Jeffrey Miller was selected as a featured guest on the Breakdown

Jeffrey Miller was selected as a featured guest on the Breakdown

The Breakdown is an informative and equally entertaining podcast discussion that addresses the insurance issues faced by NY contractors and developers today. Experts across multiple fields sharing their “insurance playbook” in a round table podcast format.   Visit the Breakdown Podcasthttps://www.nyconstructioninsurance.com/ In this week’s episode Executive Partner of the PMT law Firm, Jeffrey Miller was selected as a featured guest because of his passion for the industry and his exceptional consultative skills delivering win/win solutions. Listen to Jeffrey Miller on the Breakdown...
Pillinger Miller Tarallo, LLP Is Pleased to Report Some of Our Most Recent Trial Results

Pillinger Miller Tarallo, LLP Is Pleased to Report Some of Our Most Recent Trial Results

Trial Attorney: Lawrence J. Buchman (Nassau County) Larry Buchman of Pillinger Miller Tarallo represented a defendant driver in a civil case for personal injuries who had pled guilty to DWI and vehicular assault in the accident. The pedestrian plaintiff was demanding a mid six-figure amount over our client’s insurance which was lowered to $150,000 at jury selection. The essential evidence was that our driver was driving under the speed limit in the middle lane of a Nassau County highway when the pedestrian staggered into the car’s path over 100 feet from the closest crosswalk. The jury came back with an 80% verdict against the plaintiff pedestrian who had a blood alcohol level two times higher than our defendant driver and the pedestrian crossed a six lane highway while “jay-staggering or jay-stumbling.” Prior to receiving the verdict, the plaintiff accepted a nominal four-figure amount of money over the policy for settlement. Trial Attorney: Christopher G. Todd (Kings County) In this case, Plaintiff was struck in a crosswalk by a driver who ran a red light and fled the scene. The impact threw Plaintiff into the side of our client’s car, which was legally turning left in front of Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued our clients only, and did not attempt to identify the fleeing driver, nor pursue an MVAIC claim. Our pre-trial investigation was crucial in identifying and garnering the cooperation of a non-party witness who provided critical testimony at trial. At trial, there was a unanimous defense verdict. Trial Attorney: Robert J. Gironda (Richmond County) In this case, the insured driver stopped at a stop sign and then proceeded through the...
PMT Annual Golf Tournament Raises over $13K for CrossRoads Programs At-Risk Kids

PMT Annual Golf Tournament Raises over $13K for CrossRoads Programs At-Risk Kids

Over the Summer the PMT Law Firm held it’s Annual Pillinger Miller Tarallo Golf Outing. It was a great day with Raffles, 50/50, gift baskets, prizes, silent and live auctions. Most importantly, with the help of our friends, employees and clients we were able to raise $13,492.20 for Crossroads Programs. Crossroads Programs empower youth who are homeless, abandoned, abused, or at-risk to lead healthy, productive lives. Crossroads Programs was founded in 1978 through a collaboration of interfaith community leaders committed to providing shelter to runaway and homeless youth. These leaders formed a volunteer board of directors and incorporated Crossroads as a private, non-profit organization. Since that time, the agency has developed considerable expertise in serving youth who must transition to independent young adulthood without the support and guidance typically provided by family. The Crossroads continuum of care for homeless youth – shelter care, outreach services, group homes, residential treatment, community-based treatment homes, life skills training and family therapy – has resulted in improved outcomes and enhanced futures for the thousands of kids and families we have served. Please visit crossroadsprograms.org to learn more. Click the image to see the letter of appreciation from the CEO of the CrossRoads Programs, Michael...
If the Contract/Insurance Policy Doesn’t Say It Specifically, You Might Not Have It

If the Contract/Insurance Policy Doesn’t Say It Specifically, You Might Not Have It

This is a first for PMT. We have never before reported on two cases together. However, this is a special circumstance as these cases read together are “game changers” when it comes to loss transfer. Two recent Court of Appeals decisions underscore the primacy of contractual language (or a lack thereof) over appeals to the “reasonable expectations” of a contracting party. The decisions signaled the Court’s faithfulness to principles of contractual interpretation, including the proposition that contracts should not be judicially re-written when their terms are plain and unambiguous. Of course, where the majorities used interpretation to find clarity, the dissents detected ambiguity and/or issues of fact. The dissents also charged the majorities with narrow readings that undermined the intent and expectations of the parties. The decisions share another important similarity: they are the culmination of litigations involving a complex construction project, contracts, and insurance arrangements, fields that are not shy to conflict but also yearn for the opposite.  In view of the foregoing, it is an opportune moment to think comparatively about the Court’s decisions and to assess their impact. With Whom Have You Bargained? In Gilbane v. St. Paul Fire[1], the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (“DASNY”) contracted with Samson Construction Company (“Samson”) for the construction of a medical laboratory next to Bellevue Hospital. Gilbane Building Company and TDX Construction (“Gilbane JV”), a joint venture, contracted with DASNY to be the project’s construction manager.  Crucially, Gilbane JV had no contract with Samson. The DASNY-Samson contract contained a provision requiring Samson to procure general liability insurance, naming DASNY and other entities, including Gilbane JV, as...
Slip and Fall Scheme Rakes in Over $30m and The Five Men Behind it Have Been Charged with Defrauding NYC Area Businesses and Their Insurance Companies

Slip and Fall Scheme Rakes in Over $30m and The Five Men Behind it Have Been Charged with Defrauding NYC Area Businesses and Their Insurance Companies

A fraudulent slip and fall scheme has led to the indictment of five New York residents being charged with defrauding New York City area businesses and their insurance companies of more than $30 Million Dollars. Peter Kalkanis, a former chiropractor, Bryan Duncan, Kerry Gordon, Robert Locust and Ryan Rainford make up the “defendants” who were charged with separate charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud in connection with a “criminal slip and fall” scheme in order to obtain fraudulent insurance reimbursement and other compensation.  The above charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Peter Kalkanis, the alleged organizer and leader of the scheme, was also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft which carries a 2 year mandatory prison sentence. The indictment, which was unsealed on Thursday April 19, 2018, details how the five men set up and operated the slip and fall scheme. According to the indictment, the men started to recruit “participants/patients” in or about January 2013 to the present time. Kalkanis and his co-defendants would identify locations in the City and direct the “participants” to stage slip and fall accidents. In some instances, participants did not stage a slip and fall, but merely were provided with an address which they were instructed to claim was the location where they “slipped and fell”. The defendants then directed the participants to allege they were injured and to seek medical treatment. The defendants even went as far as to direct the participants to assert specific injuries to their bodies, “including the knees, shoulders, and/or back.” Participants were then...

Court of Appeals: Showing of absence of comparative negligence not required in moving for summary judgment.

On April 3, 2018, New York’s highest state court, in Rodriguez  v. City of New York, 2018 NY Slip Op. 02287, held, in a 4 to 3 decision, plaintiff need not “demonstrate the absence of comparative negligence to be entitled to partial summary judgment as to a defendant’s liability.” Plaintiff was injured outfitting sanitation trucks with tire chains and plows at a city-owned garage in preparation for snow and ice removal.  As a sanitation truck was backing into a garage bay, a guide’s positioning on the driver’s side of the truck violated DOS safety practices.  As the truck backed into the garage bay, plaintiff stood in front of a parked car and a “rack of tires” outside of the bay.  The truck skidded, crashing into the parked car, causing the car to “pin” plaintiff against the rack of tires. Holding plaintiff is not required to make a showing of absence of comparative negligence when moving for summary judgment on liability, the majority referred to CPLR 1411. In any action to recover damages for personal injury, injury to property or wrongful death, the culpable conduct attributable to the claimant or the decedent,  including contributory negligence or assumption of risk shall not bar recovery.  But the amount of damages otherwise recoverable shall be diminished in the proportion which the culpable conduct attributable to the claimant or decedent bears to the culpable conduct which caused the damages. The majority cited the example of a statutory violation preventing plaintiff from prevailing on summary judgment, where plaintiff failed to establish his/her absence of comparative negligence.  This would allow a jury to then decide whether defendant...