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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

This week the Southern District of New York held, in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., 2013 WL 2495140 (SDNY June 11, 2013), that two unpaid interns who worked on the movie Black Swan in New York were “employees” under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL). Citing and applying…

Read More Court Holds That Black Swan Unpaid Interns Were “Employees” Under Federal And New York Wage Laws

Below is the complaint, captioned Burhans and Rivera v. Lopez and Silver, 13 CIV 3870, filed in the Southern District of New York by Victoria Burhans and Chloe Rivera against (former) Assemblyman Vito Lopez and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.   Plaintiffs allege violations of the Fourteenth Amendment (through 42 U.S.C. § 1983), the New York State Human…

Read More Federal Sexual Harassment Complaint Against Vito Lopez and Sheldon Silver

Last week in Williams v. Board of Education-City of Buffalo, the Second Circuit affirmed the summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s First Amendment retaliation claims.  The district court’s decision is here, and the Second Circuit’s decision is here. Plaintiff, a clerk at the Riverside Institute of Technology, claimed that the principal instructed her to “alter payroll documentation…

Read More School Clerk’s Complaints About Payroll Fraud Not Protected Under the First Amendment

Let’s face it:  jury service can be a major inconvenience. But, like paying taxes, it’s not voluntary.  The recent words of a federal judge, however, may be just inspirational enough to make performing one’s civic duty more bearable. In Clark v. Castro, the Southern District of New York explained why it refused to vacate a…

Read More Citing Importance of Jury Service, Court Denies Motion to Vacate Judgment Following Jury Verdict

That pesky First Amendment.  Always causing trouble. As has been widely reported (for example, here and here), an Ohio jury recently awarded former Catholic school computer technology teacher Christa Dias more than $170,000 in her federal anti-discrimination lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Plaintiff claimed that she was fired because she was pregnant (due to…

Read More Recent Pregnancy Discrimination Verdict May Lead To Revisiting The “Ministerial Exception” To A Federal Anti-Discrimination Claim