Firm News: bentleyhoke

Construction Defect Arbitration Victory

Partner Todd Shaw won an extremely acrimonious construction defect arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, defeating a homeowner’s claim for more than $300,000 in alleged damages.  The matter was pending for three years, involved tens of thousands of documents, and resulted in a six day arbitration before the AAA wherein the Firm’s contractor client was vindicated.

The decision, Ellen Zedeck Trust v. SJB, can be accessed in Decisions of Note under Contracts/Business Law or viewed here.
arbitration, construction defect

Two Dismissals Back to Back

The Firm has secured two separate victories for its clients within the space of three days.

In State Farm v. Sahor, associate Anne Armstrong analyzed complex insurance coverage issues and drafted opposition papers in successfully keeping the Firm’s client from being added to a personal injury arbitration. The decision can be found in Decisions of Note under Insurance Coverage.

In Alpha v. Creative, associate Roy Anderson protected the Firm’s California based website technology client from being sued in New York by arguing that an out of state company that works remotely on a New York website cannot be sued in New York. The decision can be found in Decisions of Note under Contracts/Business Law.
Anne Armstrong, contract law, Insurance Coverage, Roy Anderson

Lawsuit against Condominium Dismissed on Motion

The Firm has just secured a complete dismissal of an acrimonious lawsuit brought against its condominium association client by a condominium unit owner. The plaintiff had defaulted in his payment of common charges and been foreclosed upon; nonetheless, he brought a lawsuit against the condominium and its superintendent alleging among other things conversion, breach of contract, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, slander and assault, seeking $300,000.00 in damages. Following extensive discovery, associate Andrew Bourhill drafted a summary judgment motion and secured a complete dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims. The decision is Courtney v. Chadwin House and can be accessed in Decisions of Note.
Andrew Bourhill, condominiums, premises liability

Eleven-year Co-op Litigation Ends Favorably

The Firm has just secured a very favorable result for its co-op client after 11 years of aggressive litigation and a trial in New York Supreme Court that lasted several months. The case is Burbridge v. Soho Plaza Corp., Index No.  651495/2010.

Plaintiffs-shareholder/tenants sued for injunctive relief, to force their Manhattan co-op to relocate a cooling tower from the co-op roof.  Plaintiffs also sought money damages for a decade of leaks allegedly caused by the cooling tower, as well as attorneys fees and punitive damages.  Plaintiffs’ pretrial settlement demand was over $5 million dollars.

Justice Melissa Crane dismissed all but one claim.  Plaintiffs received no damage award for the leaks, no damage award for the warranty of habitability, no injunctive relief forcing the co-op to relocate the cooling tower, no attorneys fees, and no punitive damages. The sole claim the court gave the plaintiffs has no dollar amount attached, and will be the subject of another litigation.

Art Xanthos and Jeff Miragliotta handled the trial, while Joe Rapice handled the trial motions and the briefs.
Arthur Xanthos, Jeff Miragliotta, Joseph Rapice, premises liability

Dismissal of Ironworker’s Labor Law Case Upheld

Associate Attorney Roy Anderson succeeded in dismissing a New York Labor Law personal injury case brought by an ironworker, and then succeeded in having the decision upheld by the Appellate Division, Second Department.  The incredible result of a Labor Law dismissal by motion, and its affirmance on appeal, was made even more incredible due to the fact the plaintiff ironworker was injured by falling into an open ditch on a construction site.

In ruling for the Firm’s clients – a general contractor and owner - the Second Department held that good, clear deposition testimony submitted on the motion proved the inapplicability of Sections 200, 240(1), and 246 of the Labor Law, thereby warranting dismissal.

The case is Reyes v. Astoria 31st Street Developers, Index No. 7856/2015.
premises liability, Roy Anderson

Early Motion to Dismiss Granted

Associate Robert Fanning succeeded in securing a dismissal for the Firm’s client, Tudor Insurance Company, in a lawsuit brought by a building owner against a contractor and the contractor’s insurer (Tudor).  Robert drafted and argued the motion in Supreme Court, New York County, before Justice Shlomo Hagler, who summarily dismissed the claim from the bench.

Proper analysis of the insurance law was the key to this successful result, but the strategic decision to make this motion early was the key to the client avoiding significant legal fees exposure.

The case is  Skibar v. 338 West 15th Street, LLC, Index No. 157241/2018.
dismissal, insurance, Robert Fanning

2020 Toy Drive for Jersey Cares Frosty’s Friends

toys December 22, 2020 Alexander Fisher, a partner in our New Jersey office, spearheaded a toy drive this year for Jersey Cares Frosty's Friends program, which provides holiday gifts for needy children in New Jersey. Thanks to the generous contributions and involvement of so many of our attorneys and staff, our team provided gifts for over 50 children this year. As always, we are grateful to be able to give back to our community during this holiday season. Wishing Happy Holidays to all!
Alex Fisher, Alexander D. Fisher, charity, winter wishes