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G&S Triumphs in Second Landmark Trial Involving Billion Dollar Estate

Gordon & Silber, P.C. (G&S), recently triumphed in a second landmark trial involving the billion dollar estate of the late Robert Cohen, the owner and Chairman of the Hudson News Company. G&S was retained by the law firm DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLP (DF&C) to handle the critical medical issues in both trials. In the first trial G&S established that Robert Cohen was medically competent despite suffering from advanced Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). In the second trial, G&S assisted DF&C in establishing that the changes Robert Cohen made to his will in his last years were not the subject of undue influence from his son James Cohen. G&S senior trial partner Sandy Gold assisted by partner Laura Rodgers, with little more than their legal pads, bested the 760 attorney law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in the first trial. In the second trial, Sandy and Laura’s low…Read More

Three Guys Walk Into a Bar….Florida Supreme Court Upholds Verdict Against Drunk Defendant for not Preventing his Drunk Friend from Striking the Plaintiff in the Head with his Tomahawk

Three guys walk into a bar. The decision did not indicate the race or religion of either of the three men, but its clear none of them was the Pope or a Rabbi. These individuals, Dorsey, Reider and Noordhoek got drunk leading to Dorsey telling Reider he was “acting like an ass***”. After Dorsey left the bar, Reider and Noordhoek pursued and trapped him between Reider’s truck and an adjacent vehicle. While Dorsey was attempting to get by Reider who held him back, Noordhoek retrieved a tomahawk from Reider’s truck and hit Dorsey in the head with it causing injury. Reider and Noordjoek fled the scene. A jury awarded Dorsey nearly $1 million against Reider, but it was reversed when the appeals court found that Reider owed no duty to Dorsey to prevent the independent act by Noordhoek. The Supreme Court of Florida reversed, and reinstated the jury verdict. In…Read More

G&S Obtains Dismissal of Claim Against YMCA in Locker Room Slip and Fall Case

The Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the Order of the Supreme Court, Bronx County which granted summary judgment to the YMCA in a locker room slip and fall accident. The female plaintiff, who had been in the women’s locker room, with her daughter, for fifteen minutes, without noticing any water on the locker room floor, allegedly slipped and fell on a puddle of water in close proximity to the bench where she had changed into her bathing suit prior to an aqua aerobics class in the YMCA’s indoor pool. Although the YMCA’s female porter, who was responsible for maintaining and inspecting the locker room, was absent from work that day, the YMCA’s male porter ensured that the female staff members continuously checked the locker room floor for water during her absence. The Appellate Division held that the YMCA met its burden of demonstrating lack of notice of the alleged wet…Read More

Man Sues Doctors Who Mocked him During Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy patient in Virginia is suing the doctors who performed his colonoscopy for defamation and infliction of emotional distress. The suit alleges that Tiffany Ingham M.D. and Solomon Shah M.D. began impugning him as soon as he was unconscious. He knew this because he used his cell phone to record the doctors’ instructions for post-operative care and then neglected to turn it off. One doctor was recorded as saying “after five minutes of talking to you in pre-op I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.” It recorded a doctor referring to another doctor who would like to “eat [plaintif] for lunch”. They discussed his lack of manliness, his being a “big wimp” and whether he was gay. They also discussed an an irritation on his penis and wondered theorized it was syphilis. There also was an indication that a medical assistant…Read More

Cyber-Defamation – Hot New Area Of Tort Liability – Court Orders Yelp To Reveal Anonymous Reviewers’ Identities

Cyber reviews on services such as Yelp have become an increasingly critical element to building a successful commercial enterprise. While such reviews can provide a business a boost, according to the market research firm Gartner, one out of every ten online product reviews are “fake” posted by people who have been paid to write them. Until recently, writing fake reviews has been a safe and low cost way for unscrupulous business owners to obtain an unfair and fraudulent advantage over their competitors. This type of fraudulent practice is finally getting the attention of the courts and even law enforcement authorities. In late 2013, the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought actions against 19 companies for doing fake reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Local and CitySearch.com. The companies paid fines of up to $100,000 and signed agreements pledging to stop the practice. The AG’s office set up a sting…Read More

Chiropractic Malpractice Does not Qualify for Medical Malpractice 2 1/2 Year Statute of Limitations

In an important decision to those involved in the field of chiropractic malpractice, the First Department decided on February 6, 2014 in the case Perez v. Fitzgerald, that the 2½ statute of limitations for medical, dental and podiatric malpractice (CPLR 214-a) does not automatically apply to chiropractic malpractice actions. Ms. Perez sued her chiropractor Fitzgerald, for failure to diagnose a tumor in her neck. She had originally presented to him in May 2005 after a car accident complaining of neck pain. He ordered an MRI and reviewed the radiologist’s report which indicated she had a number of herniated/bulging discs with no mention of a tumor. He treated her neck pain and hand numbness with chiropractic adjustments. Although she was being treated by various other physicians she did not complain to the others about her neck pain and hand numbness. In 2007, she saw a new chiropractor when her condition did…Read More

Labor Law Claims Against Husband Dismissed but Allowed Against his Wife – Homeowner Exemption

In an unusual Labor Law case, Judge Billings dismissed a Labor Law §§240(1) and 241(6) claims against the owner of a one family dwelling, but granted the plaintiff’s motion to assert the same claims against the owner’s wife. Plaintiff in Pizarro v. Lignelli, 102474/2011, NYLJ 1202641219115, at *1 (Sup. NY, Decided January 6, 2014) was injured while renovating defendant’s single family house. Plaintiff also claimed violations of Labor Law §§200 and common law negligence. Defendant moved for summary judgment based on the exemption under the Labor Law for owners of 1-2 family dwellings, when the owner contracts for, but does not supervise, direct, or control the construction to which the Labor Law applies. In response, plaintiff cross-moved to add the same claims against defendant’s wife. The evidence established the premises was a single family dwelling and that plaintiff fell 7-8’ off of a ladder without any safety devices. Defendant claimed…Read More

Empire State Building Sues Photographer over Topless Viral Photograph – Seeks Punitive Damages

After purchasing tickets to the Empire State Building (“ESB”) observatory deck, Allen Henson, a photographer, took cell phone photos of a topless model who accompanied him. He later posted them to a social media site and they went “viral”. They can be seen at: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/boobs-photog-hit-1-1m-suit-article-1.1578135. In January 2014 Mr. Henson was served with a lawsuit by ESB seeking $100,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million punitive damages based on the legal theory than Henson’s cellphone photo shoot was “unlawful and tortious and caused ESB damage to its business and its reputation as a safe and secure family friendly tourist attraction.” ESB claimed that Henson was guilty of tortious trespass. ESB did not name the model who appears to us to have had at least equal responsibility. While it is understandable that ESB would not want topless women mixing with tourists unaccustomed to public nudity, ESB’s contention that Henson’s actions constituted…Read More

Little League Baseball Coach Sues 14 Year Old Player on his Own Team For Throwing Helmet

A California Little League baseball coach Alan Beck has sued a 14-year-old he was coaching as well as the child’s parents, alleging that after getting the game-winning hit the boy tossed off his helmet as he was running toward home plate which allegedly struck Beck’s Achilles tendon and tore it. The complaint asks for $500,000 in pain and suffering and $100,000 in lost wages and medical bills and also named the boy’s parents who have reportedly already spent $4,000 defending the action. The case has no merit and is frankly, suspicious. Obviously the child is judgment proof so the case is really against the parents. However, the law is clear, parents are not vicariously liable for the torts of their children absent certain defined exceptions such as if the child was working for the parents or there was some type of agency between them or where the parents encouraged the…Read More

Civil Liability for Allowing a Friend to Drive Drunk?

Two 17-year-old boys were arrested in Glastonbury, CT last month and charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree on the ground that they knew their friend Jane Modlesky, also 17, was too drunk to drive when she got behind the wheel of an SUV in July before crashing into a tree and dying. Modlesky had left a party where alcohol was being served to over 100 minors with four 17 year old boys. Although the SUV belonged to the parents of one of Modlesky’s friends, the car was initially not being driven by Modlesky. One of the boys dropped himself and a passenger off before handing the keys to the third boy who drove to his own house, where the two accused boys got out and handed the keys to Modlesky. They apparently did so without having the opportunity to see her drive. One wonders if there had been…Read More