Category Archives: New York Law

“Wrong Way” Biker Hits “Jay-Walker” on E. 55th: NY Law and NYC Reg Collide Btw. Lex. and Third

This originally appeared on the SGR Blog.

A deliveryman drives his  bicycle against traffic on a one way street.  A pedestrian crosses in the middle of the block. The biker hits the jay- walker. Litigation ensues. Both violated the law.  Who is at fault?

Antoinette Montague was struck by an employee  of T&W Restaurant, Inc. while he was making deliveries on a bicycle. The employee was riding the bike against the one-way direction of travel on East 55th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues– a violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.

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Can Buyer of Building with Regulated Unit Back Out of Deal After HSTPA?

Copyright by, and republished with permission of, Apartment Law Insider.

Legal blogs are “agog” with speculation as to the viability, during the pandemic, of force majeure and impossibility/frustration-of-performance defenses to obligations under leases, mortgages, and other real property contracts. A recent case examines the viability of those defenses in another context—a change in law.

On April 19, 2019, Malachite Servs., LLC agreed to purchase a building in Midtown Manhattan from 148-150 E. 28th St LLC for $6.668 million, with a down payment of $668,000 but no mortgage contingency clause.

In June 2019, New York passed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA). According to Malachite, that caused the appraisal value of the premises to fall to $5.7 million.

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Finger[pointing] Backfires on Grand St.

This originally appeared on the SGR Blog.

Parking space disputes between neighbors, when coupled, conflated  and complicated with claims of adverse possession, can ignite a legal conflagration. And, as a recent case illustrates, jurisprudential fireworks  intensify exponentially where the parties asserting and defending their right to park is a group of attorneys.

Kenneth J. Finger and family members owed a parcel  on Grand Street in White Plains adjacent to a lot owned by Grand St. Realty, LLC.  In May 2016, the Fingers filed suit for a judgment declaring they had acquired, by adverse possession, title to a 24-inch strip of land on Grand’s property. The strip runs between the contiguous parcels for the length of a driveway separating the properties, and a 4-foot strip at the rear of Grand’s land that runs between the two parcels.

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Warnings: “TRAIL CLOSED…STOP, RESTRICTED AREA”: Did Hikers Nevertheless Have a Claim After Being Hit By a Falling Tree?

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that some lawsuits never should have been filed. A recent case makes that point.

Unidentified parents, on behalf of themselves and their child (let’s call them the “Walkers”), brought a premises liability action against New York State. They sought damages for injuries sustained when they were struck by a falling tree at Letchworth State Park — and alleged that the State was negligent in failing to inspect the park’s trees and protect visitors to the park from injury.

The Court of Claims denied the Walkers’ motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability and granted the State’s cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the claim. The Walkers appealed.

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Mr. Rogers Neighborhood? NOT!!! Snowblower Fusillade and Surveillance System: Un-neighborly

This originally appeared on the SGR Blog.

“[Don’t] you be my neighbor”—if you trespass on my land; snowblow my house; and spy on me.

Theresa Cangemi and Gretchen Yeager/Steven Nichols own adjoining parcels of land on Oneida Lake. Yeager/Nichols have an easement/right-of-way over the southernmost portion of Cangemi’s property for the purposes of ingress and egress only. After a property dispute arose, Cangemi filed suit against Yeager/Nichols asserting a claim under Civil Rights Law § 52-a (private right of action for installation of surveillance equipment without consent) and claims of trespass and private nuisance and seeking injunctive relief. Cangemi moved for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order enjoining Yeager/Nichols from trespassing on or damaging her property and from harassing her. Supreme Court denied the motion. Cangemi appealed.

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Dog Chasing Cat Provokes Additional Insured/Vicious Propensities Imbroglio

This post originally appeared on the SGR Blog.

Scenario: Dog chases a cat. Guest gets caught in cable securing the dog. Dog owner and guest are significant others. Accident occurs at their former abode where he (but not she) then resides. Victim asserts claim on homeowners’ policy. Carrier disclaims. And (of course) litigation ensues.

Jo Ann Davis was injured on April 23, 2017 when visiting the house owned and occupied by Timothy Phillips at 11 East Avenue in Cortland. Davis fell after becoming entangled in the cable securing Phillips’s dog (Sam) just as the canine began to chase a cat.

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Transfer Triggers $900,000+ In State and Local Transfer Taxes: But No Flip Tax Due?

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Proprietary leases for units at residential cooperatives often prohibit an assignment of the lease without the prior written consent of the board of managers. But what are the ground rules if the unit is owned by a limited liability company; the interests in the LLC are assigned: and the lease does not expressly prohibit or require board approval for such an assignment?

A recent case addressed the question: Does a change in the beneficial ownership of an LLC/lessee violate a provision of a proprietary lease which required board approval for any assignment of the lease or the shares appurtenant thereto, “including any interest therein,” but did not expressly prohibit changes in the beneficial ownership of the lessee?

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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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