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Date Posted: Oct 20, 2017

Employer:   BCG Attorney Search

Salary: Not Specified


Location

Nassau
1505 Kellum Place, P.O. Box 803 ,
Mineola, New York - 11501-0803

Website

http://www.msek.com

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Staff Size : 43
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07-03-2007

As part of its mission to preserve New York's legal history, the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York presented its third reargument of one of the state's most famous tort law cases - Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co.

The program, held on June 26 at the headquarters of Nassau County Bar Association, a co-sponsor, featured local lawyers, judges and governmental officials in the roles of advocates and members of the Court of Appeals. Among the 75 was Dee Owen, one of Helen Palsgraf's granddaughters.

The case stemmed from a 1924 accident in which a man carrying a package jumped unsteadily aboard a car of a moving Long Island Railroad train at the Jamaica station.

An employee attempted to help the passenger. The package, which contained fireworks, fell on the rails and exploded. The shock from the explosion reportedly knocked down scales at the other end of the platform, injuring Ms. Palsgraf, who sued the LIRR claiming that the negligent acts of the employee caused her to be injured.

A trial court awarded her $6,000, which was upheld by the Appellate Division, Second Department. However, the Court of Appeals, led by Chief Judge Benjamin Cardozo, reversed the decision and dismissed the case, holding that the railroad owed no duty of care to Ms. Palsgraf, 162 NY 99 (1928).

The "judges" at last week's program included A. Thomas Levin of Meyer Suozzi English & Klein; Thomas A. Suozzi, Nassau County executive; Judge Susan Kluewer of Nassau District Court; Justice Ute Wolff Lally of Nassau Supreme Court; and Jonathan A. Dachs of Shayne, Dachs, Stanisci, Corker & Sauer.

John P. Bracken, of Islandia-based Bracken & Margolin, argued on behalf of Ms. Palsgraf, and Eileen R. Kaufman, a professor at Touro Law Center, argued on behalf of the railroad. Former Court of Appeals Judge Albert Rosenblatt hosted the event.

The evening ended with a 3-2 decision upholding Judge Cardozo's original ruling. Judge Kluewer and Mr. Dachs voted for Ms. Palsgraf and Justice Lally, Mr. Suozzi and Mr. Levin voted for the railroad.

The historical society's fourth moot court-style re-enactment reargument is in the works for Albany. So far, two of the three panels have upheld Judge Cardozo.
06-26-2007

A. Thomas Levin, a member of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. and Chair of the firm's Municipal Law, Land Use and Environmental Compliance practice will be a part of the distinguished bench participating in a re-argument of the appeal in the case of Palsgraf v LIRR at the Nassau County Bar Association on June 26, 2007.

Palsgraf v LIRR - On April 25, 1924, a man was fighting his way onto a crowded car of the Long Island Railroad at the East New York Station. A railroad guard attempted to help the passenger board and caused the passenger to drop his package. Unbeknownst to the guard, the package contained fireworks. The fireworks exploded, reportedly knocking down scales at the other end of the platform, which injured Helen Palsgraf. Mrs. Palsgraf sued the railroad claiming her injury resulted from the negligent acts of the railroad employee. The jury found for Mrs. Palsgraf. The Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint, deciding, in an opinion written by Benjamin Cardozo, that the relationship of the employee’s actions to Mrs. Palsgraf’s injury was too indirect to make him liable. The three-judge dissent, by contrast, saw the case as a matter of proximate cause - Mrs. Palsgraf’s injury could be traced to the wrong done by the guard in pushing the passenger holding the package.

This program will present a re-argument of the appeal. The distinguished bench will then conduct an open consultation and render a decision.

Distinguished Bench: Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi • Hon. Susan T. Kluewer, District Court Judge, Nassau Hon. Ute Lally, Supreme Court Justice, Nassau • A. Thomas Levin, Esq., Garden City Jonathan A. Dachs, Esq., Mineola


Primary Practice Areas

Internet/ E-Commerce Litigation,Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization Law, Corporate Law, Disability Insurance Claims, Education Law, Employee Benefits ERISA Law, Employment Law, Environmental, Government Relations, Labor Law, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Municipal Law, Land Use & Environmental Compliance Law, Personal Injury Law, Real Estate & Banking Law, Tax Certiorari & Condemnation Law, Trusts & Estates Law.

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