Gorton & Gorton - Long Island, New York Insurance Defense, Civil Law, Personal Injury, and Intellectual Property Attornies

1205 Franklin Avenue, Suite 100

Garden City, NY 11530

Phone: (516) 742- 8466
Fax: (516) 248-8907
Attorneys@GortonLaw.com

CASES HANDLED

SAMPLING OF CASES HANDLED BY THE PARTNERS

Trial Level

Bilancione v. Arne O Landscaping, Supreme Court, Kings County- granted dismissal motion on threshold issue in automobile case where this firm successfully argued plaintiff's opposition failed to adequately address the issue of causation referable to a prior automobile accident.

Adami v. C.J. Rubino & Co. Inc., 22 Misc. 3d 1133(a) - grant of summary judgment dismissal to 3rd party defendant insurance company in declaratory judgment action holding that coverage for action that was not an “event’ as defined by the policy did not exist. 

Chelli v. Banlee Assoc., Supreme Court, Queens County – defense verdict in favor of third party defendant /employer in action where jury found that plaintiff did not sustain a “grave injury” within the meaning of Section 11 of the Workers Compensation Law, despite awarding plaintiff $11,000,000 in compensatory damages for brain injuries and partial paralysis, all of which is to be paid by the defendant/ third party plaintiff. It remains the single largest defense verdict ever successfully taken on behalf of the State Insurance Fund.

Rosenberg v. Curry Chevrolet, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York – defendant’s verdict after four week product liability/ negligence trial where plaintiff was rendered a complete quadriplegic as a result of a single vehicle, rollover automobile accident.

Vanriel v. A. Weissman Real Estate, Supreme Court, Bronx County – trial verdict granting our client common law indemnification against the employer on Labor Law 240 claim.

Singh v. Hilltop Farms, Supreme Court, Nassau County – defendant’s verdict on threshold issue. Plaintiff was rear-ended by defendant’s truck and sustained herniated lumbar disc. Even though the MRI report indicated a herniated disc, plaintiff’s expert conceded on cross examination the lack of objective evidence of nerve root impingement.

Aposterleris v. Promark v. Bear Tree Service, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York – defendant’s verdict in favor of third party defendant owner of alleged defective stump grinder. Manufacturer found 100% at fault after a successful Rule 51 motion made at the close of plaintiff’s case. Successfully argued special employee defense. Injuries consisted of severe laceration to lower extremity with loss of calf muscle, constricted Achilles tendon, permanent loss of employment and inability to walk without a cane. Case subsequently settled against the manufacturer in the amount of $1,300,000.

Moussa v. Eco-Safe Abatement, Supreme Court, Kings County – defendant’s verdict in favor of employer on Labor Law 240 claim where plaintiff fell from ladder which was placed on top of scaffold and against heating pipes. Successfully argued proximate cause to the jury. Injuries included post concussion syndrome and seizure disorder.

Pepperman v. Desetta Nursery, Supreme Court, Nassau County – Defendant’s verdict in favor of nursery where plaintiff claimed defective watering system caused water to shoot into street knocking him from his motorcycle. Injuries included trimaleolar fracture and two inch leg shortening.

Maisonette v. Auto Dent v. Boro Sign, Supreme Court, Kings County – directed verdict in favor of employer on labor law 240 case where plaintiff fell from 20 foot ladder after receiving electrical shock due to sign not being turned off. Case settled against remaining defendant for $1,000,000.

Zakzrasuska v. Maplewood Construction, Supreme Court, Queens County – Defendant’s verdict in favor of road maintenance company which was closing off lane for highway maintenance at point of accident. Successfully argued that driver inattention was sole cause of accident. Injuries included amputation of leg.

Berg v. Neida, Supreme Court, Kings County –defendant’s verdict on threshold after conceding liability.  Alleged injuries included several herniated discs.  Successfully argued to the jury that all injuries were pre-existing in nature.

Pellegrinni Vineyards v. State Farm Ins. Co., Supreme Court, Queens County –summary judgment granted on declaratory judgment action requiring defendant to defend and indemnify.

Appellate Level

 

Gonzalez v. Majestic Fine Custom Homes., 2014 Slip Op. 01713
In a Labor Law action, 2nd Dept. reversed the lower Court and granted dismissal to our client of plaintiff's Labor Law 241(6) claim. Combined with the lower Court's previous dismissal of plaintiff's LL 200 and 240 claims the plaintiff's entire claim against our client was dismissed. Additionally, the 2nd Dept. held our client was entitled to a grant of full contractual indemnity including an award of attorney fees against the codefendant. 

Gorham v. Reliable Fence and Supply Co., 92 A.D.3d 834- In a Labor Law action, reversed lower court and denied codefendant owner’s motion for contractual indemnity against our client and reinstated our client’s cross claim against the codefendant general contractor holding questions of fact as to the general contractor’s role on site and our client’s specific activities required a liability trial.  

Harris v. Auto Palace Truck Rental, 81 A.D.3d 69- affirmed the lower court’s denial of codefendant’s dismissal motion holding that despite our client’s truck striking the codefendant’s vehicle in the rear, questions of fact as to the operation of the codefendant’s vehicle mandated a trial on liability.   

Mott v. Tromel Construction, 79 A.D.3d 829- upheld lower court’s denial of codefendant’s contractual claim against our client in a Labor Law action finding questions of fact as to the codefendant’s violation of Labor Law 200 precluded summary judgment on their indemnification claim.

Castellanos v. United Cerebral Palsy Assoc., 77 A.D.3d 879 affd. 16 N.Y.3d 704
affirmed lower court’s dismissal of all claims against our client United Cerebral Palsy Assoc. including Labor Law 240 and 241(6) claims by plaintiff who was injured as a result of a fall from an allegedly defective ladder.  Plaintiff claimed closed head trauma and significant back injuries as a result of the fall which occurred while he was engaged in remodeling a group home owned and operated by defendant UCP.  The Appellate Court held that by operation of the Mental Hygiene Law as well as the actual use of the home, the premises was a single family dwelling for purposes of the Labor Law and that the one/two family owner exception contained in the Labor Law insulated UCP from liability.  The App. Division’s decision was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeals and has been cited in numerous cases applying the home owner exemption contained within the Labor Law.

Foster v. Herbert Slepoy Corp., 76 A.D.3d 210- reversed lower court and dismissed plaintiff’s direct action against our client snow contractor specifically clarifying  a contractor’s prima facie burden on a summary judgment motion as against a third party to the original contract which had not been done before by the Second Dept.

Velez v. 19-27 Orchard Street, 70 A.D.3d 488- affirmed lower court ruling that the third party complaint brought on behalf of our client stated a viable cause of action against both the individual 3rd party defendant  and his multiple corporate entities in a Labor Law action for contribution and or indemnity. The Appellate Court also found the pleadings supported a theory of recovery based on “piercing the corporate veil”.

Arriola v. A & W Landscaping of Long Island, 68 A.D.3d 484- reversed lower court’s denial of our summary judgment motion and dismissed all claims against our client snow contractor brought by plaintiff who underwent a spinal fusion finding the contractor established it did not “launch an instrument of harm” at the accident location defining in the First Dept., a snow contractor’s prima facie burden on a dismissal motion.   

Pepe v. Center for Jewish History, Inc., 59 A.D.3d 277 - reversed lower court and dismissed general contractor’s third party action for contractual indemnity against our client, a mason subcontractor holding that contractual indemnity does not lie in a Labor Law action where plaintiff’s accident did not “arise out of” or “occur in connection with” the subcontractor’s work specifically extending that reasoning from coverage actions to Labor Law actions.

Barrios v. Boston Properties LLC, 55 A.D.3d 339 - reversed lower court in part and dismissed plaintiff’s Labor Law 241(6) claim against the defendant on our client’s, a 3rd party defendant, motion holding that a freight elevator was not a “material hoist” or ‘thoroughfare” as those terms are employed by NYCRR. The lower court had previously dismissed plaintiff’s Labor Law 240 claim on our motion and subsequently dismissed the remaining contractual indemnity claim against our client. 

Finnocchiaro v. Napolitano, 52 A.D.3d 463 - affirmed lower court’s dismissal of action by plaintiff/ hunter who suffered fractured spine on our client’s land holding that New York State’s “recreational use statute” barred recovery and the doctrine of “danger invites rescue” was inapplicable to the facts at bar.

Spano v. Northwood Tree Care Inc., 48 A.D.3d 667 - affirmed dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint holding our client’s tree trimming company owed no duty of care under its contract with the Town to injured Town employee.   

Castro v. Maple Run Condominium Ass’n., 41 A.D.3d 412 - reversed lower court and dismissed action against our client snow removal contractor holding it owed plaintiff no duty of care under its contract and plaintiff’s expert affidavit was insufficient and “conclusory”.

Sclafani v. Washington Mutual, 36 A.D.3d 542 - affirmed lower court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s action holding our client demonstrated “good cause’ for the timing of the dismissal motion and the complained of condition was “open and obvious” and therefore not actionable.  

Zabbia v. Westwood, LLC, 18 A.D.3d 542 - reversed lower court’s decision and dismissed plaintiff’s cause of action holding plaintiff’s allegation that our client “caused and created” the complained of condition was “mere speculation”.

Marro v. St. Vincent’s Hospital, 294 A.D.2d 341 – affirmed lower court decision which granted defendant a negative inference jury charge against plaintiff for spoliation of evidence. Plaintiff had been rendered a blind quadriplegic as the result of a motorcycle accident.  The decision has been cited over 40 times referable to spoliation issues and the proper sanction for the loss of evidence.

Vanriel v. A. Weissman Real Estate, 283 A.D.2d 260 – affirmed lower court trial verdict granting owner and general contractor common law indemnification against the employer on Labor Law 240 claim. The appellate court held the trial court correctly precluded defendant employer from introducing evidence at trial contradicting statements contained in earlier summary judgment motion practice applying the doctrine of Judicial Admissions.

Coudakis v. 20th Equities Corp., 281 AD2d 507 – affirmed dismissal of complaint against a refrigeration contractor that had placed a refrigeration unit on a sidewalk in open and obvious view of the plaintiff who fell over it.

Ortiz v. SFDS Development, 274 A.D.2d 341 – reversed lower court decision and granted common law indemnification to an owner, against the codefendant general contractor in a Labor Law 240 case.

Kampf v. Bank of New York, 259 A.D.2d 439 – overturned court below and dismissed complaint against a contractor based upon a lack of duty. Case created precedent in the First Department that a snow and ice contractor does not owe a duty of care to the general public based upon its limited contract to plow.

Escobar v. Rodriquez, 243 A.D.2d 676 – reversed court below and dismissed complaint against driver of car involved in multiple vehicle collision.

DeCurtis v. T.H. Associates, 241 A.D.2d 536 – overturned court below and dismissed complaint against contractor due to lack of duty. Case marked first time the Second Department ruled a snow and ice contractor did not owe a duty of care to the general public as a result of its limited contract to plow.


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