In Minchala v. Les Design (Queens County Index No. 23645/2010), the injured plaintiff was employed by Les Design Corp. as a sign/awning installer. On July 3, 2010, he was assisting with the installation of a new awning at defendants/third-party plaintiffs' premises when he fell 10′ onto a concrete sidewalk, sustaining right zygomatic fracture, right basal fracture, right iliac crest fracture, rib fracture, T1 transverse process fracture, right superior acromioclavicular dislocation and head trauma including right temporal epidural hematoma and left frontoparietal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Mr. Orlando and Mr. Cianflone established that plaintiff had recovered from his head trauma and did not exhibit any objective residuals from same. This was demonstrated through expert medical evidence, evidence from a vocational expert as well as plaintiff's own testimony. Defendants/third-party plaintiffs failed to adequately refute this evidence through any admissible medical proof. As such, the court granted the motion finding that plaintiff did not suffer a 'grave injury' within the meaning of Workers' Compensation Law Section 11 as plaintiff was not rendered unemployable in any capacity as a result of his head trauma. Further, the court also dismissed the contractual claims as the purchase order for the subject work did not contain any indemnification or insurance procurement language.

Barbecho v. T & r Construction Corp. and West 123 LLC: Queens County. Plaintiff fell from a height, Labor Law §§ 200, 240(1), 241(6) case. Firm client (plaintiff's employer), sued by defendants owner and general contractor for common law indemnification and contribution as well as contractual indemnification and failure to procure insurance. At the close of discovery, the trial court granted firm's motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss all claims against firm's client.

The case of Jones v. Environmental Consultants, Inc. is a personal injury action which arose from Plaintiff's trip and fall accident at a roadway, which recently had construction work performed on it. Defendant Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. hired the insured, ECI, to install an electric underground cable underneath the subject area of the roadway. As part of the installation, ECI excavated a trench along the roadway, which it later refilled to street level. ECI completed its work four months prior to the accident, was paid in full, received no complaints from O&R and had no obligation to repave the roadway.

A motion for summary judgment was filed requesting dismissal of plaintiff's action, as well as any cross-claims by co-defendants, in its entirety as against ECI. The Court, agreeing with our argument, found that the accident location marked by plaintiff, although in close proximity of ECI's work, was insufficient to establish that ECI created said defect. Further, the Court agreed that we met our burden of showing an absence of negligence on behalf of ECI because the insured had completed its work with no complaints and was not responsible for repaving the roadway.

As for plaintiff's and Valley-View's arguments that ECI's machinery, which straddled the trench, could have created the defect, the Court agreed that such assertions were entirely speculative and insufficient to overcome the evidence provided in support of our motion.

The Supreme Court, New York County, held that the property owner Hilton Hotels was not entitled to additional insured coverage from Harleysville Insurance Company because it was not a party to a written agreement between the general contractor and a subcontractor which required the subcontractor to procure additional insured coverage for the owner.

In the underlying action, the general contractor Structure Tone subcontracted with Tobin Woodworking for work at the Hilton Hotel project pursuant to a purchase order, which incorporated a Blanket Insurance/Indemnity Agreement. The Blanket Insurance/Indemnity Agreement required Tobin to procure insurance coverage which contained an endorsement naming "Structure Tone Inc. as a named additional insured and endorsement of specified owners and other additional insureds as may be required from time to time."

Tobin obtained a general liability policy with Harleysville Insurance Company which contained two endorsements with respect to additional insured coverage. The first, Endorsement CG 2033, states that "Who Is An Insured is amended to include as an insured any person or organization for whom you are performing operations when you and such person or organization have agreed in writing in a contract or agreement that such person or organization be named an additional insured on your policy." The second endorsement, CG 7186, states that "Who is an insured is amended to include as an insured any person or organization with whom you agreed, because of a written contract or agreement or permit, to provide insurance such as is afforded under this policy ..."

We prevailed on our argument that since Hilton Hotels had not agreed in writing with Tobin Woodworking that Hilton be named an additional insured, Hilton was not entitled to such coverage since Hilton was not in privity of contract with Tobin, as required by the additional insured endorsements. As such, the court granted our motion for an Order pursuant to CPLR §§ 3212 and 3017 granting a declaration that Hilton Hotels Corporation is not an additional insured under the Harleysville Insurance Co. policy issued to Tobin Woodworking.

Plaintiff commenced the instant negligence action for personal injuries allegedly sustained during a trip and fall accident on March 2, 2009 on the sidewalk in front of and/or adjacent to the premises located at 1307 Edward L. Grant Highway, Bronx, New York. Plaintiff commenced suit against Defendant building owner Stratford Five Realty, LLC, Defendant Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., and insured NEXTG Networks of New York, Inc – three contractors who worked either on Edward L. Grant Highway or W 169th Street during the year prior to Plaintiff's accident.

On behalf of insured NEXTG Networks, Krupa Shah successfully argued on summary judgment, that Plaintiff's action against NEXTG must be dismissed as a matter of law because NEXTG (1) did not owe Plaintiff a duty in that it did not own, use, occupy, or maintain the area where Plaintiff allegedly fell; and (2) did not cause, create and/or have actual or constructive notice of the allegedly defective sidewalk which allegedly caused Plaintiff's accident. Further, Ms. Shah argued that NextG's only connection with the case and/or Plaintiff's accident is that as a cable company, NEXTG repaired its own cables on Edward L. Grant Highway in February 2009 at least 10 feet away from the location of Plaintiff's alleged accident. As a result, Plaintiff's Complaint and all cross-claims against insured NextG were dismissed.

This action arose from an accident which occurred on October 23, 2008 when Plaintiff Frank Bazalo allegedly tripped and fell over a small metal chain located around a Christopher Columbus statue located at UNICO Park in the City of Newburgh, New York. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants, Unico National, Inc. and Newburgh Chapter of the Unico National owned, maintained, managed, and/or controlled the UNICO Park.

Krupa Shah, on behalf of her client UNICO National, Inc. filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(8), predicated upon the Supreme Court of New York, Orange County's lack of personal jurisdiction over UNICO National, Inc., a not-for-profit New Jersey corporation created to help preserve Italian heritage and culture.

The Court held that it is well-settled that an unlicensed foreign corporation is subject to the jurisdiction of New York only if it is doing business in New York or if it falls within the purview of New York's long arm jurisdiction statute. Further, the Court held that UNICO National, Inc. sufficiently established that UNICO National, Inc. did not fall within the purview of New York 's long arm jurisdiction statute and that it was a foreign corporation that was not "doing business" in New York in that its employees and agents were not engaged in commercial activity on a regular, ongoing, and systematic basis within the state.

With this favorable decision, Krupa Shah was able to preliminarily dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint and Farmers Insurance Company significant litigation costs.

Plaintiff Alvaro Anton commenced a personal injury action under New York Labor Law due to a construction site accident at 102 Bradhurst Avenue, New York, New York, on May 18, 2006, wherein he was struck by a falling cinder block while working for his employer, Tiegre Mechanical Corp. (hereinafter "Tiegre").

Due to the Workers' Compensation bar, Plaintiff could not directly sue his employer, Tiegre. However, Defendant/Construction Manager West Manor, Masonry Subcontractor Contractor Larino, and premises owner Bradhurst commenced a third-party action against Tiegre for contractual indemnification, common law indemnification, and breach of contract for failure to procure insurance.

On summary judgment, the lower court dismissed the Third-Party Plaintiffs' claims for contractual indemnification and failure to procure insurance. However, the Court denied Tiegre's motion for summary judgment dismissal of the Third-Party Plaintiffs' claims for common law indemnification and contribution, by holding that there was an issue of fact as to whether Plaintiff sustained a "grave injury" as defined by Workers' Compensation Law § 11, and, further, on the basis that there was an issue of fact regarding Tiegre's negligence because "Tiegre had a deposition outstanding."

On appeal, Partner Amy Fenno and Associate Krupa Shah successfully argued that the lower Court correctly granted summary judgment on contractual indemnification but erred in failing to grant it as to common law indemnification because there was no factual dispute that Tiegre did not commit any negligent act responsible for Mr. Anton's accident; there was substantial evidence in the record of Third-Party Plaintiffs West Manor and Larino's active negligence, and that the record had no evidence whatsoever suggesting that Plaintiff sustained a grave injury, specifically a traumatic brain injury.

With this favorable decision, O'CONNOR REDD LLP was able to summarily dismiss all claims against insured, Tiegre Mechanical Corp.

Plaintiff Pryzborowski, a 59 year old construction worker, fell while descending an allegedly unstable ladder at a site undergoing renovations, striking his head. He was hospitalized for nine days for diagnosis and treatment of a large subgaleal hemotoma, and subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhages. Plaintiff claimed total disability from employment as a result of his traumatic brain injury, with continuing complaints of dizziness, vertigo, headaches, and sued the premises owner, A&M, under Labor Law Sections 200, 240 and 241(6). Owner impleaded Plaintiff's employer, claiming a "Grave Injury". On SJ motions, the Court – considering Third-party Defendant's favorable vocational and neuropsychiatric expert opinions, and noting MRI reports showing the brain bleeds diminished over time – dismissed the third-party action, finding Plaintiff had not sustained a "Grave Injury". The Court also dismissed the Complaint finding plaintiff's failure to use the ladder correctly – when a safe stairway was nearby – was the "sole proximate cause" of his fall. Steven O'Connor and Alak Shah wrote the motion for the Firm's client, Third-party Defendant employer PSG Construction.

The matter stemmed from a property damage action wherein the homeowner/plaintiff claimed that the defendant, Woodbury Water & Sewer Dept., was negligent in failing to properly install a water meter at the homeowner's residence. The crux of the allegations was that the defendant failed to place a washer within a pipe fitting which resulted in a water leak from that fitting. The homeowner claimed damages totaling approx. $15,000. Allstate paid its insured, the homeowner, for these damages and brought this subrogation claim for reimbursement. Both carriers submitted the matter to binding arbitration. The arbitrator concluded that the plaintiff failed to prove a prima facie case of negligence. The evidence revealed that the water meter was installed in 2000 by the defendant and the defendant had not performed any further work at the subject residence until after being notified of the water leak by the homeowner on September 12, 2010. Though there was a washer missing from the fitting, there was direct evidence that the homeowner had performed work on the water line a few months prior to the leak, ie., the homeowner had replaced the shut-off valve on the water line which was located a foot or so from the subject fitting. Defendant's retained construction expert opined that the photographs of the homeowner's basement reflected multiple incidents of water infiltration through the cement block foundation wall and that the amount of water that leaked through the pipe fitting would not have caused the damages claimed. The arbitrator concluded that plaintiff failed to establish that the absence of a washer in the pipe fitting installed 10 years prior was a proximate cause of plaintiff's alleged property damages. 

Summary Judgment was granted to Champion Carrier in a products liability action before Judge Cathy Seibel in the SDNY. Plaintiff was injured by a internal spring mechanism found within a vehicle's external side-view mirror, resulting in an orbital floor fracture and partial blindness in one eye. Product liability claims were brought against the vehicle's manufacturer, General Motors, and Champion Carrier, who altered the truck's rear-bed into a tow-truck. Plaintiff attempted to argue that Champion should be held liable given that they 'implicitly approved' of the mirror's design by performing alterations on the vehicle (i.e. – they should have refused to work on the vehicle, given 'known' past problems with the subject mirror). The Judge agreed with Champion that since it never bought or sold the subject vehicle, nor participated in the design or manufacture of the mirror unit, it could not be held liable under any products liability theory.