January 29, 2018

DSB wins another Motion for Summary Judgment. The firm was successful in dismissing plaintiff’s complaint against a Suffolk County homeowner. Plaintiff alleged that she had tripped and fallen on the public sidewalk abutting the defendant’s home, fracturing her left wrist. The Court granted the firm’s motion for summary judgment, finding that although the Islip Town Code imposed a duty on the defendant to maintain the sidewalk, it does not impose tort liability for a violation of that duty. The court also found that the defendants did not create the alleged defective condition nor cause it to exist from any special use.

January 26, 2018

The firm was successful on behalf of a municipal client in temporarily blocking the application of a mining company to expand its mining operation on the grounds that the applicant failed to demonstrate that the proposed expansion was authorized under the municipality’s local zoning laws. The firm petitioned the State Department of Environmental Conservation seeking full party status for the Town in the Administrative Proceeding commenced by the applicant so that the Town could oppose the applicant’s appeal of its permit expansion denial, and in so doing prevailed upon the Administrative Law Judge that the failure of the applicant to demonstrate compliance with local zoning laws required the proceeding to be suspended until proof of compliance with the local law was established. In his decision, the Administrative Law Judge noted that a Long Island municipality’s authority to prohibit mining includes not only the power to prohibit the development of new mines but the power to impose reasonable restrictions to limit the expansion of, and eventually extinguish, prior nonconforming mining uses within such municipalities.

January 25, 2018

DSB met the burden of proof on a weather-related defense. The firm successfully handled a personal injury action against the Islip School District as a result of a slip and fall on ice at the Islip High School. DSB presented the evidence to the court in admissible form, showing that at the time of the accident there was a storm in progress. The firm’s motion for summary judgment was granted dismissing the Complaint.

January 24, 2018

The firm successfully defended homeowners in a personal injury action arising out of a trip and fall on a public sidewalk in Richmond County. Despite evidence of post-incident remedial action, the Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary holding that the defendants were entitled to the exemption from liability contained in New York City Administrative Code 7-210(b). The defendants established that no repairs were made to the sidewalk prior to the plaintiff’s accident and the alleged defect in the sidewalk did not arise out of a special use of the sidewalk by the defendants.

January 17, 2018

A missing handrail doesn’t always mean liability. The firm was successful in having a claim against two Suffolk County homeowners dismissed. Plaintiff, a cleaning person, claimed to have been injured when she slipped and fell on defendant’s front walkway. The Court agreed with defendant’s position that water upon the walkway from the recent use of an irrigation system did not qualify as a dangerous and/or defective condition. The Court further opined that the three-step stairway in an outdoor area was not required to have a handrail pursuant to the applicable building code.

January 2, 2018

DSB won a case with an injured postal worker. The firm was successful in having a claim against a Suffolk County homeowner defendant dismissed. Plaintiff, a United States Postal Service mail carrier, was injured when she backed her mail vehicle into a utility pole in front of defendant’s home. The Court, in granting summary judgment to the defendant homeowner, found that the defendant’s placement of light reflectors on the pole did not create a duty upon the defendant to otherwise maintain the public utility pole. The Court further agreed with defendant’s position that the homeowner defendant did not take any action to make the utility pole appear as if it was out of place.

January 2, 2018

DSB taking on the EPA. The firm successfully argued a motion on behalf of the Town of Southold to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the federal government’s decision to open a new permanent disposal site for dredged material in the Long Island Sound near Fishers Island. The opening of this site could devastate the Town’s fisheries and eco-tourism as the dredge consists mostly of industrial waste from Connecticut’s contaminated river beds. In entering the lawsuit for the Town of Southold, the firm joins forces with the New York Attorney General’s Office against the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Connecticut.

December 21, 2017

Homeowners need a reasonable time to remedy snow and ice. DSB was successful in having a claim against a Suffolk County homeowner defendant dismissed. The plaintiff, a tenant at the loss location, claimed that she slipped and fell on an accumulation of ice on a rear walkway leading to her entrance to the premises. The Supreme Court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding that the ice condition formed during a late evening winter weather event, and that defendants did not have a reasonable time in which to take remedial measures.

November 27, 2017

Southold Park District not liable. The firm was successful in dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint against the Southold Park District on a pre-discovery motion for summary judgment on the issue of ownership, maintenance and control. Plaintiff had fallen on a set of stairs leading down to a beach on the Long Island Sound and sustained a torn quadriceps muscle which required surgery.