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August 2014 Archives


The local media has been reporting that Linda Cohen a news anchor from ESPN has started a personal injury lawsuit against a local ice rink.  The rink is the Ice House in Brewster, New York.  Apparently, she was injured when a vending machine fell and landed on her arm.  The reports says she sufefred a pretty severe laceration on her arm reuiring many stitches.  According to her attorney, she has serious and permanent injuries.  Although I did not see anyything to support this, I am assuming she suffered some nerve injuries, which cause weakness and numbness down her hand and that tha's the real issue here. Interestingly, many of the news reports were quick to point out that some kids were responsible for knocking over the vending machine, as if that terminates any liability the owner of the rink might have.  But, the way I see it, its the fact that kids were able to knock over the machine which creates the liability on the part of the owner.  After all, its an ice rink and thus the owner must know that kids will be present and further he must know that kids run around and knock things over.  Thus, as the theory goes, the owner should have taken more and more effective steps to ensure that such machines do not flip over.  All in all, I think it is an actionable case and I would like to see how it resolves.  I note that such cases are often called premises liability cases.  

White Plains Contractor Cited For Unsafe Work Conditions

A contractor at a White Plains school has been cited by OSHA for unsafe work conditions. OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is the federal agency that ensures that construction sites (and all other places of employment) are maintained in a safe condition. Apparently, according to the Journal News, the contractor, Piazza Brothers, was cited for fall protection violations.  In the construction context, fall protection means ladders and scaffolds and sometimes lanyards and harnesses.  Under the law in New York, an employer is absolutely liable if he fails to provide a safe and proper fall protection device.  So, if the employer provides a six foot a-frame ladder when an extension ladder is required, and you fall, the employer violated the law and will be held accountable.  Piazza Brothers is a general contractor whose projects have included office buildings, correctional facilities and schools, according to its website. OSHA violations can range from the failure to ensure that workers are wearing proper safety gear to failing to provide safe ladders and scaffolding. In most of our construction accident cases, there almost is always an OSHA violation.

Judge: Pomona can continue lawsuit vs. shopping mall

As per the Rockland Journal News, Rockland County Supreme Court Victor Alfieri has given the village of Pomona a chance to continue its lawsuit against Haverstraw town involving the proposed Minisceongo Park shopping center.
The plan to build the shopping center on a 53-acre lot that straddles the Haverstraw-Ramapo border on Route 202 near Exit 13 of the Palisades Interstate Parkway, has been stalled since opponents filed multiple lawsuits against the towns and the developer.
Wal-Mart is thought to be the center's anchor tenant.
The case stems from the shopping center's parking.
Pomona sued the town's Zoning Board of Appeals when it granted the developer variances allowing less parking than town code required.
The Haverstraw Town Board later amended its code on parking requirements, retrofitting what the shopping center plan offers. Pomona then sued the Town Board. Town officials have said the amendment was needed to bring the code up to date.

Nyack Parking Agent Charged with Attempted Murder

Two Village of Nyack men, including Kenneth Byre, who was working at the time as a Village Parking Authority Agent, are facing charges of attempted murder.  According to the Journal News, Byre, while working at the time as a traffic agent, allegedly stabbed Frank DeLorenzo, of Chestnut Ridge, New York.  The alleged stabbing occurred early Saturday on North Franklin Street.  DeLorrenzo is apparently in serious condition at Nyack Hospital.  Considering that this is a personal injury blog, the issue becomes whether the Village of Nyack could be held liable to DeLorenzo for the stabbing.  The law sometimes holds an employer, in this case the Village of Nyack, liable for an employee's actions.  Here, the employee is Byre.  An exception to the rule is sometimes applicable where the employee's conduct is criminal in nature.  Here, (allegedly) stabbing someone would be criminal.  On the other hand, if there is proof that the employee had a propensity for violence (like if it he spent time in prison for a violent offense), then Village will be liable if it knew about that propensity and still let him work the midnight shift anyway.  Even worse, if the employee had a violent propensity and the Village took no steps to discover it, like doing a simple criminal background check, than the Village may be held liable to the victim DeLorenzo.  The best example of this is the police brutality cases.  The cops beat someone up, which is illegal, and the local municpality has to pay the price, usually under the theory that they should have known about the rougue cop's violent propensities and didnt take sufficient steps to protect the public from him.       

Rockland County Wrong Way Driver on Thruway

As previously discussed on this blog, a NYPD officer Richard Christopher drove his truck the wrong way on the thruway.  He, along with James DeVito, who was heading in the opposite direction, were tragically killed.  The local paper reported that there is no evidence of alcohol.  However, pursuant to N.Y. County Law Section 677, any fatality stemming from a motor vehicle accident requires that the coroner test for alcohol and report same to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  So, the issue is not yet resolved.  If it turns out that alcohol was involved, and further that the alcohol was served by a restaurant or bar to a "visibly intoxicated" person, then the restaurant or bar can be held liable under New York's Dram Shop Act.   

Another Wrong Way Driver -- NYPD Officer Involved

Yesterday, NYPD officer Richard Christopher went the wrong way on the Thruway and crashed into James DeVito.  Both died.  According to published reports, Officer Christopher was raised in the area where the accident occurred.  According to reports, alcohol and drug testing is expected.  This may be yet another black eye for the NYPD.  Just a few months ago, an intoxicated NYPD officer shot two men coming home from  hockey game.  StolzenbergCortelli LLP sued the NYPD for more than $90 million because of that shooting.  

StolzenbergCortelli LLP Settles Construction Accident Case for $450,000

Last week, Howard Stolzenberg of StolzenbergCortelli settled his most recent construction accident case for $450,000.  In this case, the firm's client was a painter and was hired to paint the exterior fire escape of a large, multifloor building in Westchester.  But, the painter was never provided with any kind of equipment to reach the upper floors of the building.  There were no ladders and there was no pulley or lift system to help bring the paint to the upper levels. Instead, the worker was told to use the fire escape ladder to access the top floors -- you know the kind, the one that shoots straight up in the air and is made of metal with round steps.  Making matters worse, while climbing this ladder, the painter was expected to carry a one gallon can of paint in his hand. While attempting to do this, the worker fell and broke his leg.  At a settlement conference before the Judge, Howard brought an actual can of paint into the courtroom and acted out how absurd this work condition really was for his client. At the time, the insurance carrier's representative was in the Courtroom.  The carrier at that point agreed to settle the case.   

  • $2.05 Million Settlement Mother of Two Struck and Killed by Motorist

    StolzenbergCortelli LLP recently resolved a heart breaking wrongful death action. The mother of two was struck and killed, while she crossed a roadway.

  • $1.1 Million Settlement StolzenbergCortelli LLP Settles Trip Over Nail Case

    Terrence and Howard settled a trip and fall case for $1,100,000. In this case, our client (a resident of Brooklyn) was a cleaning lady who was hired to clean the newsroom of the Wall Street Journal.

  • $750,000 Verdict Jane and John Doe v. Defendant Driver

    The names are redacted for privacy reasons. In this automobile accident case, the female plaintiff was injured and suffered seriously debilitating injuries.

  • $525,000 Settlement Injured When the Trailer upon which He was Standing Collapsed

    Our client was a teamster, working at a concrete plant in Westchester, when he was seriously injured. At the time, he was standing on a trailer, which is colloquially known as a "low boy", when the wooden slats upon which he was standing, collapsed.

  • $457,500 Settlement Car Accident Victim With Pre-Existing Neck Injury

    Settled a client's case for $457,500. The client suffered a significant cervical spine injury requiring a fusion surgery.He was t-boned by a car exiting Purdy's farmer and the Fish in Somers, New York.

  • $450,000 Settlement StolzenbergCortelli LLP Settles Construction Accident Case

    Howard Stolzenberg settled a case for $450,000 where a construction worker was forced to use an exterior fire escape ladder to access the top of the building all while carrying a one gallon bucket of paint. The worker fell and fractured his ankle.

  • $100,000 Settlement Teenager Hit From Behind

    We just settled a case for a young girl who was injured when she was struck from behind while waiting at a red light at an intersection near the entrance to the Saw Mill in Yonkers. She had hip and shoulder surgery.

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