August 2, 2019

DSB won a summary judgment motion on behalf of a Bronx County homeowner.  Plaintiff, an employee of a moving company, was injured when he tripped over a brick retaining wall, which separated the driveway from the front walk while transporting the tenant’s armoire to the moving truck.  The homeowner established that the brick retaining wall was an open and obvious condition that was not inherently dangerous.

July 26, 2019

DSB was successful in moving to dismiss claims of false arrest and malicious prosecution against a Long Island School District.  Plaintiff, an employee of the district, had been accused of alleged inappropriate contact with a student.  The school district, following State Education regulations and New York State law, made a report to the Suffolk County Police Department.  The Court, in dismissing plaintiff’s Complaint, found that merely furnishing information to the police (which then exercised its own judgment as to the claim against plaintiff), did not play an active role in the prosecution and dismissed the case.

July 15, 2019

The firm successfully moved for dismissal of a slip and fall personal injury case venue in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County involving a claim of black ice.  The firm used the affidavit of a weather expert to show that the accident occurred during a rain event and that surface temperatures were such that black ice was quickly forming.  There being no notice to the defendant homeowner of the ice or sufficient time to remedy the condition, the court dismissed the complaint.

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.