ARFD obtains First Department reversal of 41-page summary judgment denial, dismissing remainder of case on eve of trial!

The matter involved claims of improperly performed cosmetic and functional nasal surgery, and was very aggressively litigated over seven years. The lawsuit initially alleged eight causes of action, including fraud, and forgery, and sought punitive damages – exposing the defendants to uninsured liabilities. The settlement demand was in excess of one million dollars.

Partner Lawrence Rosenblatt and his team pushed back on these causes of action, getting four of them dismissed on a CPLR 3211 motion.  At the conclusion of discovery, a summary judgment was filed to dismiss the remaining four causes of action sounding in medical malpractice, informed consent, breach of contract, and forgery.  In a 41-page decision, the New York County trial court summarily denied summary judgment to all defendants on all causes of action.  Mr. Rosenblatt lobbied the carrier to file an appeal and a Notice of Appeal was filed. The trial court scheduled jury selection for early 2024.  Mr. Rosenblatt engaged his appellate partner Elliott Zucker to manage the appellate process.

While Mr. Rosenblatt and his team prepared for trial, Mr. Zucker perfected the appeal and pushed to have the matter argued before trial was to commence.  Mr. Zucker then argued the appeal before the First Department, highlighting the weaknesses in both the plaintiff’s underlying claims, as well as the trial court’s decision.  Following oral argument, and with jury selection three weeks away, Mr. Zucker moved the First Department for an emergent stay of trial, given the trial court would not adjourn jury selection.  Plaintiff opposed this application.

In what is a very rare occurrence, one week before jury selection was to commence the First Department granted ARFD’s application for a stay of trial pending its decision on the appeal.  The following week, the First Department issued a decision fully reversing the trial court’s 41-page summary judgment denial.  In doing so, the First Department adopted most of Mr. Zucker’s arguments on appeal.

ARFD thanks the clients and carrier for having the confidence in our litigation strategy to allow for an aggressive litigation to fully exonerate the medical providers.