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June 2017

Gordon & Rees Westchester Team Wins Three Summary Judgments in Three Months

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani Westchester partner Don Derrico and senior counsel Lorraine Girolamo obtained three favorable summary judgment decisions between March and June of this year.   

Figueroa v. Town Sports International, et al.  – The plaintiff brought suit against the client, a building tenant, the landlord, the City of New York and a utility company after tripping and falling on a sidewalk outside the firm's client’s business. She fractured her wrist, requiring open reduction, internal fixation surgery. Throughout discovery it was demonstrated that the sidewalk defect was actually a cracked gas cap, which was the responsibility of the co-defendant utility company. The Westchester team successfully moved for summary judgment getting the case dismissed against the firm’s client. The settlement demand was $750,000. 

Heche v. Town Sports International, LLC – The plaintiff was working out at the client’s health club, doing an ab workout on a weight bench, using a 30-pound kettlebell, when she suddenly fell off the bench and dropped the kettlebell on her hand, nearly severing her pinky finger.  She required open reduction, internal fixation to repair her finger and missed a significant amount of work in her private practice as an audiologist.  Since the plaintiff was not able to specifically identify a defect or dangerous condition as it pertained to the gym equipment she was using, the Court dismissed the action against our client.  The team also defeated a cross-motion against our client for seeking spoliation sanctions for an alleged failure to preserve video surveillance footage. The plaintiff’s demand was $500,000.  

Iemma v. The Newburgh Nuclears – The seventeen-year-old plaintiff was a catcher for an American Legion baseball team and was injured during a baseball game against the firm’s client, the home team. The teams were playing on a City owned and operated field (and our client had a license to use the field for its home games), when during the middle of the game the plaintiff ran to catch a fly ball and fell after stepping onto a plastic water-box cover that was placed there to cover a sprinkler. He fell to the ground, fracturing his forearm in several places and requiring open reduction, internal fixation surgery.  Even though it was firm's client’s responsibility to water the field, we were able to establish that despite allegations that the cover was not properly put back into place, the fall actually occurred because the plaintiff’s own step cracked the cover and his cleat became lodged in the plastic, ultimately causing him to fall. The Westchester team argued that under those circumstances, since the client did not own the field and was not responsible for the design or structure of the field, there could be no negligence established against it.  The Court agreed and granted Gordon & Rees summary judgment motion. 

Donald G. Derrico
Lorraine Girolamo