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Jon Lichtenstein

G&S Obtains Summary Judgment in Labor Law 240(1) Case

Jon D. Lichtenstein recently obtained summary judgment dismissing a Labor Law case against our client CBRE, Inc. leaving several defendants to try the case. This Labor Law case arose when a 40 lb. cable tray fell from a distance of 2-3’ onto the head of the 25 year old plaintiff. The plaintiff’s coworker was working with the cable tray on a ladder when the tray fell. The plaintiff was employed by a contractor USIS Electric, Inc. a subcontractor of Tishman Interiors, who was retained by the tenant AECOM Technology Corporation, to install audio visual wiring. Also in the case were the owners of the building and a company closely related to plaintiff’s employer. Plaintiff underwent treatment for his head, neck, mid-back and low back and ultimately underwent lumbar disc de-compression surgery and lumbar fusion and he has received a recommendation for cervical fusion. He also alleged a traumatic brain injury and permanent disability. We moved for summary…Read More

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Jon Lichtenstein

G&S Obtains Summary Judgment in Labor Law 240(1) Case

Jon D. Lichtenstein recently obtained summary judgment dismissing a Labor Law case against our client CBRE, Inc. leaving several defendants to try the case. This Labor Law case arose when a 40 lb. cable tray fell from a distance of 2-3’ onto the head of the 25 year old plaintiff. The plaintiff’s coworker was working with the cable tray on a ladder when the tray fell. The plaintiff was employed by a contractor USIS Electric, Inc. a subcontractor of Tishman Interiors, who was retained by the tenant AECOM Technology Corporation, to install audio visual wiring. Also in the case were the owners of the building and a company closely related to plaintiff’s employer. (more…)

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Jon Lichtenstein

G&S Obtains Dismissal of Claim Based on Defective Service of Process

This was a claim for medical malpractice for the alleged improper performance of a cosmetic breast augmentation procedure (breast lift).  We moved to dismiss the complaint based on plaintiff’s counsel failure to properly effectuate service on our client physician.  Although the trial court refused to grant our motion and granted the plaintiff additional time to serve, partner Patrick Mevs, appealed the denial of the motion to the Appellate Division.  When plaintiff failed to effectuate proper service a second time, he again moved to dismiss and again the trial court allowed plaintiff more time.  Undeterred, Mr. Mevs perfected his appeal of both motions and after oral argument, the Court rendered a decision effectively dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint for failure to properly effectuate service.  Since the statute of limitations had expired, this decision effectively ended the litigation in favor of our client.

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Second Department Affirms Dismissal of Ice Skating Rink Case – Water Does not Make Ice More Slippery

The plaintiff, an adult male, tried ice skating for the first time on a Spring day at our client’s ice rink. He stepped out on the ice and while still holding on to the boards took a second step and fell backwards onto his posterior breaking his ankle which required surgery. He alleged that his skate slipped because he had stepped onto a wet spot on the ice and also that he was given the wrong size skates. The claim that wet ice caused someone to fall is a claim we have seen over the years. This time we decided to hire an expert to test the claim. Our expert did coefficient testing on wet ice and dry ice before and after cleaning with a Zamboni and scientifically determined there was no significant difference between the slipperiness of wet and dry ice. Our expert who also was a bio-mechanical engineer…Read More

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G&S Obtains Dismissal of Med-Mal Wrongful Death Action for Lack of Jurisdiction

Plaintiff brought wrongful death action alleging medical malpractice of our client, an internist, based on his alleged failure to detect and treat the plaintiff’s brain and lung cancer. We moved based on our defense our client was never properly served with process at her actual residence or place of business. Initial service was made at a hospital where she had formerly worked and later served at a condominium she owned, but had always leased to a tenant. Plaintiff never effectively refuted our claim of lack of service, and, in fact, cross-moved for our client’s proper address for re-service. The issue of service was of critical importance because the statute of limitations had expired. With respect to the statute of limitations, plaintiff contended that our client was “united in interest” with other co-defendants and thus the Statute of Limitations did not expire against her. We contended that in order to prove…Read More

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G&S Obtains Dismissal of Skating Rink Case Based on Assumption of the Risk – Man Spinning Woman on Ice Against her Will was not Reckless Conduct so as to Fall Outside Assumption of Risk Doctrine

Plaintiff and her friend were ice skating when she observed a man skating in a dangerous manner skating the wrong direction and pushing other people on the rink. They continued to skate when this individual stopped the conduct. When after a half hour on the ice they saw this individual swinging a woman around him on the ice against her will they decided to leave the ice. As plaintiff was skating by the couple their hands released sending the male “flying” into her knocking her down and causing her to break her wrist. We argued that that being knocked to the ice by another skater is a risk that ice skaters assume when they agree to participate in the sport of ice skating. Plaintiff was an experienced skater and continued to skate despite being aware the individual who knocked her down had skated inappropriately in a manner she considered dangerous.…Read More

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G&S Obtains Dismissal of Wrongful Death Claim on Behalf of New York Municipal Defendants – No Special Duty

Lawrence S. Wasserman and Nicholas J. Ajello recently obtained dismissal of a wrongful death claim on behalf of The City of New York, New York City Police Department, New York City Fire Department and the City of New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Supreme Court, Queens County. The case, Lois M. Rosenblatt v. The City of New York, et. al. (Index No. 5798/2013), involved plaintiff’s-decedent, a then 96-year old female who was under the care of a private home health aide. When the decedent started choking on food fed to her by the home health aide, the aid called an ambulance and was provided instructions on what to do, but by the time the ambulance arrived, the decedent had become anoxic and fell into a persistence vegetative state before ultimately passing away. Plaintiff alleged the City failed to give the home health aide appropriate instructions, failed to…Read More

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Ed Dondes Obtains Trial Verdict in Case Involving a Fall Down Stairs Allegedly Due to an Improper Handrail

Plaintiff was visiting our client when she fell down an interior stairway. Plaintiff contended that the stairway that had been replaced five years earlier by an unlicensed contractor, caused her accident because the contractor negligently failed to comply with provisions of the code that require handrails to have at least 1 ½ inches of finger space. The plaintiff asserted that because part of the molding ran up against the handrail, there was an absence of space to grab for several inches. The plaintiff maintained that as a result, she was caused to fall. Plaintiff put on the stand the expert engineer Nicholas Belizzi, PE. We argued that the stairs were safe and that there had been no problems with the stairs or handrail in the 5 years since being installed. We also contended that the plaintiff had regularly visited the premises, and had been on the stairs many times and…Read More

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Gordon and Silber Obtains Rare Forum Non Conveniens Dismissal in New Jersey Asbestos Case

Lawrence S. Wasserman and Russell L. Porter recently obtained a dismissal of cosmetic-talc related asbestos case in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County. We are unaware of any other similar motions which have obtained a similar dismissal in the venue. The case, Bell v. American International Industries, et. al., Docket Number: MID-L-6527-15AS, involved claims made by a lifelong resident of North Carolina that she was caused to develop mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos contained in our client’s cosmetic talc product. The plaintiff claimed she used this product during her longtime employment as a hairdresser in North Carolina. During the plaintiff’s deposition, we were able to ascertain the plaintiff had a long history of employment in several North Carolina textile factories which were known sources of asbestos-exposure and related litigation. Further investigation revealed that the plaintiff had filed a workers’ compensation claim asserting that her mesothelioma was the…Read More

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The Court of Appeals Will Review the Second Department’s Expansion of Liability of Commercial Owners and Managing Agents for the Negligence of their Independent Contractors

In Pesante v Vertical Indus. Dev. Corp., 2016 NY Slip Op 05854 (2d Dep’t August 24, 2016), the Second Department greatly expanded liability of commercial property owners and managing agents for the negligence of their independent contractors. It was not clear from the one page decision whether the Court was aware of the far reaching consequences of what it had done. Recently, the Second Department granted a motion for leave to appeal. The matter is now on its way to the Court of Appeals. In Pesante, the plaintiff claimed he was walking with a friend in a parking lot owned by the Vertical Industrial Development Corp. (“Vertical”) and managed by Rentar Development Corp. (“Rentar”), when she was struck by a remote-controlled toy car. The parking lot was patrolled by the employees of the owner’s independent security contractor. There was testimony that immediately prior to the accident, the security guard was…Read More

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