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The claim brought by Paramount Pictures Corporation, the plaintiff in this suit, was barred by res judicata because it should have been asserted as a counterclaim in an action involving the same parties brought in federal court nearly ten years. Paramount was the defendant in a federal action brought in 2008 by investors following an unsuccessful investment venture. The district court entered judgment in favor of Paramount, and the judgment was affirmed on appeal. While the investors’ appeal was pending, Paramount commenced this action in Supreme Court, alleging breach of contract. The investors moved to dismiss on the basis of res judicata. Supreme Court denied the motion, but the Appellate Division reversed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) pursuant to federal principles of claim preclusion - the applicable rules of decision in this case - Paramount’s breach of contract claim was transactionally related to the investor’s claims in the federal case, amount to the same claim for purposes of res judicata; and (2) because Paramount’s claim was not asserted in the parties’ prior federal action, it was now barred. View "Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Allianz Risk Transfer AG" on Justia Law

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Defendants Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO), and National Grid Electric Services, LLC failed to demonstrate that the actions challenged by Plaintiffs in their amended complaints were governmental in the context of pre-answer, pre-discovery motions to dismiss, and therefore, the intermediate appellate court and Supreme Court properly denied Defendants’ motions to dismiss. In their complaints, Plaintiffs alleged that their property was destroyed by fire as a result of Defendants’ negligent failure to preemptively de-energize the Rockway Peninsula prior to or after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaints pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3211(a)(7), contending that their actions were governmental and discretionary as a matter of law, and even if their actions were not discretionary, that Plaintiffs’ failure to allege a special duty was a fatal defect. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower courts, holding that, given the procedural posture, Defendants failed to establish as a matter of law that they were acting in a governmental, rather than a proprietary, capacity when engaged in the conduct claimed to have caused Plaintiffs’ injuries. View "Connolly v. Long Island Power Authority" on Justia Law

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An indenture may seek recovery on behalf of noteholders for Defendants’ alleged fraudulent redemptions intended to siphon off assets, leaving corporate obligators unable to pay the noteholders. Appellate Division denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss insofar as asserted by the indenture trustee, concluding that the relevant language of the indenture conferred standing on the trustee to pursue the fraudulent conveyance claims and other claims seeking recovery for the amounts due under the notes and that the complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action against Defendants under a veil-piercing theory. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the language of the indenture gave the trustee authority to pursue the causes of action at issue in this appeal; and (2) the alleged facts in the complaint and inferences drawn from them established the basic elements of the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil. View "Cortlandt Street Recovery Corp. v. Bonderman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law

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Plaintiff was treated for shoulder problems beginning in 1998; defendant performed her surgery in 1999. Post-operative visits followed during the next year. After her one-year appointment, plaintiff did not see defendant for 19 months. Defendant performed another surgery in January 2002. Plaintiff returned for a post-operative visit in April. Plaintiff returned in September 2003, followed by a gap in treatment. Plaintiff returned in April 2006. Defendant referred plaintiff to his partner for a third surgery because defendant was no longer performing shoulder surgeries. She consulted defendant's partner but began seeing a new surgeon in July 2006. Plaintiff sued in September 2008, alleging that defendant negligently performed her original surgery and subsequently failed to diagnose the flawed surgery. The Supreme Court denied a motion to dismiss.The Court of Appeals affirmed. CPLR 214-a provides that a medical malpractice action must be commenced within 2½ years of the relevant act or the "last treatment where there is continuous treatment for the same illness, injury or condition which gave rise to the [challenged] act, omission, or failure." A claim's accrual date is at the end of treatment "when the course of treatment which includes the wrongful acts or omissions has run continuously and is related to the same original condition or complaint." Plaintiff raised issues of fact as to whether she and defendant intended a continuous course of treatment. View "Lohnas v Luzi" on Justia Law

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Aponte moved into his mother's one-bedroom New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)-owned apartment and cared for her until she died in 2012. Two requests for Aponte to be granted permanent permission to live with his mother were denied. After she died, Aponte requested to be allowed to lease her apartment as a "remaining family member." NYCHA denied his request, finding that Aponte lacked permanent permission to reside in the apartment; management properly denied such permission because Aponte's presence would have violated occupancy rules for overcrowding. A person lacking permanent permission to reside in an apartment is not eligible for RFM status. The Court of Appeals upheld the denial. Under its rules, NYCHA could not have granted Aponte permanent permission to reside in his mother's apartment, and thus could not have granted his request for RFM status. NYCHA's rules contemplate that a tenant may require a live-in home-care attendant, either for a transient illness or the last stages of life, and expressly allow for such an attendant as a temporary resident, even if that permission will result in "overcrowding," regardless of whether the attendant is related to the tenant. NYCHA's policy is not arbitrary and capricious for not allowing Aponte to bypass the 250,000-household waiting line as a reward for enduring an "overcrowded" living situation while caring for his mother. View "Aponte v Olatoye" on Justia Law

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The lengthy delay between Defendant’s arrest in this case and his eventual guilty plea violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial. Defendant was charged in an indictment with murder in the second degree and other crimes. The time between Defendant’s arrest and his eventual guilty plea spanned six years, three months, and twenty-five days. Defendant spent the entirety of that period incarcerated. On appeal, the Appellate Division held that Defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial was not violated. The Court of Appeals reversed the order of the Appellate Division and dismissed the indictment, holding that, after evaluating all the relevant factors set forth in People v. Taranovich, 37 N.Y.2d 442 (1975), under the circumstances of this case, Defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated. View "People v. Wiggins" on Justia Law

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The State Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders (Board) may consider a defendant’s Youthful Offender (YO) adjudication for the limited public safety purpose of accurately assessing the offender’s risk to reoffend. Defendant committed first-degree rape and, thereby, became subject to New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act’s (SORA) sex offender registration requirements. The Board gave defendant a score of 115 points, including twenty-five points for his “criminal history” factors, based solely on his YO adjudication for third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, committed when he was seventeen years old. Defendant objected, arguing that because a YO adjudication is not a conviction, it may not be considered as part of a defendant’s criminal history for the purposes of SORA. The SORA court overruled the objection and designated Defendant a Level III sexually violent sex offender. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Board’s interpretation of its authority under SORA does not conflict with the Criminal Procedure Law’s youthful offender provisions. View "People v. Francis" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether two first responders (together, Petitioners) established that they were entitled to accidental disability retirement benefits by demonstrating that they were incapacitated as the natural and proximate result of an accident sustained in service. The Comptroller in these two consolidated cases determined that Petitioners were not injured in an “accident” within the meaning of N.Y. Retire. & Soc. Sec. Law 363. The Court of Appeals held that substantial evidence supported the Comptroller’s determinations that neither petitioner was injured as the result of an “accident” because there were no precipitating accidental events that were not a risk of the work performed. View "Kelly v. DiNapoli" on Justia Law

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In this personal injury action, the Court of Appeals held that, for purposes of disclosure of materials from Plaintiff's Facebook account, the threshold inquiry was not whether the materials sought were private but whether they were reasonably calculated to contain relevant information. In this personal injury action, Supreme Court granted Defendant’s motion to compel the production of Plaintiff’s entire “private” Facebook account to the limited extent of directing Plaintiff to produce photographs of herself privately posted on Facebook prior to the accident that she intended to introduce at trial and photographs of herself privately posted on Facebook after the accident. The Appellate Division modified by limiting disclosure to photographs posted on Facebook that Plaintiff intended to introduce at trial, whether pre- or post-accident. The Court of Appeals reversed and reinstated Supreme Court’s order, holding (1) the Appellate Division erred in employing a heightened threshold for production of social media records that depended on what the account holder had chosen to share on the public portion of the account; and (2) for purposes of disclosure, the threshold inquiry is not whether the materials sought are private but whether they are reasonably calculated to contain relevant information. View "Forman v. Henkin" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Defense counsel’s consent to verdict sheet annotations beyond those automatically permitted by N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law 310.20 did not deprive Defendant of meaningful representation. After a trial, the jury retuned a guilty verdict against Defendant on twelve counts. On appeal, County Court held, sua sponte, that the annotations on the verdict sheets were “extraneous, and highly inflammatory information” that “marshaled and bolstered the People’s proof." County Court went on to conclude that defense counsel’s consent to the annotations constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that defense counsel’s consent to the annotations did not deprive Defendant of meaningful representation. View "People v. O'Kane" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law