Duty

You may have read a recent news story about a group of teens who recorded and mocked a disabled man, Jamel Dunn, as he was drowning. If this happened in New York, could the observers be liable in a civil action to recover damages for personal injury/wrongful death?[1]Whether criminal liability may be found is beyond…

Read More Duty to Help Those in Danger

In Rodriguez v Judge and Community Church of Astoria, 2015 NY Slip Op 07828 [132 AD3d 966] (App. Div. 2nd Dept. Oct. 28, 2015), the court explained and applied the well-known tort doctrine of “respondeat superior”, under which an employer is liable for the torts of its employees. Here are the (briefly-summarized) facts of this personal…

Read More Church Not Liable to Plaintiff for Assault/Battery by Employee’s Husband

Consider this law-school-exam-like scenario: Person goes to hospital, where she is prescribed medication that makes her drowsy (but not told that it will do so). She then, under the influence of the medication, drives and hits plaintiff with her car. Can plaintiff sue the hospital for negligence? These are the (simplified/summarized) facts of the Court…

Read More Court of Appeals: Hospital Owed Duty to Third Party

Teaching is hard work. In addition to the typical stresses of any job – rude co-workers, overbearing bosses, long hours – teachers are forced to deal with unique challenges, such as physical violence in the classroom. This has been in the news lately; the search results from a Google query for “student attack teacher” are disheartening, to…

Read More Absence of “Special Duty” Results in Dismissal of Injured Teacher’s Lawsuit

In Huertas v. UPS, plaintiff (a TJ Maxx employee) sued United Parcel Service (UPS) for injuries sustained when she tripped and fell over stacked boxes left by UPS. The court awarded summary judgment to defendant and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint. Plaintiff testified: I said to the UPS guy, please put the boxes on the counter. We don’t…

Read More Claims Arising From Trip on UPS Packages Not Prempted; UPS Not Liable Due to Absence of Duty

In DeVito v. Peri, a Brooklyn trial court recently awarded summary judgment to the defendant and dismissed plaintiff’s claims for medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, and wrongful death. The claims arose from the murder by the doctor’s patient (Mr. DeVito) of his wife (who was plaintiff’s mother). Specifically, plaintiff alleged that defendant doctor Peri…

Read More Zoloft-Prescribing Doctor Did Not Owe Duty to Patient’s Murder Victim