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October 2018

New York Partner Ryan Dempsey Wins Summary Judgment Dismissal in Federal Court on Behalf of Wholesale Grocery Distributor

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani New York Partner Ryan Dempsey successfully secured an order granting summary judgment and complete dismissal of plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on behalf of the firm's client, a prominent national wholesale grocery distributor.

The plaintiff alleged he was involved in an accident while in the course of his employment at a major supermarket. More specifically, the plaintiff claimed to have slipped and fallen on ice inside a grocery delivery trailer while he was in the process of offloading merchandise using hydraulic equipment. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff allegedly sustained significant meniscal tears in both knees, which required separate arthroscopic surgical repairs in April 2013 and August 2014. The plaintiff was unable to return to work in any capacity after this accident and claimed to be permanently disabled. The plaintiff's last settlement demand was in the high six figure range.

After the close of discovery, Dempsey moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability, arguing that the plaintiff was unable to offer any testimony or evidence demonstrating that the firm's client caused and/or created the alleged dangerous condition - an icy/dirty floor inside the subject trailer - which caused the plaintiff's accident. Dempsey also successfully argued that the firm's client lacked either actual or constructive notice of the condition prior to the alleged accident. Dempsey's motion also addressed the issue of damages, contending that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of a "serious injury" pursuant to New York's insurance law section 5102(D). Ultimately, District Judge Denis R. Hurley agreed with Gordon & Rees's contentions on the issue of liability, while also finding that the plaintiff failed to rebut the defendant's prima facie entitlement to summary judgment as a matter of law. As such, the plaintiff's case was dismissed.

Ryan E. Dempsey