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Yes, you read that right. The Court of Appeals recently indicated, in Hastings v. Sauve, an intention to chip away at the “vicious propensity” rule that has traditionally been applied to lawsuits arising from animal-related injuries. While driving on Route 53 in the Town of Bangor in Franklin County, Karen Hastings hit a cow with her…

Read More NY Court of Appeals: Plaintiffs May Proceed On Negligence Theory To Seek Damages For Injuries Caused By Wandering Livestock

Today the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, that retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must meet the more rigorous “but for” standard of causation applied under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.   The Court, focusing on the text, history, and structure…

Read More U.S. Supreme Court Raises Causation Standard For Title VII Retaliation Claims

Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in Vance v. Ball State University, which employees are “supervisors” within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  I previously wrote about the case here. Whether the alleged discriminator/harasser is the plaintiff’s “supervisor” or “co-worker” is critical: Under Title VII, an employer’s liability for ……

Read More U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Who Is A Title VII “Supervisor”

A case recently decided by the Eastern District of New York, Smith v NYC Health and Hosp Corp., 10-cv-714 (EDNY June 18, 2013), illustrates the somewhat difficult task faced by employment discrimination plaintiffs and confirms that not all workplace adversity is actionable. In short, the law does not impose a “general civility code which prohibits all…

Read More Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Hostile Work Environment and Retaliation Claims

In Martino v. Consolidated Edison Co. of N.Y., Inc., 105 AD3d 575 (App. Div. 1st Dept Apr. 18, 2013), the First Department held that New York’s “conviction discrimination” law (NY Correction Law Article 23-A, §§ 750-755) does not protect an employee from discipline/termination due to convictions and arrests incurred while they are employed. The court explained: Defendant…

Read More First Department Holds That New York’s “Conviction Discrimination” Law Does Not Protect Employee Where Conviction Occurs During Employment

A plaintiff (Thomas) recently saw his more than $600,000 jury verdict in a civil rights case against the NYPD crumble to dust due to an undisclosed agreement with a fact witness (Marrow) who testified in his favor.  The court’s decision in the case, Thomas v. City of New York, is here.   There, the court granted defendants’ motion…

Read More Substantial False Arrest Jury Verdict Tossed Because of Undisclosed Agreement Between Plaintiff And Key Fact Witness

Yesterday the Appellate Division, First Department found, in Grinberg v. C & L Contracting Corp, that awards of $75,000 and $35,000 for past and future pain and suffering, respectively, were “inadequate” to compensate the plaintiff for injuries sustained in a fall.  It therefore remanded for a new trial on damages unless defendant stipulated to an increase…

Read More Damages Increased From $110,000 to $950,000 in Slip/Fall Case