Drivers Distracted by Web Surfing

Smart phones enable additional distractions while driving that can cause serious accidents. Talking on a cell phone in New York requires a hands-free system, and texting while driving is also banned. Yet there are other forms of distractions: visual, auditory, manual and cognitive. Whether it’s looking at something besides the road; listening to conversation, the […]

In the Wake of Sandy

Insurance claims for property losses caused by post-tropical cyclone Sandy might have been easier if Hurricane Irene hadn’t hit the East Coast just a year before. Hurricane Irene left $10 billion in damages in her wake.  Many homeowners’ insurance policies saw drastic changes after Irene, whether or not the homeowner filed any claim. In addition […]

Declaratory Judgment — Powerful Litigation Tool for Plaintiffs

New York Civil Practice Law & Rules, Article 30 Sec. 3001 provides litigants with an extraordinary tool to save time and money. A declaratory judgment offers policyholders and insurance companies a quick way to resolve their respective rights and obligations under an insurance policy even before liability under the policy is decided. Originating in the […]

Social Host Liability and the Dram Shop Act

New York State imposes liability for injuries to third parties arising from serving alcohol to an already intoxicated person or to a person under the age of 21 through its Dram Shop Act. However, liability is limited to commercial transactions, requiring a sale of alcohol by a bar, salon, restaurant, or liquor store. New York […]

Getting Organized to File an ERISA Claim

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) protects the interests of participants and their beneficiaries who depend on benefits from private employee benefit plans rather than privately procured insurance. An employee welfare benefit plan is a plan, fund or program that provides medical, surgical, hospital, sickness, accident, disability, death, severance, unemployment, vacation, apprenticeship, day […]

Beyond Workers Compensation — New York Labor Law Sec. 240

New York Labor Law Sec. 240 — also known as the Scaffold Law — holds the general contractor and building owner strictly liable for injuries on the job at a construction site. This law covers injuries caused by “scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices” and has been […]

New York Court of Appeals Rules That Wrongful Death Claimants May Collect Pre-Judgment Interest

In Toledo v. Iglesia Ni Christo, the Court of Appeals of New York, the State’s highest Court, ruled on January 12, 2012, that the survivors of a man killed in a construction accident could collect interest on a jury’s wrongful death award from the date he was killed to the time the jury reached its […]