Bats in Attic of Two-Family Residence:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Did Second Tenant Engage in Unreasonable Behavior?

Bats infested the attic of a house in Hamptonburgh that renters occupied on the two floors. Was the second-floor tenant subject to eviction for failure to cooperate in remediation?

Coldenham, LLC owned a two-family residence located at 51 Neelytown Road in Hamptonburgh.  Katrina Maldonado and her two children lived in the second-floor apartment for over four years. Joyce Foulkes resided in the first-floor apartment for about twenty years.

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“Settled Law” Evolves Over Time:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Law is in the Eyes of the Court

The Business Corporation Law requires foreign corporations seeking authorization to do business in New York to register with the New York Secretary of State and designate an in-state agent for service of process. The question recently before the New York Court of Appeals was whether a foreign corporation consented to the exercise of general jurisdiction by New York courts by registering to do business there and designating a local agent for service of process. As set forth below, the Court concluded that a foreign corporation’s compliance with the relevant statutory provisions constituted consent to accept service of process in New York but that compliance did not constitute consent to general jurisdiction in New York courts. And, in the process of doing so, the Court examined how the law of consent to general jurisdiction had evolved.

In July 2012, Jose A. Aybar, Jr., a New York resident,  operated a Ford Explorer on an interstate highway in Virginia. The vehicle overturned multiple times after its Goodyear tire allegedly failed, resulting in the death of three passengers and injuries to three other passengers. The surviving passengers and the representatives of the deceased passengers’ estates sued Aybar, Ford Motor Company, and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in New York, asserting, among other things, products liability claims against Ford and Goodyear.

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Bats in Attic of Two-Family Residence:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Did Second Tenant Engage in Unreasonable Behavior?

Bats infested the attic of a house in Hamptonburgh that renters occupied on the two floors. Was the second-floor tenant subject to eviction for failure to cooperate in remediation?

Coldenham, LLC owned a two-family residence located at 51 Neelytown Road in Hamptonburgh.  Katrina Maldonado and her two children lived in the second-floor apartment for over four years. Joyce Foulkes resided in the first-floor apartment for about twenty years.

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Prenup in Foreign Language Signed Abroad in Conformity with Local Law

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Agreement Enforceable in New York If Not Executed Accordance with DRL?

A prenuptial agreement is often at the center of New York divorce litigation. But, as a recent case illustrates, the enforcement of a “prenup” becomes a complicated matter for adjudication by the Court where the agreement, in a foreign language, is duly signed abroad—but the execution does not comport with New York law.

Ali Oleiwi and Noor Salah Shiahi were married in Iraq and signed a mahr, a marriage deed, which mandated certain payments from the husband to his wife at the time of marriage and after that, if a divorce occurred. The mahr was executed, based on the evidence before the Court, under the marriage laws of Iraq. But after the husband commenced a divorce action in New York, the parties filed competing declaratory judgment actions. The wife sought to enforce the mahr. And the husband argued that it was not acknowledged in accordance with New York law and was unenforceable.

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Dog Bites Guest at Home of Owner’s Parents:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Are Mom and Dad Liable for the Injury?

Dog bite cases and their factual differences and distinctions abound. Liability is often based on who owned or controlled the dog. But, as a recent case illustrates, another determinant of liability may be where the incident occurred.

Jessica Sigmund claimed that she was bitten by a dog named Luke belonging to Christopher Porreca while she was a guest at the home of his parents, Francis and Rosemary Porreca, on January 10, 2019.

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Instructor Takes Novice Skier Down the Bunny Trail:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Was Training Sufficient to Trigger Skier’s Assumption of Risk?

New York State has a statutory “Safety Skiing Code” that allocates training duties and safety obligations between the skier and the facility operator. And, as a recent case illustrates, when an accident ineluctably occurs on a ski slope after a training lesson, the Court must weigh the fact-specific circumstances against those statutorily apportioned duties and obligations.

On January 1, 2014, Daniella Bodden, then 16 years old, was injured while skiing at Holiday Mountain Fun Park, a facility in Sullivan County owned and operated by Holiday Mountain Fun Park Inc. Bodden, a first-time skier, rented equipment from the facility and received a private one-hour lesson from a ski instructor. The lesson took place on a slope referred to as the “bunny hill.” After the instructor showed Bodden the pizza wedge technique for turning and stopping, she and the instructor went down the bunny hill together five or six times. By that point, the instructor felt that Bodden was ready to progress to one of the designated trails known as Benson’s Glade. Although Bodden expressed some concern, the instructor assured both Bodden and her mother, Lola Bernard, that Bodden was ready and that the instructor would be with Bodden the entire time. Coming down Benson’s Glade, Bodden gained too much speed and “lost control,” eventually crashing into an orange safety fence at the base of the trail, injuring herself.

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Movie Theatre Manager Uses Baton/Pellet Gun Against Unruly Patron:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Were Theatre Owners Vicariously Liable for Injury to Customer?

Unruly patrons at a crowded theatre are not unusual. But are the owners of movie theatres liable for the injury to an aggressive patron where the responsive actions of the manager were prohibited but foreseeable?

On the evening of April 23, 2011, Victor Norwood and several friends, went to the AMC Lowes Roosevelt Field 8 movie theater at the Roosevelt Field Mall located in Garden City. According to Eric C. Adams, one of the theater managers working that evening, the group was “causing a ruckus” near the theater entrance before they came inside. Some group members were “hitting” the glass entrance doors. Roosevelt Field Mall security guards were notified; they instructed the group to buy tickets to a movie or leave.

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Tenant Claimed Medical Hardship as Defense to Eviction:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Did Landlord Rebut Presumption of Medical Hardship?

During the Covid pandemic, a residential tenant claiming a medical hardship is protected from eviction. The tenant’s claim is presumed to be true. But, as a recent case illustrates, the presumption is rebuttable.

Douglas Mintz and Lloyd Cheu sought to evict Louise Elton from a rent-free, stand-alone cottage on their property. The Court conducted a hearing to address the rebuttable presumption of the medical hardship claimed by Elton as outlined in Option B to Tenant’s Declaration of Hardship During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Sibling Rivalry at Residential Condominium Unit:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Brother Sues to Evict Sister from Apartment

I often report about decisions involving inter-generational family disputes. But, as a recent case illustrates, the Court may be called upon to adjudicate an intra-generational quarrel.

Leo Yau and Lucy Yau are siblings. Leo, the apartment owner in a residential condominium, allowed Lucy to live in the unit.  Lucy made payments for her occupancy that “covered” Leo’s costs, including his mortgage and monthly maintenance.  Leo reserved one of the two bedrooms in the apartment for his own occasional use. And Lucy made occasional payments directly to the condominium board for maintenance and repairs to the apartment.

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Patron Slips On Water Near Gym Shower Room:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Owner Liable for Personal Injury?

Some fact patterns raise the question of why the suit was even filed?  A recent case is illustrative.

On the evening of March 28, 2018, while at the gym, which is a corporately-owned location of Planet Fitness, located in the City of Newburgh, Orange County, Jason Briggs allegedly slipped and fell in a puddle of water that had accumulated near the shower in the men’s locker room. He filed a negligence action against Planet Fitness to recover damages for personal injuries he sustained due to the fall.

Supreme Court dismissed Briggs’ complaint—finding that Planet Fitness established, prima facie, that it did not have constructive notice of the alleged condition and that there was no dangerous condition. Briggs failed to raise a question of fact in response. Briggs appealed.

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