January 2016

In Brown v. Addison Hall Owners Corp., No. 16744, 2016 WL 237527 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 21, 2016), the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the denial of summary judgment to defendants on plaintiff’s personal injury premises liability (slip/fall) claim. From the decision: In this action alleging a slip and fall on a wet floor inside…

Read More Decision: Slip/Fall Case Survives Summary Judgment; No Evidence that Defendants Mopped on Day of Accident

In Karam v. Cty. of Rensselaer, New York, 13-cv-1018, 2016 WL 51252 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 4, 2016), the court (among other things) granted defendants’ motion dismissing plaintiff’s claim that he was subjected to a hostile work environment claim based on his Arab ancestry. It explained: [O]nly two statements concerning Plaintiff’s ancestry were made within the applicable statute…

Read More Court Dismisses Hostile Work Environment Claim Based on Arab Ancestry

If a lawsuit is a house, then the complaint is its foundation. Buried in a footnote of Brannon v. City of New York, No. 09CV4335-LTS, 2016 WL 270399 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 21, 2016) is an important pleading point for employment discrimination cases – namely, that the failure to plead a particular theory of recovery (here, hostile work…

Read More Failure to Plead Hostile Work Environment Results in Dismissal of That Claim

In Henry v. Morgan’s Hotel Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-1789 (ER)(JLC), 2016 WL 303114 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 25, 2016) – a race and sexual orientation discrimination case – the court quashed subpoenas seeking documents from plaintiff’s prior employers. Specifically, the court quashed the subpoenas because they (1) failed to provide adequate notice, (2) would cause prejudice to plaintiff,…

Read More Court Quashes Subpoenas Seeking Documents Held By Discrimination Plaintiff’s Prior Employers

In Koke v. Baumgardner, No. 15-CV-9673 (LAK), 2016 WL 93094 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 5, 2016), the court considered the applicability of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Plaintiff sued in New York state court for alleged discrimination “because of her gender and her actual or…

Read More Federal Court Rejects Jurisdictional Challenge to Sexual Orientation Discrimination Case Brought Under Title VII

In Penn v. The New York Methodist Hospital, No. 11-CV-9137 (NSR), 2016 WL 270456 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 20, 2016), the court dismissed plaintiff’s Title VII religion-based discrimination claim under the so-called”ministerial exception,” which operates at the intersection of anti-discrimination and First Amendment law. The ministerial exception, which is based on the Religion Clauses of the First…

Read More Court Dismisses Methodist Chaplain’s Religious Discrimination Claim Against Hospital Under the “Ministerial Exception”

In Palmer v New York City Dept. of Health & Hygiene, 2016 NY Slip Op 30037(U) (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. Jan. 5, 2016), the court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s complaint alleging disability discrimination. The law: A prima facie case of discrimination requires a showing by plaintiff that: [1] she is a…

Read More Absenteeism, Not Disability, Was Reason for Termination, Court Holds

In a lawsuit captioned Nolan-Griffin v. NYSARC, SDNY 16-cv-370 (filed Jan. 17, 2016), plaintiff alleges, among other things, that her “coworkers regularly made ‘jokes’ wherein the punch line centered on [her] Griffin’s Italian ancestry and her ‘whiteness.’” She also asserts a claim under the “healthcare whistleblowing” statute, NY Labor Law section 741.

Read More Lawsuit Alleges Discrimination Based on Italian Ethnicity, Violation of Healthcare Whistleblower Law

In Domaszowec v. Residential Mgmt. Grp. LLC, No. 16697, 2016 WL 208299 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 19, 2016), the First Department held that the plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment on her Labor Law § 240(1) claim. Labor Law § 240(1), the so-called “Scaffold Law”, provides in pertinent part: All contractors and owners and their…

Read More Window Cleaner Died While “Cleaning” Within Meaning of NY’s “Scaffold Law”, Labor Law § 240(1), Court Holds