SACS Appellate Group Prevails on Summary Judgment In Three Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death Cases In Two Weeks
We have been consistently emphasizing the tactical importance of summary judgment (SJ) to our excess carrier clients in New York litigation, as it is also an issue-sharpening and discovery tool. Many counsel refrain from even considering SJ unless they feel they have a strong chance of complete victory – judgment as a matter of law in their favor on a claim or defense. This is shortsighted. Under New York State’s antiquated court system of trial by near-ambush, a properly strategized and drafted SJ motion is a critical discovery weapon and a prophylactic tool for locking down your adversary into his or her claims or defenses well before trial. It nearly always equips you with your adversary’s expert affidavit and otherwise serves as the first real and full exposition of the case for both sides to examine and assess the strengths and weaknesses of their positions and assist in realistic valuation and risk assessment for purposes of potential settlement. That said, it’s even nicer to win outright! See Palacio v. City of New York, et al., Index No. 26142/2011 (Sup. Ct. Queens Co. [July 28, 2018]) (Balter, J.) (wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury action; dismissing complaint against client LiRo Engineering); Wilk v. Columbia University, et al., Index No. 105784/2010 (Sup. Ct. New York Co. [July 18, 2018]) (Silver, J.) (wrongful death action; dismissing third-party complaint against client Breeze on waiver of subrogation and antisubrogation grounds); Santibanez v. NSLA, et al., Index No. 5634/14 (Sup. Ct. Nassau Co. [July 17, 2018]) (Mahon, J.) (catastrophic paraplegia injury action; dismissing complaint on proximate cause grounds). The successful motions were drafted by Tim Capowski, John Watkins and Christopher Theobalt (Palacio), Tim and Gerard Rath (Wilk), and Tim, Gerard and Steven Widom (Santibanez).