Winter 2019 E-Newsletter

Pictured (left to right): Michael Boranian, Ron Steimel,
Greg Falgoust and Dr. Gerard Lombardo.

Michael Boranian Recognizes United Sleep Diagnostics at Annual Golf Tournament
Michael Boranian, a senior partner with the firm, once again served as chairman of the Friends of Mercy Medical Center’s annual golf tournament. Mr. Boranian, executive vice president of The Friends, joined in recognizing honorees Brian Falgoust, Greg Falgoust, Michael Bianco and Al Murray of United Sleep Diagnostics at the 37th Annual Friends of Mercy’s Golf Classic, which took place on October 10 at Garden City Country Club. The four were recognized for their longstanding partnership with Mercy to create quality sleep programs for those who work in demanding fields.

James Michael Murphy Becomes Sixth Partner from MHMS to be Elected Chairman of the Nassau Suffolk Trial Lawyers Association
Montfort Healy has deep roots in the Nassau Suffolk Trial Lawyers Association. The association was founded in 1962 by Hy Herman, who served as its first Chairman, and Fredric Montfort, who founded the firm. The purpose of the organization has been to promote and foster collegiality between the judges and the attorneys who litigate cases in the Supreme Court of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Since the organization’s founding, six partners from MHMS have served as Chairman of the group.

Montfort Healy wins Choice of Law Argument on Appeal
On November 28, 2018, the Appellate Division, Second Department unanimously issued an order granting Summary Judgment in favor of Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley. The case involved a four-car-chain collision on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania in which the plaintiff was a passenger in the second vehicle. MHMS represented the driver of the second vehicle (“Ibrahim”) and moved for summary judgment arguing that Ibrahim did not cause or contribute to plaintiff’s injuries in any manner. While plaintiff did not oppose the motion, the other defendants opposed the motion arguing that an issue of fact existed as to whether Ibrahim had abruptly stopped.

Montfort Healy McGuire and Salley’s Jim Murphy Successful in Motion for Summary Judgment
In a case involving a trip and fall, partner Jim Murphy was successful in arguing the Village of Freeport was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. The case involved a 2015 trip and fall that occurred after the plaintiff fell on a pothole on the roadway in front of a condominium complex in Freeport, New York. The plaintiff brought an action against the Village of Freeport for the injuries she sustained. Montfort Healy, in representing the Village, brought a motion for summary judgment asserting that the Village was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Bullying and School Districts
Bullying is a common problem that occurs in our nation’s school systems. Bullying can be defined as using physical strength and action or words to intimidate another and instill a sense of discomfort and fear. Bullying can be done in person, over the phone, or via the internet. There isn’t an age limit for bullying; it occurs throughout all stages of life, yet peaks when enrolled in an elementary or secondary educational institution. Over time, the question that has been posed is, “what can school districts do to prevent bullying?”

Court of Appeals Decides No-Fault Claims Against a Self-Insurer are Subject to a Three-Year Statute of Limitations
In the case of Contact Chiropractic P.C. v. New York City Tr. Auth., the New York Court of Appeals held that a three-year statute of limitations applies to no-fault cases involving a self-insurer. The case involved a passenger injured in an accident while riding in a bus that was owned by the New York Transit Authority (NYCT). NYCT was self-insured, and therefore, did not have no-fault insurance coverage. After the plaintiff provided services to the injured passenger, they assigned their right to collect first-party benefits from NYCT. The Plaintiff then brought the action seeking reimbursement for outstanding invoices.

Court of Appeals Finds Statements Made During Administrative Proceeding are Not Protected by an Absolute Privilege
In New York State, a defamatory statement is defined as “a false statement that is published or made known to a third party – deliberately or with negligence – without the knowledge or consent of the subject. Under the doctrine of defamation, an individual who makes such statement may claim a defense by proving either that (1) the statement is true; (2) that the statement was an expression of pure opinion; or (3) that the statement is protected by an absolute privilege. In the case of Stega v. New York Downtown Hosp., the New York Court of Appeals determined that defamatory statements made during an administrative proceeding are not protected by an absolute privilege.

The New Year Marks New Changes Regarding the Admission of Records Produced by an Opposing Party
On August 28, 2018, a change to article 45 of the CPLR was enacted after being proposed by the Chief Administrative Judge and being recommended by the Advisory Committee on Civil Practice. That change, involving the admission of opposing party documents, is set to go into effect on January 1, 2019. The new CPLR §4540(a) is designed to make the admission of documents created by an opposing party admissible without going through additional steps.

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