Rosario Injured Falling Through Roof of Cao’s Recently Purchased Building

Court Determines If Owner Was on Notice or Had Res Ipsa Loquitur Liability

Angela Rosario was injured when her foot went through the surface of a back deck of an apartment, creating a hole in the deck through which she fell. Peter Cao and others, who owned the building, had purchased the property approximately 51 days before the accident.

Litigation ensued. Supreme Court granted Cao’s motion for summary judgment dismissing Rosario’s complaint. Rosario appealed.

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Klara and Christos Sued Cindy For Constructive Trust on Bayside Real Estate

Court Determines If Daughter Held Property in Trust For Parents

Klara and Christos Koumantaros sued Cindy, their daughter, to impose a constructive trust on real property located in Bayside.  When the property was purchased title was vested to the Klara and Cindy. Klara and Christos alleged that the parties had an oral agreement whereby Cindy agreed to hold title to the property as a convenience to them and to relinquish her interest to Christos upon his request.

Following a nonjury trial, Supreme Court issued a judgment, which declared that Cindy held title to the property as a constructive trustee for the benefit of the Klara and Christos and that they were the rightful owners of the property. Cindy appealed.

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Employee Trips and Falls Off Cubicle Chair While Activating Lighting Control Motion Sensors

Was Managing Agent Liable For Launching and Instrument of Harm That Caused Accident?

Kylie Long tripped and fell on a chair in her cubicle, sustaining injuries, while getting up to activate the motion sensors that controlled the lighting that had gone off in her employer’s office building. Litigation ensued against Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., the managing agent for the building.  C&W moved for summary judgment dismissing Long’s complaint. The motion was denied. C&W appealed.

Supreme Court determined that issues of fact existed as to whether C&W, which had contracted with the employer to provide property management services, owed a duty of care to Long. There were issues of fact as to whether Long detrimentally relied on C&W to perform its obligations under the contract to keep the premises safe. C&W’s contention that Long could not claim detrimental reliance absent her actual knowledge of the property management agreement between C&W and her employer was improperly raised for the first time on appeal and, in any event, was unavailing in light of Long’s testimony, which raised an issue of fact as to her knowledge of the agreement.

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During Relationship Barber Placed Mobile Home on Woodard’s Property

Can Barber Replevin Abode From Woodward After Relationship Ends?

David Barber commenced a conversion and replevin action, seeking to recover a mobile home which he situated on the property of Marcia Crout-Woodard during their long-term personal relationship. Barber also sought the rental income derived from the mobile home and received by Woodard following the end of their relationship.

Woodard counterclaimed for money damages, alleging breach of contract, based on Barber’s alleged conversion of rental income he collected in excess of the purchase price of the mobile home prior to the parties’ break-up. Following a nonjury trial, Supreme Court found that no contractual relationship existed between the parties and dismissed the action in its entirety on the ground that the mobile home constituted a fixture on Woodard’s realty and, as such, Barber had no ownership interest upon which to base causes of action sounding in conversion and replevin. Barber appealed.

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Marino Sues City/ FDNY For Injury Suffered In Course Of Rescue From Jamaica Bay

Court Decides If Marine Division Failed To Properly Exercise Special Duty to Boater

Frank Marino commenced an action to recover damages from the City of New York and the Fire Department for personal injuries he allegedly sustained when he came in contact with the propeller of a boat’s outboard motor while he was being rescued from the waters of Jamaica Bay by members of the FDNY’s Marine Division. The complaint alleged that, among other things, the City and  the FDNY were negligent in permitting Marino to drift toward the boat’s outboard motor after throwing him a rope.

The City and the FDNY moved for summary judgment dismissing the cause of action alleging negligence. Marino opposed the motion and cross-moved for leave to amend the complaint.  Supreme Court granted the motion and denied the cross-motion. Marino appealed.

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Hirsch (Representative of Village 3 Condominium) Removed from Pondside HOA Board

Court Adjudicates Validity of Discharge Under By-Laws of Both Village 3 and HOA

Litigation arose out of a dispute over the membership of the Board of Managers of the Pondside Homeowners Association (HOA). The complaint alleged that Abby Hirsch was removed from her position on the Board of Managers of the HOA by vote of the members of the Board of Managers of Pondside Village 3 Condominium on December 4, 2021. The complaint further alleged that Hirsch, together with other individuals, thereafter held a previously-scheduled special meeting of the HOA Board on December 6, 2021 at which certain actions were taken. The complaint asserted that the December 6, 2021 meeting was not valid and any actions taken then were void due to the absence of quorum, as Hirsch purported to be one of the required four members present despite having been removed from her position as representative of Village 3 two days prior.

The HOA Board sought a temporary restraining order, in essence seeking to prevent Hirsch from attempting to participate in a meeting of the HOA Board scheduled for December 20, 2021. Upon confirmation that the President of the HOA Board had notified its members that no meeting would be held on December 20, 2021, an order to show cause was signed without a TRO.

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Zeppetelli Sued Broadway For Personal Injuries Suffered in a Fall

Did Trial Court Properly Reject Expert’s Proffer and Dismiss Case?

Carol Ann Zeppetelli sued 1372 Broadway Associates, LLC to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly suffered when she fell while descending a staircase between floors at her place of employment. She alleged that the accident occurred because the carpet covering the stairs was slippery. At trial, the Supreme Court granted Broadway’s motion to preclude the testimony of Zeppetelli’s expert engineer, Stanley Fein. The court then granted Broadway’s motion for a directed verdict at the close of her direct case and dismissed the complaint. Zeppetelli appealed.

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Girlfriend Injured in Fracas As Police Attempt to Arrest Boyfriend

Was Officer’s Conduct Objectively Reasonable Under the Circumstances?

Debra Pleva sued the County of Suffolk and the Suffolk County Police Department to recover damages for personal injuries she allegedly sustained during an altercation with police officers employed by the County and the Department. The incident occurred while the police officers were attempting to arrest Pleva’s boyfriend. The County and SCPD moved for summary judgment dismissing the causes of action alleging negligence, assault, and battery. The Supreme Court denied those branches of the motion. The County and SCPD appealed.

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Smith/Hodge Relationship Ends With Dispute of $50,000 Claim

Appeals Court Reviews Conflicting  Versions of Facts

Keisha Smith sued to recover $50,000 from Holly Dodge. The evidence adduced at a nonjury trial showed that the parties were in a relationship for a year and at half, had lived together, and were once engaged. In January 2021, Smith provided Hodge with $50,000 for a laundromat which Hodge claimed she was planning to open. Nothing was ever put into writing regarding the venture, and Hodge testified that the venture subsequently “fell through.” And Hodge also testified that Smith was not entitled to the return of $50,000 since Hodge had used the money to renovate Smith’s house, which included a pool, and numerous repairs and upgrades to the house, had purchased furniture and appliances for the house, and had purchased other miscellaneous items on Smith’s behalf. Hodge provided credit card and bank statements and receipts in support of her claims. Smith testified that furniture was purchased for her house and that she gave Hodge cash to use for household needs which included the renovation of her house.

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Insurance Coverage Disclaimed For Smithtown Property Damaged By Fire

Court Adjudicates Claims Against Insurance Company and Broker

James I. Ewart contacted  Larry Darcey, who was an independent agent for the Allstate Insurance Company. for the purpose of purchasing a landlord insurance policy to cover a property in Smithtown. Darcey subsequently provided quotes for landlord insurance to Ewart and then left for vacation without binding coverage in place.  Ewart did not select a policy and made no payment. Although Ewart knew that further actions were required to secure coverage, he believed that Darcey would complete them after he returned from vacation. But before Darcey returned, a fire damaged the property. Ewart tendered a claim to Allstate, which disclaimed coverage on the basis that no policy was in force on the date of the loss.

Ewart sued Allstate and Darcey to recover damages for breach of contract and negligence in failing to procure a landlord insurance policy for the property. Allstate and Darcey moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. Supreme Court granted the motion. Ewart appealed.

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