Category Archives: Personal Injury

Harrison Falls Off Herman at Minieri’s Parkview Riding Center

Did Patron Assume or Release Risk of Horseback Riding Injury?

Francine Harrison fell off a horse (called “Herman”) at Minieri’s Parkview Riding Center and was dragged with her foot caught in the stirrup, causing her various injuries including a broken femur. Specifically, Harrison claimed the horse was “rooting” (thrusting/pulling, his head down), and that she had received no instructions on how to respond to this dangerous behavior until the accident occurred. Litigation ensued.

Riding Center claimed that it was entitled to summary judgment dismissal because there was insufficient admissible evidence to establish an issue of fact concerning any negligence; Harrison’s execution of the riding instruction agreement and liability release was valid; the action must be dismissed based on the doctrine of primary/express assumption of risk and also based upon the doctrine of implied assumption of risk; and finally, because Harrison failed to establish proximate cause.

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Biker Injured Riding Off Elevated Boardwalk Without Guardrails

Was Village of Saltaire  Liable For Injuries From Fall?

Marcia Ferruzzi sued to recover damages for personal injuries she allegedly sustained when she rode a bicycle off an elevated boardwalk located in the Village of Saltaire and fell to the ground below. The boardwalk, which was reconstructed between 2014 and 2015 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, runs north to south from the bay to the ocean, and is approximately 2,100 feet long and 14 feet wide. Mario Posillico, the Village administrator and Village clerk, testified at his deposition that the boardwalk was constructed level, but the height differential between the boardwalk and the ground varied approximately 10 to 23 inches in certain locations due to the terrain. There were no guardrails along the sides of the boardwalk.

Ferruzzi testified at her deposition that, on the date of the accident, she and her then-boyfriend were riding bicycles on the boardwalk. Ferruzzi knew the boardwalk was elevated and the visibility that day was clear. They eventually came upon a firehouse, where they stopped so that her boyfriend could put air in the tires of his bicycle. Ferruzzi and her boyfriend then continued riding their bicycles along the boardwalk. A few minutes later, Ferruzzi rode her bicycle off the boardwalk. She explained that, as she was riding her bicycle, she was periodically looking to see if there was anyone next to her and, after glancing to her left, “the next thing I know I was going straight off.” Ferruzzi testified that, from the area of the firehouse to the location of the accident, the boardwalk was level and her bicycle did not hit anything that caused her to ride off the boardwalk.

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Automobile Operator Killed Outside Vehicle By Hit & Run Driver

Was Absentee Car Owner’s Negligence Proximate Cause of Death

 Erika Michelle Strebel was operating a vehicle owned by Joseph Biamonte with his consent. The vehicle ran out of gas on Montauk Highway, a two-lane highway with a speed limit of 50 miles per hour. Strebel stopped the vehicle on the full asphalt shoulder, which was painted white at that location. Strebel was standing outside of the vehicle with a gas can when she was fatally struck by a pickup truck operated by a non-party, hit-and-run driver.

Stephen Biamonte, as administrator of Strebel’s estate, sued Joseph. Stephen alleged that Joseph knew that his vehicle had a malfunctioning gas gauge but nonetheless “allowed [Strebel]. . . to borrow and use” the vehicle. And further alleged that Joseph negligently failed to maintain the vehicle in proper working order and loaned the vehicle to Strebel while it was in a state of disrepair– and that negligence caused Strebel’s injuries.

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Horse Named “Blaze” Throws Rider Who Then Sues Owner

Did Owner Conceal– or Rider Assume—the Horseback Riding  Risk?

Jesse Stanhope sued  Alexander Conway on theories of negligence and strict liability seeking to recover for injuries allegedly sustained when he was “bucked” off a horse  named “Blaze” and owned by Conway.

Following joinder of issue and discovery, Conway moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint contending that Stanhope assumed the risks inherit in horseback riding. Stanhope opposed the motion. And Supreme Court denied the motion, finding outstanding questions of fact regarding whether the specific horse posed risks that were above and beyond those known by Stanhope.

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Experienced Motocross-er Injured After Jumping/ Losing/ Control/ Landing in Hole

Did Allegedly Suboptimal Conditions Trump Participant’s Assumption of Risk?

In September 2016,  Joseph C. Fritz was injuried during a motocross practice at the Walden motocross track, a recreational facility owned and operated by  Walden Playboys M.C. Inc.  Fritz went off a jump and lost control of his bike after landing in a hole on the track. Fritz and his spouse, derivatively, sued Walden and others for negligence.  Walden answered and asserted several affirmative defenses, including that Fritz had assumed the risk of injury when he engaged in the sport of motocross. Following discovery, Walden moved for summary judgment, arguing that Fritz’ claims were barred by the primary assumption of risk doctrine. Fritz opposed the motion, arguing that Walden created an unreasonable risk of harm by failing to address a hole that developed on the track, which was caused by their negligent grooming of the track with soil that was too dry. Supreme Court denied the motion. Walden appealed.

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Racquetball Players Sues Athletic Club For Injury While Playing

Was Floor Properly Maintained to ASTM Standards?

Ronald R. Benjamin filed a negligence action seeking damages for injuries that he sustained when he slipped and fell while playing racquetball in a facility owned and operated by The Court Jester Athletic Club, Ltd.

The gravamen of Benjamin’s complaint was that the Club was negligent for its failure to properly maintain the racquetball court floor in conformance with the standards of the American Society of Testing and Materials by failing to keep the floor free of substances, by failing to regularly clean the floor, by failing to inspect the floor prior to use and by failing to assure that the floor was not slippery.

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Guest Falls Down Stairs on Visit to Friend’s House

Was Homeowner Liable for Dangerous/Defective Condition?

Herb Karel, while at the home of a friend, Mary Ann Pizzorusso, which he had visited many times, decided to help her by changing the batteries in a smoke detector at the top of the stairs to the second floor.  He fell. Litigation ensued.

Karel went up and down the stairs a couple of times just before he fell. He admitted at his deposition that he had not had any trouble with the stairs prior to his fall. And further admitted at his deposition that the stairs were adequately lit, and they were not worn out.

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Game Day Sports Club Member Falls During Run On Gym Turf

Was Fitness Center Liable For Failure to Maintain Track?

Victoria Siesto sued to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained as a result of an alleged trip and fall accident at the gym complex located at 34 Jamaica Avenue, Port Jefferson Station, New York, which was operated and managed by AJ Merone Fitness Incorporated. Merone moved for an order dismissing the complaint. Merone moved to dismiss the complaint.

On August 4, 2016, at approximately 6:15 pm, Siesto and her husband, Matthew Siesto, were working out at the Game Day Sports Performance gym. Siesto had been attending that facility since the beginning of June and was attending twice a day, five days a week. While running on a turf surface in the gym Siesto tripped and fell resulting in a high-grade partial tear of a ligament in her right ankle.

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Rural Land Homeowners Land Sued Neighboring Mining Operations For Nuisance

Did Mine Operators Assert Viable Counterclaim that Repeated Complaints to  DEC Constituted a Nuisance?   

Blake Bassett, Robert Bassett, Sandy Lupo and John Lupo are residents and/or owners of approximately 14 acres of rural land located in the Town of Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York. Peckham Materials Corp. operates a mining operation on land it owns that is adjacent to and abuts the Bassett/Lupo property. In 2019, Peckham entered into a lease agreement with Pallette Stone Corporation to operate Peckham‘s quarry.

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Mom Asserted Son Was Bullied/Harassed at Tennis Program

Were Complaints to USTA Director Defamatory or Privileged?

A mother believed her son was bullied and harassed by another participant at junior tennis lessons, training and events. And so e-mailed to the sports’ governing body. s a recent case illustrates, the Court was called upon to determine if that communication was defamatory or privileged.

Melani Weitz reported, via email, to a United States Tennis Association official, that her son was being bullied by Matthew Porges at USTA junior tennis tournaments and at other tennis programs and events. The bullying ranged from offensive name-calling to physically menacing behavior, and it caused Weitz to fear for her son’s safety. Weitz “[couldn’t] understand,” she wrote, “how a child like [Porges was] allowed to continue to compete or even be associated with the USTA.” The email also noted that Porges had been “kicked out” of two tennis facilities and instruction programs on Long Island. Litigation ensued.

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