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New York Appellate Court Pokes Defendants’ Entitlement to Facebook Posts

February 26, 2020

By James E. Kimmel, Esq. In an important decision on the discoverability of information posted to social media the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed a lower court order directing production of certain information from a Facebook account. However, a dissent may portend a future re-examination of the Court’s decisions in this area. In Forman v.…

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The Court of Appeals Revisits and Upholds the Trivial Defect Defense

February 26, 2020

Hutchinson v. Sheridan Hill House Corp., __ N.Y.3d __ (October 20, 2015) After almost twenty years, the New York Court of Appeals has revisited the trivial defect defense. Rather that break new ground, the Court reinforced its holdings in the seminal trivial defect case, Trincere v. County of Suffolk, 90 N.Y.2d 976 (1997). The Court…

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Rise of the Car Sharing Programs: Recommendations for an Expanding Industry

February 26, 2020

By James E. Kimmel With millennials and others young at heart leading the way, ride sharing programs have become a 21st century success story. With Zipcar, now a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, starting the movement in the early 2000s, other major players such as Hertz Corp., Enterprise Holdings and Daimler AG have made forays…

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Abrams Gorelick thrice honored by Super Lawyers

February 26, 2020

The New York Metro issue of Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, has again honored Abrams Gorelick partners. Michael E. Gorelick was named a “Super Lawyer” for his work in Insurance Coverage and Glenn A. Jacobson a “Super Lawyer” for his work in Personal Injury Defense: General. Steven DiSiervi was honored for the second time…

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Video surveillance footage proves crucial to defeat all claims against security guards

February 26, 2020

Schumacher v. Antiquorum USA, Inc., NY Slip Op. (Sup.Ct. N.Y.Cty. 2016) Video surveillance footage ruled out the possibility of a triable issue of fact, and a Supreme Court Justice therefore dismissed all claims against two security guards upon motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff claimed he was injured after the Board of Directors of the corporate…

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Contention that contractor created dangerous condition “far too speculative”; court dismisses direct claim and third-party complaint

February 26, 2020

Farley v. Gilbane Building Company, Index No. 18178/2008 (Sup.Ct. Kings Cty. 2013) In a 47-page decision, the Honorable Richard Velasquez dismissed claims against an electrical contractor in a personal injury action brought by a security guard. The plaintiff worked for 21 months at the site of a construction project, where she made hourly security walk-throughs.…

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Court of Appeals holds contractor defendant to building permit application; name on permit application and threat to withdraw permit bar summary judgment

February 26, 2020

Utica Mutual Insurance Company & Co., v. Style Management Associates Corp., et al., __ N.Y.3d ___; 2016 NY Slip Op 07046 (October 27, 2016) New York’s highest court reversed an intermediate appellate decision and denied summary judgment to a defendant contractor where it found “triable issues of fact exist as to the nature of the…

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Defendants granted summary judgment in claim for permanent loss of vocal cords and speech from auto accident

February 26, 2020

Doron Avgush v. Jerry Fontan, Inc. and Gerardo Fontan, Index No. 20734/2012E (Sup.Ct. Bronx Cty. August 29, 2016) Plaintiff was rear-ended while driving on the Sawmill River Parkway in September 2011 and commenced an action for personal injuries, alleging spasmodic dysphonia, tongue dystonia and torticollis resulting in permanent loss of vocal cords and/or speech, as…

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Noseworthy doctrine applies, but Bronx Court still finds for defendants in motorcycle fatality

February 26, 2020

Virgulak v. Neal, et al., Index No. 22357/2013E (Sup.Ct. Bronx Cty. October 3, 2016) A Bronx motion court granted summary judgment dismissing claims against drivers of vehicles who were allegedly involved in the plaintiff’s decedent’s motorcycle accident. Plaintiff’s decedent was operating a motorcycle on the northbound side of the Henry Hudson Parkway in New York…

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The Location of a Defect is No Longer the Sole Determinant of Liability Under NYC Sidewalk Law According to the New York Court of Appeals

February 26, 2020

By Leonard G. Kamlet, Esq. and John O. Fronce, Esq. An action is commenced against two neighboring property owners whose premises abut a public sidewalk in New York City. The actual location where the plaintiff tripped and fell is on an area of the sidewalk abutting one of the defendant’s property, and not the other.…

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