Category Archives: Personal Injury

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.

Continue reading

Passenger Injured When Car Skids Off Road During Snowstorm

Was Drive Liable or Exonerated From Liability For Negligence?


Most of the facts that surrounded the happening of a single vehicle accident were not disputed. Yvette Fall, a passenger, Ryan Detomi, the driver, and three other occupants of a 2007 Kia Sorento were all students at Cazenovia College which is located near Syracuse, New York. The accident occurred just after midnight on the morning of April 7, 2018. The night before the accident four of the five occupants performed in a theatrical production of the play “Rent” at the College, the fifth occupant was in the audience. After the performance, the five occupants traveled together in the vehicle to a party. They left the college at around 10 P.M. and arrived at the party at 10:30 or 11:00 P.M. At his deposition Ryan Detomi testified that when he got in his vehicle after the show it was “snowing, [with] very close to white-out conditions.”  And testified that it took him approximately 20 minutes to drive to the party. As they traveled to the party the weather was “mixed precipitation” and the road was “pitch black.” On his route the speed limit varied between 30 MPH to 55 MPH but Detomi drove at an approximate speed of 15 to 20 because of the weather conditions. The group reached the party safely.

Continue reading

May Daughter Act as Mandarin Interpreter at Depo of Plaintiff/Mother?

Court Navigates Complex Four-Part Rule Amid a Paucity of Precedent

Zhiwen Yang was a patient of the Dr. Gregory K. Harmon from August 24, 2015, to November 25, 2015, for the treatment of a cataract of the right eye. During that period, Harmon performed an operative procedure to remove the cataract. Following that procedure, Harmon allegedly prescribed medications to Yang, including Ketorolac. Yang allegedly sustained injuries including loss of vision in her right eye.

In April 2017, Yang, and her husband, Keping Qu, suing derivatively, commenced an action to recover damages for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent against, among others, Harmon and his medical practice, Gregory K. Harmon, M.D., P.C. The Yangs alleged that Harmons departed from the accepted standard of care in providing pre-operative, operative, and post-operative care, and prescribed contraindicated medications for Yang, without informing her of the risks, potential adverse reactions, or alternatives.

Continue reading

Patron Injured at Drake/Live Nation Concert at Madison Square Garden

Was Live Nation/MSG Liable for Bottle Thrown from Crowd?

Amanda Giovacco, an audience member, alleged that she was injured while attending a concert at Madison Square Garden. Aubrey Drake was the featured performer. Giovacco was hit in the head by an aluminum bottle thrown from the crowd. Litigation ensued. MSG and Live Nation moved to dismiss the complaint. Giovacco moved for summary judgment.

Live Nation, as promoter and producer of the concert, entered into an agreement with Drake’s production company, Away From Home Touring, Inc. The contract required Live Nation to provide security for the event. Live Nation also entered into a license agreement with MSG, the owner and operator of the Garden. Pursuant to the license agreement, Live Nation was allowed to use the arena for the concert and MSG was to provide security officers for the event.

Continue reading

Flatiron Hall Bar & Grill Door Slams on Patron’s Finger

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Was Resulting Injury Caused by Tavern’s Negligence?

Reisa Forster suffered injuries when the door of the bar and grill known as Flatiron Hall, owned by 38 W. 26th St. Restaurant Corp., allegedly slammed on her right ring finger. The bill of particulars alleged that Flatiron failed to maintain the door, which was heavy, causing it to slam back on Forster’s hand.

Flatiron Hall moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, arguing that the door was not defective. Further arguing that there was no notice of any alleged defective condition and that Forster’s conduct was the sole proximate cause of her injuries. In support of the motion, Flatiron Hall submitted copies of the pleadings, transcripts of the parties’ deposition testimony, an affidavit of Brian Golding, manager of Flatiron Hall, and an expert affidavit of Steven McEvoy, an engineer.

Continue reading

Dump Truck Backs Into Trailer During Dispute at Gas Station

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Did Conduct Alleged Support a Claim For Punitive Damages?

Frank A. Nazzarro commenced an action for alleged personal injuries sustained after Anthony Salvatore backed his dump truck into him while at a gas station. Nazzarro then moved to amend the complaint to add a claim for punitive damages due to Salvatore’s “dangerous, reckless and careless manner” in operating the dump truck and his “conscious, wanton disregard for [Nazzarro’s] safety” and the safety of others. Supreme Court granted the motion. Salvatore appealed.

The Court affirmed– finding that Salvatore’s assertion that his conduct did not rise to the level of reprehensible misconduct so as to warrant punitive damages was without merit. The record disclosed that Salvatore was verbally arguing with Nazzarro and his friend. The friend’s vehicle was blocking a pump. According to the friend, he planned on moving his vehicle after putting items away but Salvatore wanted it done immediately. The friend testified at his deposition that Salvatore said, “if you’re not going to move it[,] I’m going to move it for you.”

Continue reading

Dump Truck Backs Into Trailer During Dispute at Gas Station

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Did Conduct Alleged Support a Claim For Punitive Damages?

Frank A. Nazzarro commenced an action for alleged personal injuries sustained after Anthony Salvatore backed his dump truck into him while at a gas station. Nazzarro then moved to amend the complaint to add a claim for punitive damages due to Salvatore’s “dangerous, reckless and careless manner” in operating the dump truck and his “conscious, wanton disregard for [Nazzarro’s] safety” and the safety of others. Supreme Court granted the motion. Salvatore appealed.

The Court affirmed– finding that Salvatore’s assertion that his conduct did not rise to the level of reprehensible misconduct so as to warrant punitive damages was without merit. The record disclosed that Salvatore was verbally arguing with Nazzarro and his friend. The friend’s vehicle was blocking a pump. According to the friend, he planned on moving his vehicle after putting items away but Salvatore wanted it done immediately. The friend testified at his deposition that Salvatore said, “if you’re not going to move it[,] I’m going to move it for you.”

Continue reading

Dad Tripped on Broken Glass While Inspecting Soccer Field

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Was City on Actual/Constructive Notice of Dangerous Condition?

Michael Hegeman alleged that, on June 17, 2018, at approximately 11:45 a.m., he arrived at a soccer field in a public park owned by the City of Newburgh. His son’s soccer team was scheduled to play a game on that field. After he arrived, Hegeman went over to an area with bleachers and saw broken glass bottles all over the ground in that area. He became concerned, because his son and his son’s teammates would be in that area, so he and some other parents and coaches started picking up the broken glass. While picking up the broken glass, Hegeman took a step backwards. When his foot came down, it came down upon a large piece of a broken glass bottle, which pierced his shoe and cut into his foot.

Continue reading

Neighbors Sue Each Other at Park Towers Co-Op

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Did Facts Support Claim of Emotional Distress?

Occasional disputes between neighbors are a common occurrence of residential cooperative/condominium life. But, as a recent case illustrates, the Court may have to decide if an alleged course of false complaints and hallway confrontations constituted a legally cognizable claim for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress.

In two actions, next-door-neighbor shareholders of a Manhattan co-op were at loggerheads. Danielle Toussie, Michael Toussie, and Deborah Touisse sued the cooperative corporation, Park Towers Tenants Corp., alleging that the Board was wrongfully attempting to terminate their proprietary lease based on false complaints of loud noises and music emanating from their apartment.

Continue reading

Was Garden City Tennis Court Sprinkler Head Cause of Player’s Accident?

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Court Adjudicates Village’s Negligence Liability for Fractured Elbow

On November 2, 2016, Kathleen Noonan was playing doubles tennis on court number 4 at the Garden City Recreational Tennis Complex. The tennis complex is a public facility that is owned, operated and maintained by the Village of Garden City. Noonan testified at her oral deposition that as she was playing tennis, she had to back pedal in an attempt to get in a position to return the ball. She indicated that she back pedaled past the baseline and raised her racket back to hit the ball. At that point, her left foot went into a depression and her heel became caught on a sprinkler head, causing her to fall to the ground. She testified that she was later diagnosed with a fractured elbow, amongst other injuries. Noonan testified that the sprinkler head on which she tripped was located approximately 4/5 of the way from the baseline toward the back screen/curtain.

The Village moves for an Order granting summary judgment and dismissing the complaint on the grounds that: (1) Noonan assumed the risk of injury inherent in the sports/activity of tennis; (2) the Village did not have actual or constructive notice of the alleged defective condition; and (3) the alleged defective condition of the tennis court was de minimus, and thus not actionable.

Continue reading