August 2013

The Appellate Division, First Department this week held, in Tadmor v. New York Jiu Jitsu, that the defendant should have been granted summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim arising from an injury to his left knee while sparring with another student in a mixed martial arts class. The court held that plaintiff, who served in the…

Read More Israeli Army-Trained Martial Artist Assumed the Risk of Injury
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A recent Eastern District decision, Butler v. Coca-Cola, 12 Civ. 1791 (Aug. 26, 2013), illustrates the risks inherent in litigation in general and employment litigation in particular. There, the court taxed costs against plaintiff in the amount of $2,800.64 following its dismissal, on summary judgment, of plaintiff’s Section 1981 hostile work environment and retaliation claims. Citing the…

Read More Dismissal of “Marginal” Case Based on “Workplace Gossip” Results in Taxation of Costs Against Discrimination Plaintiff
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A Bronx Criminal Court judge recently concluded, in People Chavez, that “the common areas inside a residential apartment building, including its elevators, do not constitute a “public place” as defined by New York City’s “open container law”, New York City Administrative Code § 10–125. Defendant was charged with, inter alia, Resisting Arrest and Obstructing Governmental Administration…

Read More Apartment Building Elevator Not a “Public Place” Under NYC Open Container Law
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The Eastern District of New York recently held, in Litras v PVM Intern. Corp., that plaintiff plausibly alleged various claims relating to non-payment of wages and retaliation. Plaintiff – who was employed by PVM as an export manager – alleged that her employment was terminated because she testified against defendants (the Sabhnanis) in a federal…

Read More Plaintiff Adequately Alleged Overtime, Vacation Pay, Retaliation, and Civil Rights Conspiracy Allegations
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Today Judge Reyes of the Eastern District decided Cabrera v. Fresh Direct, which narrowly interprets the waiver provision of New York’s Whistleblower Statute, Labor Law § 740. Plaintiff initially alleged gender and disability discrimination claims under the New York City Human Rights Law.  She then sought to amend her complaint to add a § 740 claim. That claim…

Read More City Human Rights Law Claims Are Not Barred By Whistleblower Law’s Election of Remedies Provision
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A Nassau County trial court recently granted summary judgment to a plaintiff whose car was hit while stationary.  The case is Fontaine v. Curtin, 5659/12, NYLJ 1202616726798, at *1 (Sup., NA, Decided July 26, 2013). The facts: Plaintiff … was traveling westbound on Lafayette Street and came to a stop at the stop sign located at…

Read More Court Awards Summary Judgment to Plaintiff Whose Car Was Hit While Stopped
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Recently, in Askins v. NYC, the Second Circuit explained the relationship between the liability of individual police officers, on the one hand, and that of a municipality (such as the City of New York), on the other. Specifically, it held that the dismissal of claims against individual police officers on qualified immunity and statute of…

Read More Second Circuit: Plaintiff Can Assert Municipal Liability Claims Even if Officers Have Qualified Immunity
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In a recent Summary Order the Second Circuit, in Dowrich-Weeks v. Cooper Sq. Realty, affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff-appellant’s discrimination, constructive discharge, and hostile work environment claims.  This case illustrates, by negative example, what an employment discrimination plaintiff must allege to survive a motion to dismiss. Discrimination – No “Adverse Action” The court found that plaintiff…

Read More Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Discrimination, Constructive Discharge, and Hostile Work Environment Claims
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The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) imposes monetary penalties and driver violation points for using a cell phone to talk or text while driving. More information is available here. The two relevant statutes are VTL § 1225-c and VTL § 1225-d.  Using a Mobile Telephone to Engage in a Call VTL § 1225-c(2)(a) provides:  “[N]o person shall…

Read More New York’s Cell Phone Driving Laws and Rules
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