Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty Law Blog

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New York City Housing Authority on Hook for Trash Hoist Death

The attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty work hard to represent those who have been hurt, or worse, in work accidents. But tragedies continue to happen. Toni Jackson, a 31 year old mother and New York City Housing Authority worker, was working on March 7 at the basement of a building at 3025 West 32nd Street, part of the Coney Island houses. She was found next to a trash compactor with massive head trauma that, police at the time said, was caused by a fall

On Monday, the state released the results of its investigation into her death, and found the kind of massive and "numerous unsafe and dangerous conditions" related to the mechanism. The building, as well as other NYCHA buildings, uses an improper hoist system to bring trash from the basement compactor up to street level. A previous report found an array of unsafe conditions with the hoist system, which was originally designed to bring ash cans from the incinerator to street level, such as a lack of safety mechanisms, an absence of worker training, poor repair, no inspection records for the hoist system, or any formal worker training for its use. The recommendation was the all of these hoist systems, since many of them at other NYCHA building suffered similar problems, should remain out of service.

The attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty continue to help people who have been harmed during workplace accidents or against NYCHA. You can contact the attorneys for a free consultation at (212) 425-0230 or at

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pit Bull Attacks, Kills 9-Year-Old

While the attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty are dog owners, and have friends and family that owns pit bulls, the attorneys here are concerned about the widespread misuse of this dangerous breed of dogs. While the New York courts have said, on multiple occasions, that pit bulls are not so dangerous as to put the owner on notice of the danger of that breed, we still seek justice for those attacked by pit bulls.

On Sunday, a 9-year-old and two others were playing in the back yard of 236 Holland Avenue in Elmont, Long Island. Their neighbor, Carlyle Arnold, had a two-year-old pit bull named Kane that he, on occasion, complimented as a "Beast!" This "Beast!" locked its jaws around the doomed girl and shook her like a rag doll, and when police officers arrived and tried to release the girl, the dog attacked them too. The officers shot and killed the dog. The child died a few hours later at Franklin Hospital.

If you or a loved one are attacked by a pit bull, talk to an experienced trial attorney like the attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty about your rights and potential claims. Here, there are reports that "if somebody came too close to the house, [the dog] would react . . . [and] start barking." These are clues that, on further investigation, may lead to a potential claim. For a free consultation, call (212) 425-0230 or


Monday, November 9, 2015

ClaimStat Computes the Real Personal Injury Numbers . . . and They're Huge

As being one of the largest employers and landowners of in the region, the City of New York is also responsible for keeping its employees working safely and its property in proper condition. Like any landowner or employer, the failure to do so can be negligence, and if that negligence causes someone to be injured, then the City of New York, like anyone else, can expect legal liability. In fact, the City has set aside $710 million to pay settlement and judgments from lawsuit, "ranging from falling tree limbs and unfilled potholes, to medical malpractice and civil rights violations."

Comptroller Scott Stringer has initiated a new program called "ClaimStat: a data-driven approach to claims management." What this does, in short, is tell us where the negligence is being caught and where trial lawyers are doing their best to help people who have been injured by the City of New York.

Nearly 2,600 cases of trip-and-falls on city sidewalks were filed against the City, and because of the law, most of those were in front of residential buildings - there are thousands of trip and falls due to defective sidewalks that would be against the building owner, not the City, and would not be reported under this number.

The vast majority of the more than 5,000 claims against the New York Police Department were in the Bronx, with the 44th and 46th precincts making the vast majority.

More than 500 medical malpractice claims were filed against the hospitals of New York City, with Bellevue Hospital and Coney Island Hospitals being the hospitals with the most medical malpractice claims, with an annual cost to the City of more than $100 million. 80 claims of medical malpractice were filed against Bellevue., although medical malpractice claims against Kings County Hospital, by far, had to pay the most, with more than $25 million in judgments against them.

Department of Sanitation trucks have "soared" from under 2000 in 2012 to nearly 3000 in 2015. Most of the property damage claims were on Staten Island, Eastern Queens, and Brooklyn and Manhattan. 

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, November 5, 2015

Vision Zero Isn't Zero: Trick-or-Treating Children Killed by Seizing Driver, Elderly Woman Killed by MTA Bus

On October 7, the Department of Transportation crowed about how no police cars, fire trucks, garbage trucks or snow plows were involved in a fatal crash. We talked about how this was somewhat misleading, as New York City was still dangerous for pedestrians. This week, we've received horrible news, and continue to hear about everday New Yorkers being killed by careless drivers.

A 10-year-old girl, her grandfather, and another man were killed when a driver crashed into a sidewalk in Morris Park in the Bronx. The children were out trick-or-treating on Halloween, and were taken to Jacobi Medical Center where they were pronounced dead. The driver, having a seizure, jumped the curb and slammed into six people before coming to a stop at 936 Morris Park Avenue. Seizing drivers are particularly dangerous as even though they must take medication to prevent seizing, some do not take their medications regularly. A taxicab driver who killed two people on East 170th Street will face manslaughter charges because the driver was aware of his seizures and did not disclose his condition to the Taxi & Limousine Commission.

And in Brooklyn, on the other side of the city, a few days later, a 70-year-old woman was "cut in half" by an MTA bus on Fulton Street near Sackman Street in Brownsville in Brooklyn. The bus was turning from Sackman Street onto Fulton Street, and did not even stop as it drove off, leaving the destroyed woman on the street. The bus driver was later arrested.

Yesterday, Leyla Enukasvilli, a 69-year-old woman crossing 71st Avenue at Kessel Street in Forest Hills, was struck and killed by the Q23 bus. Another woman and a child in a stroller were stuck by a car as they were cross 67th Street at 11th Avenue in Dyker Heights, and were taken to Lutheran Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. In Queens Village, two men were struck at the intersection of Hemsptead Avenue and 98th Street, and were rushed to Jamaica Hospital.

These kinds of accidents happen every day in New York, and they change - or end - lives. While we at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty support the mayor's effort to end pedestrian fatalities in New York City, we also know the realities of these streets, and the pain and suffering of those who have to live with injuries from being struck by automobiles.

If your loved one is hurt or killed by a motor vehicle, the attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty can assist you. Please contact us for a free consultation at (212) 425-0230 or at

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

1st Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 29, 2015 Edition

In this edition, the 1st Department takes a hard look at some rulings and verdicts at trial. 

Patricia Imperati v. David S. Lee, MD

This is a medical malpractice case, and an unusual reach by plaintiff's counsel. The plaintiff wanted to amend the complaint to allege a cause of action of wrongful death. Defense counsel, in opposition, submitted evidence that plaintiff was seriously ill before the alleged malpractice, and didn't die until nearly two years after the malpractice, with many procedures and care in between. The most important part, though, was that plaintiff's counsel failed to include an affidavit from a medical expert testifying that there was a causal connection between the death and the alleged malpractice despite the difference in time and treatment, and only included a conclusory assertion of the affirmation by plaintiff's counsel. The Court denied the amendment.

Helena Ashton v. EQR Riverside A, LLC

The plaintiff won a non-jury trial in Civil Court, which was reversed by the Supreme Court and the reversal was affirmed. The height differential between a recessed well, covered in carpeting, and the surrounding marble tile caused the plaintiff's fall. The plaintiff introduced evidence that the defendants created the condition by glying the carpet to the floor of the well, failing to install a drainage system under the well, and improperly maintained the carpet, causing the carpet to become matted. However, the plaintiff's expert did not examine the carpet that was present on the day of the accident and there was no evidence that the replacement carpet was identical, and the plaintiff's expert failed to cite any industry standard or authoritative treatise supporting his opinion concerning proper maintenance and design of the area. Therefore the Court found, as a matter of law, the plaintiff failed to meet their burden of proving that the defendant had constructive or actual notice of the defective condition.

Maria Sikora v. Earth Leasing Property Limited Liability Company

Constructive notice issues for freezing of the sidewalks has been an area of difficulty. When the sidewalk has been exposed to above-freezing temperatures for a long period of time, the Courts have usually found that the defendants did not have a responsibility to clear the sidewalks for snow and ice as it should have melted. However, here, because of the significant snow and ice buildup for the two weeks prior to the slip and fall and the comparatively short time frame in which it could have melted, the defendant did not show that the icy condition could not have been present at the time of plaintiff's fall. Furthermore, it did not present evidence as to the last time the sidewalk was inspected or written record of snow or ice removal; therefore, it could not meet the burden that even if it had snowed, it would have been cleared at the time of the plaintiff's fall.

William Davis v. Shana Turner

In this motor vehicle accident case, the defendant failed to rebut the plaintiff's showing that, as a matter of law, the defendant caused the accident by pulling out of a parked position and into a lane of moving traffic without making sure it was safe to do so in violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.

Santa Roman v. Sullivan Paramedicine, Inc.

After a jury verdict was entered finding that one of the defendants was 20% liable for the motor vehicle accident, the trial judge granted a motion to set aside the jury verdict as against the weight of the evidence and dismissed the complaint against that defendant. The Court reversed and reinstated the jury verdict. Since the defendant created a foreseeable danger that vehicles would have to brake aggressively in an effort to avoid the lane obstruction created by his vehicle, thereby increasing the risk of rear-end collisions, and there was evidence that this defendant struck a vehicle in front of it in the rear, there was reason to reinstate the jury verdict. In short, in a three-car collision, the middle car can be held liable after striking another car in the rear if its car creates a "lane obstruction" and increases the risk of rear-end collisions, thereby getting rid of the standard rule that cars that are struck in rear-end collisions have no comparative negligence.

TRIAL EVIDENCE: Lisette Cruz v. City of New York

Elements of non-party witness statements in trial evidence were discussed here: 1) the identity of a witness used to lay the foundation of a non-party statement does not need to be disclosed during discovery in order to be called to testify during the trial; 2) a document which has a signature that a non-party witness admits "looks like hers" but denies signing the document may be introduced into evidence as a non-party statement, 3) non-party witness statements may be properly admitted, even if not provided in discovery, if there is no indication in the record that production of the statement was sought and refused.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: John Kahegias v. Waldo Avenue Building

In this property damage action, a defective catch basin caused flooding on the plaintiff's property. However, the plaintiff first noticed the damage in 2006 and that is when the action accrued. But, since the flooding was a continuous wrong and gave rise to successive causes of action that accrued each time the wrong was committed, the plaintiff was only barred to recover from damage that was caused prior to the statute of limitations deadline.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Manhattan Building Collapses, Killing a Construction Worker

At about 10:30 in the morning last Friday, nineteen workers were demolishing a building at 25 West 38th Street in Manhattan. The workers were on the fourth floor of the building, taking the bricks down and stacking them on the floor. The owners, Fortuna Realty Group, had recently fired Metro Industrial Wrecking for the demolition project and hired Northeast Service Interiors, which held the Department of Building permit.

Nearby residents and office workers heard a loud crash, as if lots of scaffolding was collapsing on top of each other as the rear of the building collapsed. One of the workers was killed when a wooden joist crushed his head against a dumpster. Another was trapped for more than three hours inside the collapsed building before he was transported to Bellevue Hospital.

Last Tuesday, we wrote on this blog about the dangers of inconsistent safety standards and the dearth of DOB inspectors to keep workers safe. Organizations like the Law Reform Alliance of New York seek to end protections for construction workers on dangerous projects because they believe that New York doesn't need it. Organizations like the New York State Trial Lawyers Association fight to protect construction workers from dangerous projects and general contractors who seek to cut corners.

The attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty work to help those who have been hurt on the job, especially construction and demolition workers. Se habla espanol, and have more than two decades' of experience as trial lawyers. Contact us at (212) 425-0230 or at

Monday, November 2, 2015

Settlement, AKA, Justice, for Allison Liao

The horror of every parent when they hear the tragedy of Allison Liao is almost too much to bear. We at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty have been by the side of many parents who have lost their children when they sought justice for their children. And in the case of hurting, injuring, maiming, or killing innocent pedestrians in the crosswalks, the attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty continue to fight for the rights and claims of every day New Yorkers.

We will not dwell on the story of Allison Liao here, but for one point: the case has settled. As the Post reported, the terms of the lawsuit include not only a payout of 75% of the driver's net worth (the value not being made public), but a total bar from driving for five years, carrying a mandatory $100,000.00 penalty if he does so. This kind of creative settlement, unheard of in most cases, was particularly important here. Attention to details and hard work can resolve a claim in a way that some real kind of justice can be found. If you or your loved ones are injured by a car, you can consult with the attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty at (212) 425-0230 or at

Friday, October 30, 2015

2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 21, 2015 Edition

In this edition of the Roundup, we explore the voiding of a jury verdict for $0 for future pain and suffering for a slip-and-fall in a grocery store, and the defeat of defendants' summary judgment motion in a case involving an elementary school teacher abusing his pupils. We also explore some more slip-and-fall cases, some automobile threshold actions, and an interesting note regarding preclusion and the bill of particulars. More, after the jump . . .

Read more . . .

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Brain-Dead Elementary School Child Choked on School Lunch, Administrators May Be Responsible

As the Daily News and the Post reports, last Wednesday afternoon at P.S. 250 in Williamsburg, 7-year-old N.E. was sitting down to lunch. She was eating a sandwich and began to choke. Her mother said that, on previous occasions, her daughter had complained to her that teachers had rushed her during lunch to finish her meal. As N.E. choked, the school authorities called N.E.'s mother, who dispatched her brother, N.E.'s uncle, to the school. He found N.E. on the "lying on the floor of a school hallway, covered in blood, surrounded by confused school staffers who wouldn't touch the girl." An EMT who was flagged down (and later was suspended from his job being flagged down), found N.E. blue and cleared her airway. The EMT thinks she had been choking for at least five minutes before he responded, and that "people were screaming, but no one was doing anything." N.E. is now on life support, and reports are mixed as to whether she'll survive.

A child's injury is a tragedy. We here at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty, members of the community and family members, share in the grief and dismay when a child is hurt by others' negligence. At Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty, we represent children and parents who have been injured by others' negligence, even against the New York Department of Education. Call (212) 425-0230 for a free consultation, or contact us at

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

1st Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 20, 2015 Edition

In this threshold-case heavy selection from the First Department, we have one unusual case where Justices Tom and Andrias dissent on the question of what the defendant must show to make a prima facie case that they did not have constructive notice of a condition.  More, after the jump . . . 

Read more . . .

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