Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today's Court of Appeals Highlights

Notable Civil Decision
Wadler v. City of New York - holding that “the ‘firefighter rule,’ which bars common-law negligence recovery by firefighters and police officers for injuries that result from risks associated with their employment, requires dismissal of this case, in which a police officer was injured by the negligent operation of a security device.” In doing so the Court recognized that its prior decision in Zanghi “has not proved easy to apply." The Court held that whether the officer was on duty is not the issue, it is the nature of the risk that is dispositive. “The cause of the injury to plaintiff here - a high-security device protecting the police headquarters parking lot - was plainly a risk ‘associated with the particular dangers inherent’ in police work. Ordinary civilians may encounter such devices, but police officers, whose duties may include working in secure areas that are at risk of a terrorist attack, are far more likely to do so. An act taken in furtherance of a specific police function - entry into a protected parking lot, which only plaintiff's police credentials allowed him to enter - exposed plaintiff to the risk of this injury.”

Court of Appeals Grants Leave
Kaufman v. Quickway, Inc. - whether a convenience store clerk’s statement to police officer regarding customer’s appearance of intoxication when she sold him beer was admissible in action against store under hearsay exception for admissions attributable to party or as a prior inconsistent written statement.

Review of the Lippman Court's First Year
The New York Times today has an article reviewing the first year of the Lippman Court. Of particular note, is that “unanimous rulings declined from about 82 percent during 2008, Judge Kaye’s final year, to 69 percent in Judge Lippman’s first year.”

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