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.
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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.
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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.
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James Michael Murphy Becomes Sixth Partner from MHMS to be Elected Chairman of the Nassau Suffolk Trial Lawyers Association

Law Firm Has a Long History with the Organization Which Can Be Traced Back to the Firm’s Founder

(MHMS) has announced that James Michael Murphy, the Firm’s Managing Partner, has been elected Chairman of the Nassau Suffolk Trial Lawyers Association. He is the sixth partner from the Firm to be elected to this position within the organization.

 

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.

 

Mr. Murphy concentrates his practice in the defense of personal injury matters, including negligence, products liability, municipal liability and has handled a wide range of matters, such as police liability, employment discrimination, contract actions, claims involving public utilities and insurance matters. He has taught an accredited Continuing Legal Education program at Hofstra Law School entitled “Liability Issues in Automobile Cases.” In addition, he has frequently lectured before institutional clients and risk managers.

 

Mr. Murphy is admitted to practice in New York and Florida, and before the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association and the Florida Bar. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego (cum laude) and Albany Law School of Union University (cum laude).

 

“It is an honor to be selected to lead an organization with such a long history of serving Long Island’s legal community,” Mr. Murphy said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and members of the judiciary to support and fulfill its mission.”

 

For more information, call (516) 747-4082 or visit www.mhms-law.com.

Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley Successful in Motion for Summary Judgment

Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley’s Jim Murphy successfully argued that The Incorporated Village of Freeport (“The Village”) was not liable for injuries caused by a defective sidewalk. The case was brought against the Village in the Supreme Court of Nassau County after an individual tripped and fell due to a brick walkway installed by the Village. Although plaintiff testified that she was not looking where she was walking and did not see the depressed brick that caused the fall, she argued that the Village was liable for the injuries she suffered.
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Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley Wins Motion for Summary Judgment on Appeal

Michael A. Baranowicz, Donald S. Neumann, Jr., and Christopher T. Cafaro were successful in arguing the Supreme Court of Suffolk County’s decision to grant summary judgment in their favor should be affirmed in a personal injury manner.

 
The case was brought by an individual who was riding his motorcycle on Montauk Highway when he was allegedly struck in the chest by a wire that had come loose from a utility pole. The contact with the wire caused the motorcyclist to fall off his motorcycle and sustain injuries.  The individual brought an action against Verizon New York (represented by Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley) as they owned the subject utility pole along with additional defendants.  The additional defendants included DF Stone Contracting, Ltd., who was performing work in the location of the accident; Nelson & Pople, LLP, the engineering consultant on the subject project; and the County of Suffolk, the owner of the sidewalk and roadway in the area of the accident.

 
The Supreme Court of Suffolk County granted summary judgment in favor of Verizon New York along with the defendants Nelson & Pope, DF Stone Contracting and the County of Suffolk.

 
On appeal, the attorneys from Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley were successful in arguing Verizon New York was not liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries.  The Second Department found that the attorneys made a prima facie showing that they did not create the hazardous or defective condition.  Additionally, they found that Verizon New York had no notice of the existence of the downed wire.  Because the plaintiff was unsuccessful in raising an issue of fact, summary judgment was affirmed in favor of Verizon New York.

 
As for the other defendants, the Second Department noted that DF Stone was allegedly performing work at the time of the accident, and had been unloading asphalt from a dump truck whose bed, when fully extended, reached above the height of the wire which caused plaintiff’s injuries.  The court found that in their motion for summary judgment, DF Stone failed to eliminate any question of fact as to whether it created the dangerous condition.

 
For defendant N&P, the Court found that they made a prima facia showing that it did not have control over the work site or actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition. The Court elaborated, stating that N&P’s right to generally supervise the work and stop the contractor’s work if they are aware of a safety violation, does not amount to the supervision and control of the work site that would hold them liable for the negligence of the contractor performing the day to day operations.  The plaintiff failed to raise an issue of fact regarding N&P’s control for the contractor.

 
Thus, the Second Department modified the Order of the Supreme Court of Suffolk County, denying the motion for summary judgment of DF Stone and affirming the decision to grant summary judgment to Verizon, N&P and the County of Suffolk.

 
To read a full copy of the decision click here.

Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley LLP Welcomes Jennifer J. Maldonado as a New Associate

GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK — Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley LLP (MHMS) has announced that Jennifer J. Maldonado has joined the firm as an Associate. She will serve in the firm’s Medical Malpractice Department. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Maldonado worked for a respected medical malpractice defense firm in Manhattan.

 

Ms. Maldonado also served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. During her time there, she prosecuted various crimes and gained valuable courtroom experience as she conducted numerous hearings and tried cases to verdict. She was also selected as a Team Leader of the Criminal Court Bureau, where she assigned lower-level misdemeanor cases to new Assistant District Attorneys and strategized with newer attorneys on how to effectively try cases.

 

Her legal experience also includes serving as a Judicial Intern for the Honorable Arthur D. Spatt and as a Legal Extern with the City of Long Beach Corporation Counsel’s Office and the New York City Law Department.

 

Ms. Maldonado graduated from the University of Scranton with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center with a Juris Doctor. She currently resides in Long Beach.

 

“I am confident Ms. Maldonado will be a tremendous asset to our firm,” said James M. Murphy, Managing Partner, MHMS. “She has extensive experience as a trial attorney, as well as experience working in medical malpractice defense law.”

 

For more information, call (516) 747-4082.

Montfort, Healy Successfully Obtains Motion for Summary Judgment

Susan H. Dempsey, an associate with the firm, successfully obtained a motion for summary judgment in a personal injury matter.

 

The plaintiff in the case alleged that, following a February 2014 automobile accident, he suffered serious injuries as defined by Insurance Law § 5102(d). Specifically, the plaintiff alleged significant limitation of use of body functions or systems, which prevented him from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute his usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 of the first 180 days immediately following the accident.

 

Ms. Dempsey submitted a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff did not suffer serious injuries as de ned by New York State Insurance Law. On April 10, 2017, the Honorable Paul A. Goetz of the New York County Supreme Court signed an order granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The decision was made pursuant to Insurance Law § 5102(d), which requires the plaintiff to claim serious injuries resulting from the defendant’s negligent ownership and/or operation of a motor vehicle.

 

The judge found that Ms. Dempsey sufficiently met her burden of proving that there was no material issue of fact in regards to the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. Relying on the reports of the defendant’s radiologist and orthopedic surgeon, the court determined that the injuries to the plaintiff’s lumbar and cervical spine were consistent with a degenerative disease and not acute trauma. The plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact by providing any objective medical evidence showing otherwise. Because there was no objective proof of a causal correlation between the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries, the plaintiff’s 90/180 claim could not be successful. See 2017 NY Slip Op 30731(U).

Michael J. Boranian Successfully Defends Hospital and Plastic Surgeons against Medical Malpractice Action

Montfort, Healy Senior Partner Michael J. Boranian recently obtained a defendant’s verdict in a medical malpractice case that was tried in Nassau County Supreme Court on behalf of a local medical center and two individual plastic surgeons who were accused of alleged improper performance of surgical repair after a chain saw accident.

 

The plaintiff was brought to the hospital after injuring his left hand with a chain saw while on the job. The initial injury had nearly severed the plaintiff’s thumb and had severely injured the nerves and musculature to the fourth and fifth fingers as well. The essence of the plaintiff’s claim was that the surgical repair was inappropriate and, therefore, left the plaintiff with a greater residual limitation than he otherwise would have experienced.

 

Mr. Boranian successfully argued that the initial injury was severe, the surgical technique employed by the attending surgeon and the resident was absolutely appropriate, and that the defendant surgeons competently and skillfully restored function to the plaintiff’s hand, which would have otherwise been much more severely limited.

 

In addition to the testimony of the parties, the court and the jury heard testimony from the plaintiff’s surgical expert, a subsequent treating surgeon and the defendant surgical expert. Upon cross-examination, Mr. Boranian was able to obtain concessions from both the plaintiff’s expert (hand surgeon) and the subsequent treating hand surgeon regarding both the underlying injury and the surgical technique employed.

 

The jury verdict was 6-0 in favor of the defendants.