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NY Court of Appeals

In Kimmel v. State, No. 36, 2017 WL 1838940 (N.Y. May 9, 2017), the New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) held that the state Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), codified at CPLR Article 86, “permits the award of attorneys’ fees and costs to a prevailing plaintiff in an action against the State […]

In Griffin v. Sirva, Inc., No. 35, 2017 WL 1712423 (N.Y. May 4, 2017), the New York Court of Appeals addressed three certified questions – posed to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit[1]Griffin v. Sirva Inc., 835 F3d 283 (2d Cir. 2016) – regarding liability under the New York State […]

In Doerr v. Goldsmith, decided by the New York Court of Appeals on June 9, 2015, the New York Court of Appeals (for non-New York readers, New York’s highest court) reversed the decision of the First Department in Doerr v. Goldsmith, 110 AD3d 453, which permitted a claim arising from a dog-related injury to continue. […]

In Margerum v. City of Buffalo (NY Ct. App. 2/17/15), the New York Court of Appeals held that a notice of claim need not be filed for a Human Rights Law claim against a municipality. In this case, plaintiffs – 12 white firefighters – alleged that the defendant “engaged in reverse, disparate treatment racial discrimination” relating […]

In a “typical” car accident case – i.e., one involving a collision of two cars driven by private operators – the issue is whether one of the drivers (the defendant) was “negligent”. However, as illustrated by the Court of Appeals case of Frezzell v. City of New York (decided 11/20/14) in a case where the defendant […]

In Powers v. 31 E 31 LLL, 2014 NY Slip Op 07084, 24 NY3d 84 (Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2014), a premises liability personal injury case, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiff, who sustained debilitating injuries after falling down an air shaft between two apartment buildings. The motion court […]

Last week the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision in Pelletier v. Lahm. In that tragic case, defendant driver Brittany Lahm lost control of her car when she took her hands off the wheel after a passenger untied her bikini top. The jury found in defendant’s favor, after the court instructed it on the […]

Bullying is bad, but free speech is important. That’s the (extremely simplified) gist of People v. Marquan M., a Court of Appeals Decision dated July 1, 2014. The court, in an opinion authored by Judge Graffeo, held that an Albany Law aimed at prohibiting “cyberbullying” was unconstitutional. The facts, according to the court: [Defendant], a student […]

In Reis v. Volvo Cars of N. Am., decided July 1, 2014, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court erroneously charged the jury in a design defect case, requiring reversal and a new trial. Here are the facts of this product liability case: On May 24, 2002, plaintiff’s friend, Americo Silva, was showing plaintiff […]

In Wittorf v. City of New York, a bicycle injury case, the Court of Appeals reinstated an approximately $2 million jury verdict against the City. The court’s decision turned on the subtle, yet critical, distinction between “proprietary” and “governmental” functions. Judge Graffeo authored the opinion. Here are the facts of this bicycle injury case: On the […]