Tort Defense

Years of experience and sharply developed talent yield winning dispositions

Herzfeld & Rubin has long been renowned for the excellence of its litigation capabilities in the many areas of tort defense.  In addition to the defense of product liability claims, which is a separate but related practice group, Herzfeld & Rubin’s attorneys have been involved in defense of premises liability (including slip and fall, ice and snow, lead ingestion, breach of security, fire and burn, elevator and other premises-related claims), Labor Law and related construction accident claims, medical malpractice, attorney malpractice, admiralty and maritime tort, automobile/truck accident defense, and many others.  We have represented insured and self-insured entities and individuals, as well as governmental agencies.

Our pre-trial work is significant, beginning with analysis of a potential motion to dismiss, proceeding through tailored discovery demands, relentless insistence on full disclosure by plaintiffs, and expertly handled depositions, often culminating in factually and legally well-supported summary judgment motions.

When a trial is necessary, Herzfeld & Rubin can call upon a cadre of trial attorneys with, cumulatively, hundreds of trials-to-verdict, including well-seasoned veterans and up-and-coming stars, among them Jeffrey L. Chase,  Cary S. Sklaren,  Peter J. Kurshan, Michael Sena, Joseph Michalowski, Homer Ramsey and Bill Pawlow.  They have scored many defense verdicts and, where that result was unobtainable, managed often to keep damages and/or responsibility allocated to the client low, often resulting in post-trial settlement.

Herzfeld & Rubin’s vaunted Appellate Practice Group regularly has direct involvement in significant motion and trial practice in this important area.  As a result, even where a good result could not be obtained in the lower Court, victory is often secured on appeal.  Some of these results have been so dramatic as to result in regular appellate referral work in tort defense cases.  Among others are:  Weininger v. Hagedorn & Co., 91 N.Y.2d 958 (1998) (Issues of proximate cause precluded directed judgment for plaintiff in Labor Law §240 action; $1.365 million judgment vacated; new trial ordered); Gurung v. Arnav Retirement Trust, 79 AD3d 969 (2nd Dep’t 2010) (Upon reversal, plaintiff denied summary judgment under Labor Law §§240, 241, defendant granted summary judgment under Labor Law §200); Ferguson v. New York City Housing Auth., 77 AD3d 706 (2nd Dep’t 2010) (No liability of landlord where plaintiff leaned against hot riser pipe); Breen-Burns v. Scarsdale Woods Homeowners’ Assoc., Inc., 73 A.D.3d 661 (1st Dep’t 2010) (Upon reversal, jury verdict reinstated despite post-verdict affidavits from all jurors that damages awarded were intended to be per year); Clark v. New York City Housing Auth., 277 A.D.2d 338 (2nd Dep't 2000), lv den 96 N.Y.2d 713 (2001) ($4.8 million judgment reversed and vacated, and complaint dismissed; as a matter of law, intervening superseding cause disrupted causation of any negligence of defendant).

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