Category Archives: Personal Injury

Mountaineer Falls to Death

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Demise an Accident or Suicide?

The brothers Levi and Benjamin Goldfarb, as beneficiaries of an insurance policy issued by Reliance Standard Insurance Company (Reliance), sued to recover under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act a $500,000 accidental death benefit because of the insured, Dr. Alexander Goldfarb’s, death while mountain climbing. Reliance sought summary judgment affirming the plan administrator’s decision to deny the “accidental death” benefit. The beneficiaries sought summary judgment, claiming that the plan administrator’s denial of the “accidental” death benefit was arbitrary and capricious. [1]

Dr. Goldfarb, an avid mountain climber, attempted to climb a dangerous mountain in Pakistan under dangerous winter conditions about which he was warned. Despite those warnings, Dr. Goldfarb insisted on climbing the mountain and went missing on January 16, 2021.

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Pizza Deliveryman Pulled Over For Broken Headlight

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Domino’s Liable For Officer’s Injury in Scuffle?

On June 9, 2016, Kevin R. Allum was employed by Domino’s Pizza, LLC and was delivering pizza in Brooklyn. At about 1:00 a.m., New York City Police Department Officer Benjamin Maldonado pulled over Allum’s vehicle and cited him for a defective headlight. During the course of the traffic stop, Allum allegedly kicked his feet, flailed his arms, and resisted arrest. Maldonado forcibly removed Allum from the vehicle and both Maldonado and Allum fell to the ground.

Maldonado sued Alum and Domino’s to recover damages for personal injuries. Domino’s subsequently moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, contending that Allum was acting outside the scope of his employment at the time of the incident, and that Domino’s did not know, or have reason to know, that Allum would engage in a struggle with a law enforcement officer. Maldonado opposed the motion, contending that there were issues of fact regarding whether Allum was acting outside the scope of his employment at the time of the incident. The Supreme Court denied the motion. Domino’s appealed.

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Police Car Strikes Bike Rider at Islip Intersection

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Did County, PD, and Officer Have a Defense?

Ramon Antonio Ramos sued the County of Suffolk, the Suffolk County Police Department, and Police Officer Christopher Vitale to recover for personal injuries he allegedly sustained as a result of a motor vehicle-bicycle accident.

The accident allegedly occurred on December 18, 2017, at approximately 4:18 p.m., in the marked crosswalk at the intersection of Third Avenue and Union Boulevard in Islip, New York, when a SCPD vehicle, operated by Vitale, attempted to make a left turn from westbound Union Boulevard onto southbound Third Avenue. The vehicle struck Ramos’ bicycle, which was traveling eastbound on Union Boulevard in a marked crosswalk.

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Cricketer Injured on NYC Tennis Court

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Did Player Assume Risk of Hole in Asphalt Surface?

New York City parks are regularly and foreseeably used by recreational players in various sports—who assume the concomitant risks of those activities. But do those participants assume the risk of a defect in the playing surface?

On August 9, 2015, Parand Maharaj allegedly was injured when he fell while playing cricket on the tennis courts at New York City’s Lincoln Terrace/Arthur S. Somers Park in Brooklyn. He alleged that he tripped over a two-to-four-inch deep hole that was concealed inside a long crack, which was approximately seven feet long and between three to eight inches wide, in the asphalt playing surface. Maharaj sued the City to recover damages for personal injuries. After discovery, the City’s moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground that Maharaj assumed the risk of his injuries. The Supreme Court granted the motion. Maharaj appealed.

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Courier Injured in Fall in Premises Leased by FedEx:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Was Out-of-Possession Landlord Liable for the Injury?

Julia M. Frenza sought monetary damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained on September 18, 2018, when she tripped and fell due to a crack in an interior floor of premises owned by Four State Commercial Developers LLC (FSCD).  At the time of her accident, Frenza was working as a courier for Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) at the premises, which was leased and operated by FedEx as a warehouse. The accident occurred inside a facility in an area used to house vehicles. Frenza claimed that FSCD was negligent in failing to properly maintain and repair the interior flooring.

FSCD contended that it could not be held liable for Frenza’s injuries, since it was an out-of-possession landlord with no on-going presence at the premises and with limited access to the premises under its lease with FedEx. In addition, FSCD argued that the lease made FedEx solely responsible for the repair and maintenance of the interior ground where the allegedly hazardous condition was located. Finally, FSCD claimed that the crack in the ground did not constitute structural damage for which an out-of-possession landlord would normally be responsible. FSCD moved to dismiss the complaint.

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Visitor Trips, Falls and Injured When Leaving a House

This was originally published on the SGR blog.

Was Defect in Steps Obvious or Actionable?

Jason Collins tripped and fell around 6:15 p.m. as he was leaving the home of Donald and Marilyn Comilloni on Granite Springs Road in Granite Springs. His injuries included rupture of a tendon and ligaments of the right ankle as well as bone contusion and fracture.

Collins, accompanied by his wife Melissa and a realtor, had gone to the house to look at it for possible purchase. As they left the home, they exited from the side of the house to traverse along the exterior walk-way owned and maintained by the Comilloni’s.

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Disabled Customer Injured When Motorized Shopping Cart Jerked Forward

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Was ShopRite Liable for the Patron’s Injury?

Alfred Kenlaw was injured while using and exiting a motorized cart in front of the entrance to the ShopRite Supermarket of Wallkill located at 20 Lloyds Lane, Middletown, New York. Kenlaw alleged that ShopRite was negligent in the “ownership, operation, maintenance and control of the its premises and motorized shopping cart” and that it failed to maintain its premises and motorized shopping cart in a reasonably safe condition.

Kenlaw arrived at ShopRite to do some shopping and used a motorized cart as he had done many times before. He was operating the motorized cart for approximately 45 minutes prior to his fall. As Kenlaw was leaving the store, he pulled the cart up to the car his wife parked in the fire zone just outside the exit door. The cart remained on the sidewalk perpendicular to the car. While seated, Kenlaw took the bags out of the front basket and reached over the basket to place them in the back seat of the car. He then attempted to get out of the cart from the right side. With his right foot on the ground, his left hand on the wire basket and his right hand to his side, the cart “jerked forward” four or five inches and he lost his balance.

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Hikers Hurt When Tree Limb Falls in New City’s Kennedy Dells Park

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Were County/Park Commissioners Protected from Liability by Law?

Madelyn Langford and Peter D. Kaufman sued for their injuries sustained after a tree branch fell on them while on a trail in Kennedy Dells Park located in New City, New York. The Park is owned by the County of Rockland and operated by the County of Rockland Park Commission. The County and the Commission moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint based on the arguments that movants: (1) were immune from liability of negligence pursuant to General Obligations Law § 9-103; (2) lacked actual or constructive notice as to the existence of a dangerous condition involving the tree; and (3) there was no evidence of proximate cause because the hikers’ injuries were caused by a naturally occurring condition, the danger of which was open and obvious and assumed by them.

In support of their motion, the County and the Commission alleged that they were entitled to immunity under GOL § 9-103 as a matter of law because the two elements for applicability were satisfied. Specifically, they alleged that the Langford/Kaufman engaged in a requisite recreational activity and that the Park was suitable for that activity, hiking. In opposition, Langford/Kaufman alleged that the motion for summary judgment could not be granted based on immunity because there were issues of material fact regarding whether the County assumed a duty to act reasonably in the operation and maintenance of a supervised public park and recreational facility. In reply, the County and the Commission alleged that the applicability of the statute was a question of law for the Court to determine and that whether the Park was supervised was irrelevant to the applicability of the statute.

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Motion for Summary Judgment on Liability in Rear End Collision Case

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Court Reviews Conflicting Affidavits and Analyzes Burden of Proof

Rear end automobile collision claims would seemingly raise quintessential questions of fact for trial—especially where the two drivers submit clearly conflicting and controverting affidavits about the facts and circumstances of the crash. But, as a recent decision illustrates, that is not always the case.

Stephanie Wilms was involved in a motor vehicle accident that occurred on March 2, 2018 at approximately 5:35 p.m. A vehicle owned by ADT Security Services, Inc. and Protection 1 Alarm Monitoring, Inc., and operated by Corteze C. Remy Jr., struck the rear of her car on Joshua’s Path at or near its intersection with Central Avenue, in Hauppauge, New York. Wilms contended that her vehicle was stopped at a stop sign when the Remy-driven vehicle struck the rear of her car. Wilms sought to recover for serious physical injuries that she claimed she sustained as a result of the accident.

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“Jailhouse Rat” Assaulted by Inmate at Lockup

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Was County Liable to Injured Prisoner?

Henry Concepcion-Ramos, an inmate, sued the County of Westchester alleging negligence for injuries purportedly sustained when he became embroiled in an altercation with another inmate at the Westchester County Jail.

The day prior to the assault, at approximately 10:00 p.m., Ramos was pushed and thrown to the floor by an inmate named Mercedes. At his deposition, Ramos testified that all the inmates within the dormitory area witnessed the altercation.

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