Amazon Found Subject to Strict Products Liability

A Third Circuit panel of Judges held that a product liability lawsuit may continue against the global giant Amazon.  Over the past couple of years, Amazon has faced product liability lawsuits and has been successful in arguing that they are not liable for product liability actions stemming from sales of their third-party sellers. While most product liability claims are typically determined by state law, Amazon’s safe haven with regards to product liability claims is now under fire in several states. Continue reading “Amazon Found Subject to Strict Products Liability”

Second Department Grants Demand for Cell Phone Records in Motor Vehicle Accident Case

On July 24, the Appellate Division Second Department issued a ruling upholding the denial of a protective order with respect to cell phone records. The case arose from a 2017 accident in Levittown, New York, after a motor vehicle struck a pedestrian as they were crossing the street.  The accident occurred at approximately 6:00 p.m. The driver of the motor vehicle left the scene. They then denied any involvement in the accident. Several months later, the pedestrian brought an action against the driver to recover damages for personal injuries he allegedly sustained as a result of the accident. Continue reading “Second Department Grants Demand for Cell Phone Records in Motor Vehicle Accident Case”

Second Department Rules Against Owner of Local McDonalds in Premises Liability Case

A unanimous panel of Second Department Justices upheld the decision of a lower court denying summary judgment in favor of the national food chain McDonalds. The case was initially brought in the Supreme Court of Kings County after an individual was hurt in a McDonalds’ main lobby.  The Plaintiff was standing in line waiting to order when two women behind him began to fight.  The man then attempted to break up the fight, and following his intervention, on-lookers began to assault him.  The Plaintiff brought the claim against the individual for the injuries suffered along with the owner of the local McDonalds for a failure to provide adequate security at the subject premises. Continue reading “Second Department Rules Against Owner of Local McDonalds in Premises Liability Case”

Court of Appeals Finds that “Stairway” was the Functional Equivalent of a “Sidewalk”

In the case of Hinton v. Village of Pulaski, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals found that a stairway is a functional equivalent to a sidewalk as it pertained to local village law.  The case arose out of a fall that the plaintiff had while descending an exterior stairway leading from a municipal parking lot to a public road. The plaintiff did not provide written notice of the fall to the Village, but subsequently commenced an action against the Village.
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Second Department Upholds Trial Court’s Decision to Not Vacate Dismissal

When New York State Court of Appeals Chief Justice, Janet DiFiore, assumed her position, she set the goal of reducing the backlog of cases across the state.  In the case of Melendez v. Stack, the Second Department decided in line with that goal in refusing to vacate a dismissal after a Plaintiff’s attorney did not have a reasonable excuse for their failure to proceed to trial.
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First Department Finds IME Observer’s Notes are Privileged

On March 19, 2019, the Appellate Division First Department issued a decision in which they held the notes of an IME observer were privileged.  The Court’s decision settled the variance between the trial Courts of whether the notes of an IME observer are protected by the attorney-client privilege. In the case of Markel v. Pure Power Boot Camp, Inc., the Plaintiff sought damages for a knee injury she sustained while participating in an exercise drill at defendants’ gym.  As part of the discovery process, the Plaintiff was asked to appear for an independent medical exam (IME) by an orthopedist to ascertain the extent of her injuries, if any.
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