Articles Posted in New York City

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This is an action to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained by the plaintiff when her vehicle was struck by a vehicle owned and leased by the defendant Enterprise, and operated by the defendant Driver. The accident occurred on South Edgemere at or near its intersection with South Elmwood in the Town of East Hampton, Suffolk County, New York. By her bill of particulars, a rep said that the plaintiff alleges that as a result of said accident she sustained serious injuries including central posterior protruded disc herniation at C2-3, C3-4, C4-5; left paramedian posterior protruded disc herniation at C5-6 and C6-7; acute cervical sprain and strain with radiculitis; bilateral C5-6 cervical radiculopathy; aggravation of pre-existing spine injury to the lumbar spine; disc bulge at L3-4; disc bulge at L4-5 contacting left L4 nerve roots within the neural foramen; supraspinatus tendinosis in right shoulder; brachial neuritis; and tinitus in right and left ears. In addition, the plaintiff alleges that she was confined to bed from July 4, 2009 until August 4, 2009, except to attend medical appointments, and was confined to home from July 4, 2009 until September 29, 2009 and intermittently thereafter except to attend medical appointments. The plaintiff also claims that following said accident she was incapacitated from her employment as a director of resident relations in a company, as an assisted living facility, in Massapequa, New York from July 4, 2009 until September 29, 2009, from December 5, 2009 until December 9, 2009, and from December 30, 2009 until January 6, 2010.

A source said that, the NYC defendant Enterprise now moves for dismissal of the claims against it for failure to state a cause of action as well as for summary judgment based on 49 USC § 30106 (the Graves Amendment). Defendant Enterprise submits a faxed copy of an affidavit of its employee, that lacks an original signature. The Court considers said affidavit despite its defect. The said employee indicates in his affidavit that he is a regional risk supervisor for defendant Enterprise, and that the day before the subject accident, defendant Enterprise rented its vehicle, a Chevy vehicle, to defendant Driver who signed a rental agreement. He also indicates that a search of records related to said vehicle revealed no pre-accident complaints or evidence of any performance or maintenance problems, and that defendant Driver was not employed by defendant Enterprise on the date of the accident.

On August 10, 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), a comprehensive transportation bill that included the Graves Amendment, was signed into law. The Act is now codified at 49 USC § 30106. The section is entitled “Rented or leased motor vehicle safety and responsibility”. “The section applies to all actions commenced on or after August 10, 2005, and has been enforced as preempting the vicarious liability imposed on commercial lessors by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 388”.

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On 7 March 1991 and on 14 June 1991, the Family Court of New York County made a finding of neglect against the subject parents and ordered a year of minimal supervision by the Child Welfare Administration, respectively. An appeal from the order followed.

The court finds that the orders must be are affirmed, without costs.

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In New York, to establish a prima facie case of negligence, a plaintiff must prove (1) that the defendant owed a duty to plaintiff, (2) a breach thereof, and (3) injury proximately resulting therefrom. If, defendant’s negligence were a substantial factor, it is considered to be a “proximate cause” even though other substantial factors may also have contributed to plaintiffs. In order to establish the third element, proximate cause, the plaintiff must show that defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in bringing about the injury. Because a finding of negligence must be based on the breach of a duty, a threshold question in tort cases is whether the alleged tortfeasor owed a duty of care to the injured party. Summary judgment is rarely appropriate in a negligence action because the issue of whether a plaintiff or defendant acted reasonably under the circumstance could rarely be resolved as a matter of law.

If it cannot be determined who the parties are who owed a duty to the plaintiff and what the defendants’ respective roles and responsibilities were, no determination as to negligence can be made based upon the evidentiary submissions and adduced testimonies.

Labor Law §200 provides in pertinent part that “All places to which this chapter applies shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places…. (Trbaci v AJS Construction Project Management, Inc, et al, 2009 NY Slip Op 50153U; 22 Misc3d 1116A [Supreme Court of New York, Kings County 2009). “New York State Labor Law §200 is merely a codification of the common-law duty placed upon owners and contractors to provide employees with a safe place to work (Kim v Herbert Constr. Co., 275 AD2d 709, 880 NYS2d 227 [2000]). In order to prevail on a claim under Labor law §200, a plaintiff is required to establish that a defendant exercised some supervisory control over the operation (Mendoza v Cornwall Hill Estates, Inc., 199 AD2d 368, 605 NYS2d 308 [2nd Dept 1993]). Labor Law §200 governs general safety in the workplace, imposes upon employers, owners, and contractors the affirmative duty to exercise reasonable care to provide and maintain a safe place to work and is a reiteration of common-law negligence standards. Therefore, a Staten Island party charged with liability must be shown to have notice, actual or constructive, of the unsafe condition and to exercise sufficient control over the work being performed to correct or avoid the unsafe condition (Leon v J&M Pepe Realty Corp. et al, 190 Ad2d 400, 596 NYS2d 380 [1st Dept 1993]).

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This complaint sets forth a first cause of an action sounding in negligence arising out of the care and treatment rendered to plaintiff wherein she sustained second degree burns to her feet while bathing in a tub on October 10, 2004 while a resident at Siena Village, owned by the a health system of Long Island, Inc. and located at Smithtown, New York. The defendant, was an employee of the facility and the personal care aide for the plaintiff when the spinal injury occurred. The plaintiff resided at Siena Village where she received custodial care and housing. The second cause of action is premised upon the alleged negligent hiring of defendant employee by the defendant health System of Long Island, Inc.

In the answer submitted by defendant employee, a cross-claim has been asserted against the co-defendant health System of Long Island, Inc. for indemnification and/or contribution. In the answer submitted by the health system, a cross-claim has been asserted for judgment over against “Kenneth Doe” who is not named in the complaint, and a second cross-claim for indemnification from defendant employee.

According to the court, the common-law right to indemnification exists pursuant to a contract implied in law and is rooted in equity; it is a device to prevent unjust enrichment. Implied indemnity is frequently employed in favor of one who is vicariously liable for the tort of another, but the principle is not so limited and has been invoked in other contexts as well. Nonetheless, an indemnity cause of action can be sustained only if the third-party plaintiff and the third-party defendant have breached a duty to plaintiff and also if some duty to indemnify exists between them”.

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On 1994, a man was admitted to a NYC hospital for the treatment of his spinal injuries. Prior to the man’s cervical spine surgery his physician ordered a cervical myelogram and CT scan. The procedure was performed by another physician and a nurse. The man does not recall the whole procedure, but remembers waking up in great pain. The man was advised by his admitting physician, that he obtained dislocation on his shoulder during a grand mal seizure. The man was told that he was suffering from spinal stenosis and diseases of the spine. He was also told that the seizure could have resulted from natural causes and the spinal diseases were normal complications from the myelography procedure.

Subsequently, the man obtained legal counsel and brought a medical negligence action against the doctor who performed the procedure for injuries he received during the cervical myelogram. Afterwards, the physician filed an answer to the complaint and included as an affirmative defense that the man’s damages were caused in whole or in part by third parties. The physician also discussed the risks associated with a myelogram, including the possibility of a seizure. He added that the risk of seizure is decreased when the patient’s head is elevated. He further opined that the nurses may not have followed his postoperative orders concerning the maintenance of the man’s head because when he saw the man during the seizure, the man was lying fairly flat. The man then filed the notice of intent to initiate litigation against the hospital and the nurse. He also modified his complaint to include them as opponents in the lawsuit.

In a request for the dismissal of the case, the hospital and the nurse claimed that the man’s claim for negligence was barred by the law of limitations. They claimed that the man was aware of them as potential opponents immediately following his injuries.

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On March 16, 2003, two cars were involved in a head-on collision in an expressway in Brooklyn, New York. Both the drivers of the two cars claimed damages for serious spinal injuries they allegedly sustained. Both claim that they lost the function of their lumbar or cervical spine. Both claimed bulging discs at the cervical spine, herniated discs at the lumbar spine, sprain and nerve damage. The drivers sued each other as well as their insurers for damages.

Both submitted magnetic resonance imaging scans which their medical experts used as basis to find that there were degenerative changes in the cervical and lumbar spine which show herniation (swelling).

However, the medical reports issued by the examining neurologist at the time of the accident only found the two drivers to be suffering from cervical and thoracic spinal sprain and right shoulder sprain. In the weeks that followed the accident, the same attending neurologist made follow-up reports of the development of the injuries sustained by both the drivers and reported that the spinal sprains have resolved themselves. Even the sprain in the right shoulder and right arm were also resolved. This is evidence, according to the insurers, that neither driver sustained serious injury such that they can be compensated under the Insurance Law. There is no evidence that links their injuries as caused by accident.

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A NYC eighteen-year old resident of an apartment building was walking along the grounds of the apartment building in Florida when he met an accident. He lay on the concrete pavement, unable to move because of a spinal injury. A few minutes later, an employee of the apartment owner was making his rounds of the apartment. He saw the eighteen- year old sprawled on the pavement and thought that he was unconscious due to a drug overdose or because he was drunk. He shook the eighteen-year old and found him to be conscious. The employee told him that he will move him to a more lighted area so that he can help him. The eighteen-year old protested, asking the employee not to touch him or to move him as his spine may be broken. The eighteen-year old protested continuously but the employee did not heed his protests, he dragged the eighteen-year old near the entrance of the building. He then called emergency services who rushed the eighteen-year old to the hospital. When the police and emergency services arrived, the employee told the police that he moved the eighteen year old because he thought that he was just passed out because he was drunk or overdosed from drugs. He had no idea he was injured. The incident resulted in the eighteen-year old being disabled due to quadriplegia or paralyzed from the neck down.

The eighteen-year old then sued the Westchester apartment owner and his insurer. He did not include in the suit the employee of the apartment owner. He wanted to call him as an adverse witness because the employee made inconsistent statements before the police (at the time of the incident) and then when he was deposed (before the trial) which testimonies and statements totally contradicted his testimony at trial. The trial court refused the eighteen year old’s request to call the employee as an adverse witness. The trial court held that there was a question as to whether the employee was really employed by the apartment owner; the trial court also held that the employee could not be called as an adverse witness because he was not a party to the case or listed as a party defendant in the damage suit.

The apartment owner and the insurer based their defense on the Good Samaritan Act. They claim that the employee was immune from a suit in damages because he was only trying to help. Under Florida Law, bystanders who help those who were injured cannot be sued for damages if the person they aided suffered injury in the course of being rescued or aided. They also claimed that even if they were found to be liable the amount of lost earning capacity of the eighteen year old cannot be determined because the eighteen-year old was a career criminal who had no real job or job prospects as he dealt in drugs and petit larceny.

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The ability to prove that an injury that has been sustained in an automobile accident is serious under the essential elements of the laws of New York can be a daunting experience. The law is clear on what is considered a serious personal injury. In order for a person to recover damages associated with an accidental injury, the person must be able to present medical evidence that demonstrates that the person has a loss of use of a limb, a serious spinal injury, or a serious brain injury. The mere contention that an injury is serious and painful does not constitute a serious injury under the law. There must be some corroborating medical evidence of the injury. It is not even sufficient to bring in a doctor who is willing to testify that the person has experienced a serious injury that is life changing. That doctor must be able to show that he performed or administrated accepted medical tests that demonstrate that the injury is severe enough to be life altering.

That means that the injury that is sustained must be so severe that the person injured is not able to do the things in life that they did for enjoyment or work before the accident. The problem is that many doctors do not agree on diagnoses. Anyone who has gone to numerous doctors and had each one give them a different diagnoses understands this problem. It is frustrating when it is not something that will be presented in court. It is unnerving when it is. That is a major problem for anyone who has suffered a life changing accident only to have to find a doctor who is willing to interpret the test results to a court in verification of what the patient already knows to be true. One case of this nature was commenced on December 16, 2008.

That was the date that an injured man filed his personal injury lawsuit in New York. He was injured in a motor vehicle accident on January 9, 2008. His car was stopped at a traffic light when another car struck it with enough force to knock it off of the roadway and into a fire hydrant. The man maintained that he sustained serious spinal injury, and injury to his right knee that has resulted in an altered gait and a limp. He also maintained that he received a head injury that has left him with headaches, dizziness and post-concussion syndrome. He presented numerous medical records, x-rays and MRI reports to support his allegations.

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On July 23, 2007, a man was sitting at the traffic control light located at Greenwich Street and Jerusalem Avenue in Nassau County, New York when another vehicle hit his. The other vehicle made contact with his vehicle in a same direction side swipe manner. As the vehicle was driving past his in the same direction, it swerved and the offending vehicle swept up the passenger side of the man’s car from the rear passenger side area to the front. The man filed a personal injury and 90/180 case against the driver of the other vehicle.

In order for a person to claim a serious person injury under the auspices of the New York Insurance Law, they must be able to prove that they suffered an injury that was invasive enough to alter their normal everyday lifestyle. In order to make that statement, the injured person must be able to demonstrate through medical records that they have sustained either a permanent loss of use, or partial percentage loss of use of a member of their body.

Alternatively, they can show a brain injury or spinal injury that is severe enough to have altered their lives and receives treatment. They may also file a 90/180 claim that contends that although they recovered from their injuries, they were incapacitated by them for 90 out of the 180 days that immediately followed the accident. It is important that the injured person is able to demonstrate that they have been continually under the care of a doctor from the time of the accident until the time that they filed their suit. The court has been known to dismiss a gap in treatment for legitimate reasons if it can be properly documented.

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When a person decides that they want to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York, they are required to submit proof to the courts that their injury is a severe injury as defined by the requirements of Insurance Law § 5102. That means that they must also show that they meet the requirements of Insurance Law § 5104 as it regards non-economic loss. When the elements of the injury are not in compliance with these codes, then the person will not be allowed to file the suit. A lawsuit in New York, alleging a personal injury may not be filed if the injury is merely an inconvenience. In order for an injury to be determined severe it must render that person unable to work for a substantial amount of time and/or prevent that person from continuing to work in their chosen career field.

The injuries that are defined as serious injuries are spelled out in the law. They are defined as injuries that deprive a person of the use of a limb, or actually results in the amputation of a limb. Some spinal injuries and brain injuries may also qualify as severe. In order for the spine injuryor brain injury to be categorized as serious, it must be so pervasive of an injury as to render the person unable to function on a daily basis as they were accustomed to performing. The ability to continue participating in daily activities that they were able to participate in prior to the injury would mean that the injury will not be considered a severe injury under the law.

In October of 2009, a woman was involved in a traffic accident at the intersection of Bellmore Avenue and Sunrise Highway. The accident occurred in Nassau County in the State of New York. At the time of the accident, the police determined that the vehicle that hit hers was at fault in the accident. At the accident scene, the woman left her car, walked around the scene, and was able to drive her vehicle to work after the accident. She later went home and stayed out of work for one day. She started to see a chiropractor following the accident because she claimed that she was having headaches and pain from personal injury that she incurred as a result of the accident. She was x-rayed by the chiropractor and went to see him two to three times a week for several months into the winter of 2010.

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