SUMMARY JUDGMENT AFFIRMED BY SECOND DEPARTMENT
Our client, a large shopping center on the south shore of Staten Island, was sued by an individual who claimed she tripped and fell on a concrete parking bumper in the shopping center’s parking lot. The plaintiff admitted that she knew the parking bumper was there and attempted to step over it, causing her to fall.
We successfully argued in Supreme Court, Richmond County that the parking bumper was an open and obvious condition in the parking lot, and not inherently dangerous. The Second Department affirmed our grant of summary judgment based upon the undisputed photographic evidence and deposition testimony that the parking bumper was not dangerous. (Lacerra v. CVS Pharmacy et al, 143 A.D.3d 674 (2d Dep’t 2016)
FLOOR MAT PROVIDER OWED NO DUTY TO PLAINTIFF IN NEW JERSEY TRIP AND FALL
We successfully represented a national floor mat provider in a personal injury trip and fall lawsuit in Bergan County, New Jersey. Our client provided clean floor mats to a chain supermarket on a weekly basis. The supermarket was solely responsible for floor mat placement, maintenance, and inspection until our client returned the following week to provide new floor mats. The plaintiff tripped and fell on a floor mat after it was placed by the supermarket without our client’s involvement.
The plaintiff’s negligence action was dismissed against our client by the Superior Court, Bergen County as there was no duty running from our client to the plaintiff. The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed that decision as the plaintiff could not show that our client placed the floor mat in that supermarket and could not prove when the floor mat was placed. (Umengan v. G&K Servs., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2467 (App. Div. 2015)).
DISMISSAL OF A LEGAL MALPRACTICE CASE ON SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Our attorneys obtained the dismissal of a New York County legal malpractice case where the plaintiff claimed that our client failed to file a mortgage with the Nassau County Clerk, preventing the plaintiff from collecting the debt owed on that mortgage. The plaintiff claimed he was entitled to collect the debt owed on that mortgage from our client. The plaintiff subsequently filed a separate action in Nassau County Court against the debtors for the money owed on the mortgage.
We successfully stayed the New York County action while the plaintiff’s action against the debtors was pending. After a Nassau County special master determined the mortgage was satisfied by the debtors, we filed a motion for summary judgment in New York County asserting the plaintiff was collaterally estopped from seeking the same value of the mortgage from our client. After oral argument, the Court granted our motion on the basis of collateral estoppel as the plaintiff fully litigated the satisfaction of his mortgage with the debtors the Nassau County matter. The plaintiff was not damaged by our client as he was able to full collect the money owed to him on the mortgage, preventing the plaintiff from claiming legal malpractice.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT GRANTED TO BAR OWNER IN DRAM SHOP ACT CASE
We obtained summary judgment in Suffolk County in a dram shop case against a popular bar/restaurant in the Hamptons. The plaintiff dined and imbibed in our client’s restaurant for lunch and left without appearing intoxicated. He returned later that evening appearing visibly intoxicated and our client’s bartender refused to serve him. Our client’s testimony and actions that night resulted in the case being dismissed against the bar/restaurant. The plaintiff’s expert in opposition engaged in speculation by presuming that the plaintiff’s post-incident blood alcohol content levels indicated that he should have appeared intoxicated when leaving our client’s establishment after the lunch meal.
CO-WORKER’S THIRD-PARTY CLAIMS DISMISSED ON SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Our attorneys obtained summary judgment dismissing third-party claims by the driver of a vehicle involved in a two-car collision where the passenger plaintiff and third-party defendant driver were both were both acting on behalf of the same employer at the time of the accident. Our client was transporting several fellow employees in a company vehicle from a common meeting point to a job location when the vehicle was struck by the defendant’s vehicle.
The plaintiff filed an action against the defendant seeking damages for injuries sustained in the accident. The defendant filed a third-party action against our client and driver, claiming common law indemnification and contribution for the plaintiff’s claims.
We filed a motion for summary judgment asserting that the defendant’s third-party action was barred by the Workers’ Compensation law since the plaintiff and our client driver were in the same employ at the time of the accident. The Court granted our motion, finding that the plaintiff and our client had the same employer and were acting within the scope of their work at the time of the accident and therefore the defendant’s third-party claims were barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers’ Compensation law.