s negligence caused her to fall down a flight of stairs leading to the home’s basement. The single arbitrator, a retired Judge, concluded that the cause of plaintiff’s fall was the fact that she mistakenly stepped into the wrong doorway. Instead of stepping onto flooring at the same level as the hallway, plaintiff stepped into the stairs leading to the basement. On cross-examination, plaintiff conceded that she was very familiar with the layout of the home, including the separate and distinct doors to the first-floor bathroom and basement. She also acknowledged that nothing obscured her vision from being able to see what was in front of her when she mistakenly opened the basement door. The Judge fully adopted our legal arguments, in rendering an award in favor of our client dismissing the complaint.

February 5, 2019

DSB won a summary judgment motion on behalf of a Queens County property owner. Plaintiff injured herself when she slipped and fell on an ice condition that existed on the sidewalk near the property line of the owner’s property and an adjacent property. The property owner established, through use of a surveyor’s testimony, that he did not own the property abutting the fall location on the public sidewalk and he did not maintain or cause to be maintained the area of the sidewalk where the ice condition existed.