DSB was successful on a motion to renew a prior summary judgment motion on a Kings County Labor Law case. Plaintiff allegedly fell from an extension ladder while performing exterior façade work at our client’s home. Plaintiff claimed the accident occurred because the extension ladder failed and collapsed. As a result of the accident, plaintiff underwent had an L1-L2 laminectomy, and a T11-L4 posterior fusion with instrumentation. This firm had previously filed a summary judgment motion before depositions, the result of which was a dismissal of the Labor Law section 240 and 241 claims based on the homeowner’s exception. However, based on an affidavit of plaintiff that swore our client owned the ladder, the common law and Labor Law section 200 aspects of the motion were denied. During plaintiff’s deposition, he admitted that he never read the affidavit, which was in English, and that the basis of the affidavit was not his own knowledge. He also admitted at the deposition that there was no indication the ladder would fail before the accident. After the deposition, we filed a motion to renew, which was granted and dismissed the remainder of the claims based on lack of notice of any defect.
DSB obtained a dismissal of third-party claims against a snow removal contractor in a case involving personal injuries alleged by plaintiff while traversing her employer’s “side drive up” for an ATM machine. DSB’s expert, a forensic meteorologist, through certified weather records, photographs and deposition testimony was able to prove that it had only stopped snowing about an hour and a half before Plaintiff’s accident. The Court held that the alleged hazardous condition that caused plaintiff’s accident resulted from a “storm in progress” and the third party defendant, snow removal company, did not have an adequate period of time following the storm to remedy the hazardous conditions.
DSB obtained an Order upholding the validity of a local law through which a Long Island town re-zoned five acres of town-owned land for use as affordable housing. Among other things, locals who challenged the measure, argued that the land had been implicitly dedicated as a public park and thus, under the public trust doctrine, required State approval before being put to a different purpose. Initially, the Court issued a temporary restraining Order preventing the Town from moving forward with considering bids from developers; but, after careful consideration, the Court agreed that the Town was able to re-zone the parcel for affordable housing without needing to request State approval and that the local law had been validly passed by the Town Board.
DSB obtained an order partially awarding summary judgment in favor of a real estate brokerage in a contract/commission dispute. After the client received a 6-figure commission from the sale of a commercial property, the prior owner of an office it had acquired claimed that even though they were not involved in the deal they were entitled to the commission based upon an argument that the listing violated a covenant not to compete. The Court found at least a technical violation of the non-compete clause, but dismissed the action to the extent seeking disgorgement of the commission itself and ruled that the plaintiff’s damages, if any, would be limited to provable lost profits caused by the breach.
DSB was successful in moving for summary judgment to dismiss a claim for strict liability predicated on a dog bite. DSB established that its client neither owned nor controlled the dog in question. The Supreme Court, Suffolk County, found that DSB’s client could not be liable under a theory of strict liability for a dog that she neither owned nor controlled. Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed.
DSB obtained summary judgment on behalf of a commercial property owner in New York City in a personal injury action involving alleged dangerous orange plastic netting on the property. Through discovery and investigation, we were able to establish that work performed in the area by a non-party utility company required the company to comply with NYC Parks Department Tree Protection guidelines and that the utility had installed the plastic fencing and had responsibility for it. The Court held that the defendant neither owned, controlled nor maintained the area of plaintiff’s accident and did not place the orange netting complained of by plaintiff.
DSB successfully moved for dismissal of a New York Labor Law case pending in the Supreme Court, Kings County. Plaintiff claimed he fell from a ladder during a renovation project. Plaintiff refused to provide necessary discovery, which led to DSB’s motion to dismiss under CPLR 3126. The court agreed that plaintiff willfully failed to provide discovery and dismissed the case.
DSB secured a pre-deposition voluntary discontinuance from the attorney of an injured party in a personal injury action early in the litigation. Plaintiff alleged that she tripped due to a broken/defective city sidewalk abutting DSB’s client’s premises. DSB was able to demonstrate that, even if the condition was located on the sidewalk abutting our clients’ residential property, the clients could not be liable as a matter of law. Plaintiff’s counsel agreed and voluntary withdrew their case. DSB’s strategy significantly reduced defense costs and eliminated potential exposure for the client.
The firm successfully obtained a defendant’s verdict on six of seven causes of action on behalf of three Eastern Suffolk County Village Police Officers and Village, in Federal Court in an excessive force case. The plaintiff’s surviving family members alleged that the Police Officers used excessive force, failed to intervene to protect the plaintiff and assaulted and battered the decedent. The plaintiff also alleged that the Village failed to properly train the Officers in the proper techniques for interacting with emotionally disturbed people. During the Officers’ attempt to place the individual in custody, in order to escort him to obtain psychiatric treatment, a scuffle ensued, causing the plaintiff and the Officers to fall to the ground. During the struggle, the Officers employed a Taser device (in stun mode) and oleoresin capsicum (O.C. or pepper spray). The subject was ultimately restrained with handcuffs and ankle ties. In the resulting lawsuit, plaintiff’s family claimed that the Officers’ alleged use of excessive force, their failure to intervene to protect the plaintiff and the Village’s failure to properly train the officers caused the plaintiff’s injuries and death. After a two week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Police Officers and Village on six of the seven causes of action. Despite their finding of liability on the one cause of action, the jury did not award any monetary compensatory or punitive damages.
The firm successfully obtained a defendant’s verdict on behalf of an Eastern Suffolk County Town Police Officer and Town, in Federal Court. The female plaintiff alleged that the Police Officer used excessive force, assaulted and battered her during a routine traffic stop. The plaintiff was pulled over by the Officer for using her cellular telephone while driving. During the stop a scuffle ensued, causing the plaintiff and the Officer to end up on the ground. As a result of the alleged excessive force, the plaintiff’s hamstring was torn from her hip bone. After a week-long trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Police Officer and Town, finding no excessive force was committed.