Budweiser Beer Bottle Bar Brawl on Smith Street: After Customer Served with a Bud Light

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

A man enters a bar after having a few beers down the block. Not clear what caused or who initiated an encounter after he was served with the wrong drink—but a bartender hit him with a beer bottle causing injuries. The customer sued the bar for negligent hiring, training and supervision. Did the employee have dangerous propensities?

The action arose out of an incident that occurred on June 3, 2017, at approximately 2:30 a.m., at Bar Great Harry on Smith Street in Brooklyn. At that time and place, a bar back by the name of Carlos Vera, an employee of the Bar, struck Grossman in the face with a bottle. Grossman alleged that the Bar was negligent in failing to prevent the incident; in failing to call the police and ambulance after he was attacked; in failing to exercise reasonable care in hiring, training and supervision of Vera and other employees; and of failing to exercise reasonable care in the ownership, operation, management, maintenance, supervision and control of the pub. Grossman also claimed that the Bar was allowed to become disorderly in violation of Section 106 of the Alcohol Beverage Control Law.

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What’s a Neighbor to Do? Two Pick-Up Trucks and a Cargo Van in the Driveway Next Door

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Suburbanites know that the biggest obstacle to peace and quiet is an intractably difficult neighbor.

In a recent case, the neighbors escalated the misery by using their driveway as a parking lot. Would the Court come to their jurisprudential rescue?

Christine Duffy and Owen Duffy sued Kellie Baldwin and James Baldwin for public and private nuisance, damages and a permanent injunction. The Baldwins moved to dismiss the Duffys’ complaint.

The Duffys and the Baldwins own adjacent homes at 15 and 11 Fletcher Road in Guilderland, New York. Both properties consist of single-family homes on approximately .25 acres of land, located in a residential neighborhood. The Duffys alleged that in 2015, the Baldwins paved the frontmost 20 feet of their property to be used as a driveway to accommodate 3 vehicles beyond those that could already be stored in the existing driveway on their property. And also alleged that the Duffys regularly parked 2 full-sized pickup trucks and a cargo van in the expanded driveway.

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Yellowstone Meets Executive Order 202.28 at Bedford Ave.

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

The legal issues and challenges arising from Governor Cuomo’s Executive  Order 202.28, staying proceedings based on non-payment of rent, are now in the courts. A decision last week in Supreme Court, New York County, is among the first of what will undoubtedly be many.

Prestige Deli & Grill Co. sought a Yellowstone injunction. PLG Bedford Holdings opposed the motion.

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Court “Fl[u]shes Out” Leaking Loo Litigation

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

A ceiling fixture falls on a tenant in his apartment. Shortly before the incident a toilet leaking from the unit above was replaced. The tenant blames the owner. And the owner blames the plumber. Case closed. Not. Issues of fact as to causation and notice. Claims for contribution and indemnification. Cross-claims for negligence. A textbook case worthy of a bar exam  question.

Daniel Ebalo claimed that he was injured when a ceiling light fixture in his bathroom fell onto him due to the negligent installation of the toilet in the apartment above his by the Trustees of Columbia University, Columbia University, the property owners, and Titan PH LLC, a plumbing contractor.

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The East River Divide

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Litigation is not mathematics. There is not always a universally accepted equation or answer. And as we often tell clients: Any similarity between justice and our justice system may be purely coincidental. Outcomes are often dependent upon the experience-based tendencies of the trial court, or the composition of a jury or appellate court panel.

Many considerations go into filing a lawsuit, such as the various theories of liability to be prosecuted, the nature of the relief sought, and the cost-benefit analysis based upon the anticipated expense of litigation. But occasionally, in a suit to be pursued in New York City, an important threshold consideration is in which of the five counties the proceeding should be filed.

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Pet Owners Lose Legal “Dogfights” at the Fishkill Condominium

This was originally posted on the SGR blog.

The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs. — Charles DeGaulle

Suits by the owners of two dogs in a residential condominium were recently dealt  “double header” appellate blows on their claims for breach of fiduciary duty against the Board of Managers and for defamation against the managing agent.

Kenneth Gottlieb and Terry Gottlieb own a condominium unit located within the Fishkill Woods Condominium. The Board of Managers of the Condominium is an unincorporated condominium association created for the purpose of governing the affairs of the Condominium. Peter Galotti was the president of the Board.

In two separate incidents that occurred in 2014 and 2015, two dogs owned by the Gottliebs allegedly attacked two neighbors on Condominium property. In February 2016, the Board commenced an action against the Gottliebs alleging that because of the incidents and complaints from other homeowners, the Board gave the Gottliebs written notice to remove the dogs from the Condominium community, in accordance with the Condominium’s declaration. The Board alleged that the Gottliebs failed to remove the dogs from the Condominium community and sought a judgment declaring that they were in violation of the declaration. The Board also sought an injunction compelling the Gottliebs to permanently remove the dogs from the Condominium community and an award of attorneys’ fees.

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Bouncy House Brouhaha: Imagined Danger Does Not Invite Rescue

This post originally appeared on the SGR Blog.

What did 26 year old  Samantha Fernandez expect when she entered the bouncy house at her four year old niece’s birthday party? As a recent case illustrates, an injury resulting from an instinctive act of concern raised a plethora of legal issues.

Samantha Fernandez injured her left foot while inside an inflatable rubber bounce house at the Laser Bounce of Li, Inc. children’s entertainment center in Levittown, New York. Fernandez sued Laser Bounce  on various theories of liability, including violations of the New York State Labor Law as well as provisions set forth in bulletins issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In response to Laser Bounce’s motion for summary judgment, Fernandez retreated to the exclusive theory of liability in this matter that the negligent failure to provide adequate supervision of the bounce house which Laser Bounce owned, operated, maintained, and which it had a responsibility to supervise. Laser Bounce moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

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Play Ball!!! Ron Darling “Strikes Out” Libel-Proof Lenny Dykstra

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Is it possible for a person’s reputation to be so bad the he is, in effect, “libel-proof” and not at risk of “incremental harm” from allegedly defamatory statements? A recent lawsuit, between two former New York Mets teammates, addressed that question.

Lenny Dykstra, a former Major League Baseball player, sued his former Met’s teammate Ron Darling, and the publishers St. Martin’s Press, LLC and Macmillan Publishing Group LLC, for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, based upon allegedly defamatory statements about him in the Darling’s book.

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Legal Fencing After Motorcycle Collides With a Horse on Route 197

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

The number and frequency of contentious disputes and  complicated and protracted proceedings– involving many parties, claims/counterclaims and cross-claims and a plethora of legal issues — is not limited to multi-tranche collateralized debt obligations litigation reported on the front page of the New York Law Journal.

As a recent case illustrates, an accident involving a motorcycle and two horses that occurred on June 12, 2017, at approximately 10:17 PM, on the roadway in front of 229 State Route 197, Fort Edward, Washington County, had almost as many moving parties and  parts as the most complex New York County suit– even though the key issue related to the height of the fencing around a  country field.

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Precariously Pitched Pipe Meets a Failed Flange at the Madison Square Condominium

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

A high-rise residential condominium community is a creature of statute, characterized by many unique features that both govern day-to-day affairs, on the one hand, while leading to disputes and litigation, on the other.  So-called “common elements” are the responsibility of the board of managers to maintain and repair.  But, as a recent case involving an improperly-pitched/leak-causing pipe between to units demonstrates, what constitutes a “common element” is often a controverted question of fact.

Lisa Goldberg sued the Madison Square Condominium and George Higgins for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and trespass as a result of recurring leaks in her apartment. The leaks came from the apartment above, which was owned by board member Higgins and Ali Reza Momtaz. Supreme Court granted a motion to dismiss various claims in the complaint. Goldberg appealed.

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