Category Archives: Personal Injury

Pedestrian Trips and Falls On Raised Sidewalk Near Overgrown Tree in Queens:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Court Navigates Administrative Code: Was City Negligent/ Liable for Injury?

Commentators will probably disagree on whether or not the rules and exceptions of the New York City Administrative Code are as (or more) complicated and difficult to navigate than the United States Code, in general, or the Internal Revenue Code, in particular. But, as a recent case illustrates, the labyrinthine Administrative Code arguably gives its convoluted Federal counterparts a run for the money.

On March 5, 2017, Konstantinos Gallis allegedly was injured when he tripped and fell on an uneven or raised condition of a sidewalk that abutted property in Queens owned by 23-21 33 Road, LLC. The accident occurred on a part of the sidewalk that was near a tree. Gallis filed a personal injury action against the LLC and the City of New York. The LLC failed to answer the complaint and Gallis was granted leave to enter a default judgment against the LLC. Gallis then moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability against the City. Contending that the City negligently maintained the tree near the accident site, thereby allowing the tree roots to grow and lift the sidewalk, creating a dangerous condition. Supreme Court denied the motion. Gallis appealed.

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Member Injured During 300 Pound Tire Flip at Cobalt Fitness:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Injury Claim Precluded by Pre-Accident Waiver and Release?

Upon joining a health club, gym or fitness center, new members are regularly and routinely required to sign a waiver or release that exempts the owner/operator from liability for accident or injury claims by the members. But is such exculpation available where a member participates in a 300 pound tire flip class?

Andrew Dinkel IV was injured on February 23, 2017, when he was struck by a truck tire being flipped during an exercise class conducted at Cobalt Fitness, LLC. His back was to the tire that was flipped by two other participants in the class, and the tire, weighing approximately three hundred pounds (300 lbs.) or more, landed on the back and side of Dinkel’s left leg. He ultimately required surgery to repair his left foot/ankle and he remained unable to work on light duty until September 2017. Dinkel returned to full duty as a firefighter in February 2018. He alleged that Cobalt was negligent in failing to: properly organize the tire flip activity in a safe manner; properly organize the members performing the activity; to warn users of the tires about the dangers associated with flipping tires in close proximity to one another; and in failing to have more instructors present to properly supervise and guide the members in proper performance of the tire flip activity.

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After Medical Complaints: Sing Sing Prisoner Injured in Fall Down Stairs

This was originally posted on the DGR Blog.

Was New York State Liable for Medical Malpractice/Negligence?

A convict complained about lower back pain radiating into his legs and asked to be moved to a cell on the medical treatment floor to by-pass the stairs.  The request was denied and the prisoner was subsequently injured when he fell on the stairs.

The convict sued. Was the State liable?

On or about January 14, 2016, James Marsh was on his way to sick call at approximately 5:30-6:00 a.m. at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility from A Block, K company, 50 cell. As he descended the stairs, upon turning onto J Company, while holding onto the railing, he fell down the stairs when his right leg gave out due to prior severe lower back pain radiating into his legs.

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Cyclist Injured in Fall on Westchester Park Bike Trail:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was County Liable for the Riders Injury?

My last blog post related to an action that arose after a recreational rider was injured in a fall on a bike path in a New York State park that was claimed to have been negligently maintained. This blog post relates to a proceeding that arose, on similar facts, after a recreational rider was injured in a fall on a bike path in a Westchester County park.

At approximately 8:00 a.m. on June 16, 2018, Scott Dinhofer had already been riding his triathlon bicycle for two hours or thirty miles. While traveling south on the North County Trailway in the Town of New Castle in Millwood, New York, when his bicycle hit a bump on the Trailway that was shaded by a tree. As a result, the bicycle flipped forward causing Dinhofer to land on the right, back side of his body, and he was transported by ambulance to Westchester County Medical Center.

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Cyclist Injured in Fall on State Park Bike Trail:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Was New York Liable For the Rider’s Injury?

This blog post relates to an action that arose after a recreational rider was injured in a fall on a bike path in a New York State park that was claimed to have been negligently maintained. My next blog post relates to a proceeding that arose, on similar facts, after a recreational rider was injured in a fall on a bike path in a Westchester County park.

Victor Alfieri alleged that, on August 15, 2016, he was injured at Rockland Lake State Park after the wheel of his bicycle got caught on broken asphalt on the bike path, and he fell to the ground as a result of the State of New York’s negligent maintenance of the bike path. A virtual trial on the issue of liability was held on May 4, 2021.

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Employee Slips on Fish Skin Outside of Lobster Processing Business:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Was Property Owner or Trash Collector Liable For the Fall?

A fish processing employee was injured when he slipped on fish refuse shortly after the sanitation service picked up the trash. The employee filed a lawsuit against the sanitation company—which claimed over against the restaurant/tenant and the owner landlord.  And, as a recent case illustrates, the Court was required to sort out the various claims.

Delivery driver Robert Arias sued to recover for personal injuries he sustained when he slipped and fell on a piece of fish skin on the ground at The Lobster Place, Inc., a wholesale seafood processing and distribution facility.

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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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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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Two Cars Collide on Montauk Hwy In Copaigue

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Who Was At Fault Where Both Violated the Law?

A large part of our tort liability jurisprudence addresses the threshold question of “fault”. But, as a recent automobile collision case illustrates, the “fickle finger of fault” may point in both directions.

Two cars collided in the westbound right lane of Montauk Highway in Copaigue, New York. Just prior to the accident, Diana Lopez was exiting a parking lot with her vehicle half on the apron and half in the right lane in order to cross over Montauk Highway and make a left turn. Christopher Ceravino was traveling westbound on Montauk Highway in the left lane at 30 miles per hour when, from 150-200 feet away, he first noticed Lopez’s vehicle between the apron of the parking lot and the right lane of Montauk Highway. Ceravino did not stop his vehicle, but, instead, moved into the right lane and ultimately struck the Lopez vehicle. The jury found that Lopez was negligent and that her negligence was a proximate cause of the accident and that Ceravino was not negligent. The County Court granted Lopez’s motion to set aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence. Ceravino appealed.

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“Slip and Fall” in Resi Building Elevator On Rainy Day

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Owner Liable For Personal Injury Claimed

The “storm in progress” rule protects real property owners from sidewalk-related “slip and fall” claims until a reasonable amount of time after rain or snow abates. But, as a recent case illustrates, different rules apply where the weather-related accident takes place inside the building while it is raining outside.

Woon Yin Kwan resides at 20 Confucius Plaza located in New York County. The building is owned by Chinatown Apartments, Inc. and managed by Tudor Realty Services Corp.

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