October 2014

In Scott-Iverson v. Independent Health Ass’n., 13-cv-0451 (W.D.N.Y. July 7, 2014), the court adopted a report and recommendation that plaintiff’s race- and sex-based hostile work environment claims may proceed. Plaintiff alleged, among other things, that: In approximately October 1999, [the Defendant] held an employee appreciation day around Halloween and [one of Plaintiff’s co-workers] dressed up…

Read More Offensive “Aunt Jemima” Halloween Costume Supports Hostile Work Environment/Race Discrimination Claim
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In Jackson v. OpenCommunications Omnimedia, LLC, the New York State Supreme Court ordered defendants to produce “all documents and notes related to an internal investigation conducted … in connection with the Plaintiff’s complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination.” Defendants resisted production on the ground of privilege. Citing the liberal discovery principles embodied in CPLR 3101, the court granted…

Read More Court Orders Production of Materials Relating to Internal Sexual Harassment Investigation
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Randolph v. Rite Aid of N.Y., Inc. (decided Oct. 28, 2014) provides yet another reason not to attempt shoplifting: baseball bat-yielding security guards. In this case, the Appellate Division, First Department affirms the dismissal of plaintiff’s case against Rite Aid: In this action seeking recovery for personal injuries, plaintiff alleges that on October 13, 2004, after…

Read More Shoplifting Baseball Bat Case Dismissed
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In Santiesteban v. Nestle Waters North America, Inc. (decided Oct. 15, 2014), the Eastern District of New York denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims of discrimination and hostile work environment (based on religion). As to plaintiff’s discrimination claim, the court held: [T]he comments that “you people are manipulative,” that “Plaintiff manipulated … Cappetta…

Read More Evidence of Derogatory Comments About Jews Leads to Denial of Summary Judgment in Employment Discrimination Case
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A recent Appellate Division, Second Department decision, Sicuranza v. Philip Howard Apts. Tenants Corp. (decided 10/22/14), held that the plaintiff’s claims of sexual harassment, battery, negligent hiring, and negligent supervision were barred by a release executed by the plaintiff as part of a separation agreement she entered into with her former employer, nonparty Cooper Square Realty, Inc.…

Read More Release Bars Sexual Harassment, Battery, Negligent Hiring, and Negligent Supervision Claims
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A recent Eastern District decision, Delisi v. National Ass’n of Professional Women, illustrates the circumstances under which an individual defendant – here, defendant’s general counsel – may be liable under the “aiding and abetting” and retaliation provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). Generally, plaintiff asserted that she was subjected to sexual harassment, and…

Read More Company’s Alleged Failure to Investigate Discrimination Complaint Supported “Aiding and Abetting” and Retaliation Claims
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In Johnson v. City of New York, a personal injury case involving a drowning death, the Appellate Division, Second Department reversed the denial of summary judgment to defendant City of New York, and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint. The facts: On July 26, 2008, Akira Johnson, a 10-year-old girl, and her cousin, Tyriek Currie, a 10-year-old boy, were…

Read More City Not Liable for Coney Island Drowning Death
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Here is the recent employment discrimination lawsuit filed against HSBC, captioned Michael Preston v. HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., 14-cv-8402. Plaintiff alleges, among other things, that he was sexually harassed by a gay co-worker – which involved explicit requests for sexual favors, physically touching and fondling plaintiff, and sexual remarks about plaintiff’s penis – and then fired a…

Read More Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit Against HSBC
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In Powers v. 31 E 31 LLL, 2014 NY Slip Op 07084, 24 NY3d 84 (Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2014), a premises liability personal injury case, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiff, who sustained debilitating injuries after falling down an air shaft between two apartment buildings. The motion court…

Read More Court of Appeals Reverses Summary Judgment for Defendants in Case Arising From Fall Down Air Shaft
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In Parra v. City of White Plains (decided Sept. 4, 2014), the Southern District of New York held that plaintiff plausibly alleged some, but not other, claims of discrimination. Plaintiff, a Hispanic female police officer, alleged that defendants subjected her to a hostile work environment based on sexual harassment, retaliated against her for complaining about the…

Read More Pairing Harassment Victim With Harassers Was Unreasonable, Supporting Vicarious Liability in Police Officer’s Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment Case
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