November 2013

In Devito v. Feliciano, decided November 26, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals held that the trial court erroneously failed to give a “missing witness” charge in a car accident case. The court held: [W]hen a missing witness charge is requested in a civil case, the uncalled witness’s testimony may properly be considered cumulative…

Read More Failure to Give “Missing Witness” Charge Results in New Trial Following Defense Verdict in Car Accident Case

A recent case, Cogle v. Bergstein (Supreme Court, New York County, decided Nov. 18, 2013) illustrates the pitfalls that exist when pleading defamation and discrimination claims in New York State courts. Plaintiff, a nurse, worked for the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC) at Bellevue Hospital.  She alleged that she was suspended based on defamatory…

Read More Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Defamation and Failure-to-Accommodate Disability Discrimination Claims

In Meadors v. Ulster County, the Northern District of New York held in favor of plaintiffs, county corrections officers, on various employment discrimination claims. Here we summarize the court’s holdings on plaintiffs’ sexual harassment, disparate treatment, retaliation, and pregnancy discrimination claims. Hostile Work Environment The court held that plaintiffs presented “barely” just enough evidence to survive…

Read More Court Rules in Favor of Corrections Employees on Sexual Harassment, Sex Discrimination, Retaliation, and Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

In Smith v. Town of Hempstead Dept. of Sanitation Sanitary District No. 2, decided November 16, 2013, the Eastern District of New York discussed the application of the Supreme Court’s recent Nassar decision in the context of a summary judgment motion.   Nassar modified the standard for proving retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of…

Read More Plaintiff Presented Sufficient Evidence of Retaliation to Survive Summary Judgment Under New “But For” Causation Standard

In Pelletier v. Lahm, decided November 20, 2013, the Appellate Division, Second Department upheld the trial court’s decision to instruct the jury as to the “emergency doctrine” and the resulting jury verdict for defendant Brittany Lahm in connection with a fatal car crash. Specifically, it affirmed the trial court’s denial of plaintiff’s motion, pursuant to CPLR…

Read More Emergency Doctrine Properly Applied to Exonerate Driver Brittany Lahm in “Bikini Top” Fatal Car Accident Case

In Stoler v. Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the Southern District of New York held that plaintiffs adequately pled claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL).  Defendants moved to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims under FRCP…

Read More Pointing to “Maternity Projection Chart”, Court Finds That Plaintiffs Sufficiently Alleged FMLA and Retaliation Claims Based on Unfair Treatment Due to Pregnancy and Maternity Leave Requests

In Diaz v. 5-01-5-17 48th Avenue, LLC, the Second Department recently reversed a denial of summary judgment for plaintiff, and found that plaintiff established his entitlement to summary judgment, on his claim under New York Labor Law § 240(1). Initially, the court held that “no triable issue of fact existed as to the defendants’ ownership or…

Read More Fall From Collapsing, Unsecured Ladder Results in Summary Judgment for Plaintiff Worker in Labor Law § 240(1) Case

Here is the complaint recently filed in New York state court by plaintiffs Jeanette Grullon, Jenny Mejia, and Sandra Pozo against Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc. Plaintiff allege that they were “sexually harassed by their African-American male supervisor at Catholic Charities, where they were employed. When they complained about the sexual harassment, they were intimidated and accused…

Read More Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services