06.04.2021

Appellate Group Obtains Important Affirmance in Personal Injury Litigation Arising Out of a 2017 Terrorist Attack in Manhattan 

Last week, the SACS Litigation/Appellate Strategy & Advocacy Group obtained an important affirmance in the Appellate Division, First Department for our client, Hudson River Park Trust, in the personal injury litigation arising out of the October 31, 2017 terrorist attack in lower Manhattan perpetrated by now-criminal defendant Sayfullo Saipov.  Saipov rented a pickup truck from Home Depot and then drove into the West Street/Route 9A Bike Path, running over a group of pedestrians before colliding with a school bus.

The subject of the appeal was the trial court’s order consolidating all eighteen personal injury actions arising out of this unfortunate attack.  Defendant Leesel Transportation Corporation, the owner of the school bus, appealed arguing that it would be prejudiced by consolidation because it is only a defendant in one action arising out of injuries sustained on the school bus, which involves distinct factual and legal issues from the actions against its co-defendants largely arising out of injuries sustained on the bike path.

Our respondent’s brief highlighted, among other important issues, the trial court’s broad discretion in granting consolidation, the various overlapping factual and legal issues amongst all actions, the benefit of consolidation in streamlining discovery and avoiding duplicative proceedings, and the various procedural mechanisms to avoid any perceived prejudice to Leesel.  The First Department issued an affirmance, notably embracing much of the same language and reasoning from SACS’s respondent’s brief.

The appeal was briefed by Timothy Capowski, Jonathan Shaub, and Jennifer Graw, and argued by Jonathan.

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