Category Archives: Personal Injury

Intoxicated Passenger Injured in Jump from Ambulance:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Were EMTs/New York City Liable for Negligent Transport?

Yaugeni Kralkin allegedly was injured when (apparently intoxicated) he unbuckled his restraints and jumped from a New York City ambulance while being transported to a hospital. Supreme Court granted the City’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. Kralkin appealed.

Under the doctrine of governmental function immunity, government action, if discretionary, may not be a basis for liability. But ministerial actions may be, but only if they violate a special duty owed to the plaintiff, apart from any duty to the public in general.

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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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Shopper Trips and Falls Over Mannequin at Department Store:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Kohl’s Negligent and Liable for Customer’s Injury?

We have all had the experience of navigating the aisles, stands and displays that must be traversed in a department store. As a recent case illustrates, the Court was required to determine if the operator was liable when a customer tripped and fell over a mannequin stand and display.

Jodi Leckie sued Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. to recover for personal injuries she allegedly sustained as a result of a trip-and-fall accident that occurred on March 18, 2017 at the Kohl’s store located at 5000 Nesconset Highway in East Setauket, New York.  The accident allegedly occurred when Leckie tripped and fell on a mannequin stand display. Leckie alleged that Kohl’s was negligent in permitting the display to protrude into an aisle creating a hazardous condition.

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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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Train Hits Pedestrian Lying on Tracks at Night:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Daytime “Open Run” Defense Dispositive?

For more than a century, New York courts have recognized the so-called “open run” defense, which permits a train engineer who sees a person on or near the tracks ahead to assume, under certain circumstances, that the person will notice the oncoming train and leave the tracks in time to avoid an accident. When the open run defense is applicable, the engineer has no duty to make an emergency stop unless he or she determines that the person cannot or will not leave the tracks.

A recent case raised a novel issue:

Was the open run defense applicable only when the train was operating “in broad daylight”.

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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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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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Melee at MSG/Billy Joel Concert Leads to Arrest:

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Did Police Officers Have Probable Cause?

A certain amount of rowdiness is expected and is accepted when the Rangers face off against the Bruins at Madison Square Garden.  But what happens when a Billy Joel concert-goer gets into a fight?

Ari Ganeles claimed that he sustained injuries when he was allegedly assaulted by fellow concert-goers and off-duty New York Police Department (NYPD) Officers– Joseph Brennan, Kevin Ermann, Lerone Davis, and their respective dates– during a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden (MSG). And sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress, false arrest, and malicious prosecution as a result of the City of New York’s “conspiracy” to “cover up” the alleged altercation.

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