Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NYS Trooper Found Liable for Using Excessive Force

A famous attorney once said that the best trial attorneys are those who hate bullies. They stand up for the average person who gets a raw deal and has nowhere to go. A lawsuit isn’t about revenge, but about balance, justice, and protecting the vulnerable.

New York State Trooper Imani Kirkland, for example, pulled over Roseann Payne in 2011 on the Taconic Parkway. Ms. Payne, a 51-year-old grandmother with multiple scelorosis, had her license suspended for failing to pay a fine. So the trooper, Mr. Kirkland, called a tow truck and Ms. Payne called her daughter to come pick her up.

However, Mr. Kirkland didn’t wait for Ms. Payne’s daughter to arrive. He grabbed Ms. Payne out of her car and threw her to the ground. Her dog, scared of the commotion, ran out of the car and into traffic. Ms. Payne pleaded with the trooper to let her go get her dog, but the trooper reportedly said, “I don’t give a f- about your dog.”

A jury in Westchester County rejected the argument that Ms. Payne was resisting arrest and found the trooper liable for using excessive force in the arrest. While this is the result of only one trial, and past performance cannot guarantee future results, it can show that, with effort and persistence, justice can be obtained for those who are the victims of arrests by excessive force.

If you, or a loved one, is the victim of an arrest where you believe the arresting officer used excessive force, call the experienced trial lawyers at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty at (212) 425-0230 or at for a free consultation.

Friday, November 20, 2015

#visionzeroisntzero: NYPD Officer Struck by Hit-and-Run Driver on Manhattan Bridge

Last night, an NYPD officer making a traffic stop on the Manhattan Bridge was struck by a hit-and-run driver on the Brooklyn-bound side of the bridge. The officer, who's assigned to the 5th Precinct, had stopped a black BMW at around 10:40 P.M. As the officer approached the side of the car, the BMW sped away, striking the officer as it fled the scene. As of this morning, no arrests have been reported. The continued danger and toll of irresponsible and criminally negligent and even criminal motorists in New York City continues. If you, or a loved one has been injured or hurt by a hit-and-run driver, you can contact the experienced motor vehicle attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty for a free consultation at (212) 425-0230 or at

Friday, November 6, 2015

2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 28, 2015 Edition

In this good dozen decisions, we have a basic lesson on hearsay evidence, as well as multiple occasions where cases against municipalities are lost due to proper notice requirements, and some cases laying out the basic law regarding medical malpractice. Also, a foray of teen house parties into the realm of premises and landowner negligence, after the jump . . .

Read more . . .

Thursday, October 15, 2015

2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 7, 2015 Edition

This is a particular exciting edition of the Roundup, as there are three big cases dealing with complicated issues, including one involving a multi-million dollar verdict for the plaintiffs. There are several cases having to deal with threshold and serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents, as well as a number of cases dealing with bread-and-butter litigation issues. We'll explore more, after the jump . . . 

Read more . . .

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

1st Department Alert: City’s Summary Judgment Motion DENIED Against Murder-Suicide NYPD Officer’s Girlfriend

On September 22, 2015, the 1st Judicial Department, Appellate Division, DENIED a motion by the City of New York to grant summary judgment against the plaintiff in the case of Keyla Gonzalez v. City of New York. In this case, an NYPD officer murdered his girlfriend, the plaintiff’s mother, before killing himself. The plaintiff sued the City for negligent hiring, training, supervising, and retaining an NYPD officer that had complaint of violent propensity. While the police officers testified that they have denied ever receiving even a single complaint about the offending officer’s alleged violent propensities, the City was informed on numerous occasions about the abusive conduct toward the decedent and the plaintiff.

“The negligent retention or supervision of a police officer,” said the Court, “which results in the employee having possession of a dangerous instrumentality, is similar to if not indistinguishable from the tort of entrusting a dangerous instrumentality to another . . . . The duty not to entrust a gun to a dangerous or incompetent police officer thus extends to any person injured as a result of the negligent entrustment.”

“When an officer misuses his weapon, a jury might reasonably find that the misuse was proximately caused by the government’s negligence, if proven, in supervising or retaining a police officer with known violent propensities. Furthermore, it was reasonably foreseeable that such an officer would injure a member of his own family, including his girlfriend.”

And even though the officer was off duty, the Court still found that New York has “declined to draw a bright line rule that would preclude recovery in a negligent hiring or retention claim in situations where, as here, the City employee was not acting within the scope of his employment.”

If you, or anyone you know, are the victims of brutality or abuse by City employees, make sure to discuss your potential rights with a trial lawyer. Decisions like this make it possible for those who have been hurt by employees of the City to recover against the City for failing to protect New Yorkers.

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