February 5, 2020

DSB was successful in moving for summary judgment on behalf of a Suffolk County school district. Plaintiff, a high school student, was injured while attending an off campus BOCES program. The Court determined that the District did not owe plaintiff a duty of care as plaintiff was not within their orbit of authority and was not injured on District property. The court further concluded that the student’s status as a special education student did not create a special duty towards him under the circumstances.

January 23, 2020

DSB was successful in moving for summary judgment on behalf of a construction company in Queens County. The plaintiff was allegedly injured when he tripped and fell over an uneven slab of sidewalk. The court found that the defendant neither owned, occupied, controlled nor made special use of the subject property and dismissed the complaint and cross-claims asserted against the defendant.

January 22, 2020

DSB was successful in Supreme Court, Suffolk County, in obtaining the dismissal of an Article 78 petition challenging a September 24, 2018 decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals of a town on Long Island’s east end, denying petitioner’s application for a variance to move an existing shed and an existing barn to a non-conforming area of the property and to construct a “hoop house” in a non-conforming area of the property. The Court determined that there were alternate locations on the property where the structures could be repositioned. The Court agreed that the ZBA’s determination had a rational basis and was neither arbitrary and capricious nor an abuse of discretion.

January 1, 2020

Devitt Spellman Barrett, LLP is proud to announce that David S. Pallai has been elected Equity Partner of the firm.  David, a successful trial attorney who started with DSB as Counsel in 2004, continues to handle complex casualty, insurance, and municipal defense cases through verdict.  David leads the firm’s team of attorneys in its Garden City office.

December 18, 2019

DSB was successful in opposing an appeal of an order granting summary judgment to a Suffolk County municipality regarding a case involving labor law claims.  The Appellate Division, Second Department, agreed with a lower court decision where it was determined that a labor law plaintiff was not entitled to recovery from the municipality in that the municipality did not contract for the plaintiff’s services, or have an interest in the loss location.  The Appellate Division also rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the motion was premature.

December 13, 2019

DSB successfully opposed a motion for summary judgment by a Plaintiff on a restrictive covenant claim.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated a restrictive covenant prohibiting fences exceeding four-feet in height.  The Suffolk County Judge who decided the motion agreed with this firm’s argument that the covenant had been ignored by other owners, including the plaintiff, and had outlived its usefulness.  As such, this firm had raised triable issues of fact sufficient to defeat the plaintiff’s motion.

December 2, 2019

DSB was successful in moving for summary judgment on behalf of a commercial tenant in queens county. Plaintiff was allegedly injured while climbing a set of stairs inside a commercial property owned by co-defendant. The court found that the tenant defendant did not owe a duty of care to plaintiff to protect against a fall within a common area of the building, nor was there a lease in effect that required the tenant to maintain the area.

November 18, 2019

The Appellate Division, Second Department recently affirmed an order granting a motion for summary judgment made by DSB dismissing a complaint against a Town, which was based on the Town’s operation of its 911 emergency call system. Plaintiff had alleged that the Town’s negligence in the operation in the system resulted in the death of her husband. The Appellate Division ruled that the Town established that no special relationship existed between it and the decedent which would give rise to a duty of care to the decedent, individually.

November 13, 2019

DSB was recently successful in moving for summary judgment in favor of a Suffolk County school district.  Plaintiff, a middle-school student, claimed to have been injured when he was tripped in the hallway by another student; the plaintiff asserted that the District did not provide adequate supervision.  The Court found that the District demonstrated that it did not have actual or constructive notice of the third-party student engaging in conduct similar to that alleged, i.e. tripping other students.  The Court also concluded that any purported lack of supervision was not a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.