2012 defense verdicts

Supreme Court, New York County — Roberto Lopez v City of New York

Summary Judgment

September 2012 — Partner Edwin Lambert prevailed on summary judgment motion practice on behalf of the firm’s client, Galb Realty Associates LLC, by decision of the Honorable Michael D. Stallman (Supreme New York, Index # 114910/09 – September 21, 2012) where plaintiff allegedly tripped and fell on a crack in the sidewalk along the perimeter of a sidewalk grating. The Court held that while Section 7-210 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York requires owners of real property within the City to maintain abutting sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition, 34 RCNY Section 2-07 places the responsibility for maintenance of gratings and the area extending 12” outward from the perimeter of the cover or grating on the owner of the cover or grating. 34 RCNY Section 2-07(b)(2) states that the “owners of covers or gratings shall replace or repair any cover or grating found to be defective and shall repair any defective street condition found within an area extending twelve inches outward from the perimeter of the cover or grating.”

Supreme Court, Queens County — Jessica Helmeset v MTA Bus Company

Summary Judgment

September 2012 — Partner John V. Wynne secured a dismissal on the merits in favor of client MTA Bus Company in the matter of Jessica Helmeset v MTA Bus Company, (Supreme Court, Queens County, Index # 700154/09.) Plaintiff Jessica Helmeset was a driver who claimed that she had the right of way and legally entered an intersection when her vehicle was struck by a bus operated by the MTA Bus Company. The bus operator, under oath, testified that he had no stop sign controlling his direction of travel. Barry, McTiernan & Moore obtained an independent orthopedic examination of plaintiff. It was determined that plaintiff’s claimed injuries did not rise to the level of “serious” as defined by New York’s Insurance Law section 5102.

Supreme Court, Queens County — Deborah Riviere v. MTA Bus Company

June 2012 — Partner John V. Wynne secured a defense verdict on June 25, 2012 in the matter of Deborah Riviere v. MTA Bus Company (Supreme Court, Queens County, Index # 24101-09.) Plaintiff was a passenger on a bus operated by defendant MTA Bus Company when an unlicensed livery cab struck the bus at its left rear wheel, propelling plaintiff to the floor of the bus. Plaintiff allegedly sustained a tear of the rotator cuff of the left shoulder, tendinosis of the supraspinatus tendon, a full thickness tear of the infraspinatus tendon and underwent arthroscopic surgery to the rotator cuff as well as a bursectomy and synovectomy. Additionally plaintiff claimed a left knee sprain with resultant decreased range of motion, a bulge at C5-6, herniation at C6-7, and lumbar strain and sprain. Hon. Martin Schulman found in favor of the firm’s client, the MTA Bus Company, and dismissed all claims against said defendant. Plaintiff’s demand had been $300,000. Defendant offered $0.

Supreme Court, Queens County — Julia Sanclemente v. MTA Bus Company

Summary Judgment

April 2012 — Summary judgment was granted to the firm’s client, the MTA Bus Company, by the Honorable Janice Taylor (Index # 33379/09 – April 20, 2012) after defendant moved to dismiss the Complaint due to plaintiff’s failure to have sustained a serious injury as defined by Section 5102 of the New York Insurance Law. Plaintiff, who alleged that she was struck by defendant’s bus while within a crosswalk, claimed multiple injuries including bulging discs at L4-5, L5-S1, C3-4, C5-6; Grade 1 spondylolisthesis of L4; spinal stenosis at L2-3; lumbar radiculopathy at S1, C6, disc narrowing at C2-3; left hip contusion and ecchymosis. Over the opposition of plaintiff’s counsel, Pazer, Epstein & Jaffe, arguing that the injuries satisfied the statutory requirement, and plaintiff’s cross motion for summary judgment on liability, defendant prevailed on both motions. During the pendency of the decision, plaintiff communicated a “high six figures” demand; no settlement offer was extended. Partner John Wynne obtained the favorable decision for our client.

Supreme Court, Queens County — Matter of J.B. v A.D. (in the interests of protecting the parties’ confidentiality)

Summary Judgment

March 2012 — The firm obtained summary judgment on behalf of a private school, where a student alleged that he was molested by a teacher. In dismissing plaintiff’s claim, the court ruled that the school was not negligent in hiring the teacher, nor was it liable for negligent supervision of the student and teacher. Suzanne M. Halbardier and David H. Schultz obtained the favorable decision for our client.

Supreme Court, New York County — John Zaugg v. Air & Liquid Systems, et al.

The firm obtained a defense verdict on March 13, 2012 in the case of John Zaugg. The plaintiff was a deceased man who had suffered from mesothelioma and was represented by the Weitz & Luxenberg firm. He alleged that he had worked on our client’s boilers and was exposed to asbestos from maintenance work on the boilers. Defendant disputed that it manufactured the boilers at issue, and argued that Mr. Zaugg had mis-identified the company. Defendant argued that the Department of Buildings records revealed a different manufacturer’s burner and boiler were approved for installation at the site. Plaintiff’s counsel disputed this, arguing that the records were vague and incomplete, and Mr. Zaugg’s testimony was more credible. After a nine day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of defendant, concluding that plaintiff had failed to prove that the boilers at issue were manufactured by the defendant. Suzanne Halbardier and Shawnette Fluitt handled the trial on behalf of our client. The matter was tried before Judge Judith Gische in New York County Supreme Court.

Civil Court, Queens County — Jacqueline Louime v. NYC Transit Authority

A unanimous jury found in favor of the New York City Transit Authority in the case of Jacqueline Louime v NYCTA. Plaintiff alleged that as a passenger on defendant’s bus, she was thrown to the floor when the bus negotiated a severely violent left turn. She alleged that as a result, she sustained a heart attack approximately thirty minutes later , requiring emergency bypass surgery and resulting in her continuing inability to work as a home healthcare aide. Plaintiff demanded $ 100,000 to settle the matter; NYCTA made no offer. Partner John V. Wynne successfully defended the claim on the grounds that absent some outside correlation of plaintiff’s testimony about the violent movement of the bus, plaintiff could not sustain a legally cognizable claim. The matter was tried before Judge Richard Latin in Queens County Civil Court, Index number TS300203-11 QU, on March 13, 2012.