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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

New York Noncompete, Trade Secret & School Negligence Blog

This blog by the six-time published author Jonathan Cooper, is intended to educate the general public about issues of interest, particularly innovations and changes in the law, in the areas of non-compete agreements, breach of contract matters, school negligence (and/or negligent supervision), construction accidentsslip and/or trip and fall accidentsauto accidents, and, of course, defective or dangerous products

For additional information on any of these topics, readers are encouraged to download these FREE e-books:

 


11/6/2012
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Brooklyn Court Holds Electronic Signature on Medical Reports Invalid

Recently, a Brooklyn trial court held a doctor's electronic signature on his medical reports inadmissible. This decision conflicts with other NY courts.

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6/27/2012
Jonathan Cooper
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Despite No Memory of Fall, NY Construction Worker Recovers $3.25 Mil

There are some instances where construction site workers can recover damages despite not recalling the accident, explains NY construction accident lawyer.

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6/20/2012
Jonathan Cooper
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8th Grade Brooklyn Student Blinded in Bullying Incident at School

Long Island, NY school negligence lawyer Jonathan Cooper discusses this child's likelihood of success under NY law in his school negligence claim.

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6/12/2012
Jonathan Cooper
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Brooklyn Court Refuses to Dismiss Drunken Subway Rider's Wrongful Death Claim

Long Island, NY personal injury lawyer Jonathan Cooper discusses a Brooklyn Court's refusal to dismiss a drunken subway rider's wrongful death claim.

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7/25/2011
Jonathan Cooper
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Construction Worker Falls from Ladder at Brooklyn Site, Seriously Hurt

Long Island, NY construction site accident lawyer discusses a recent worksite tragedy from today's news.

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7/21/2011
Jonathan Cooper
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Brooklyn Car Accident Case Highlights Importance of Photos

Long Island & Queens car accident lawyer Jonathan Cooper discusses a recent Kings County case highlighting importance of photographs depicting damage to the car

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4/28/2011
Jonathan Cooper
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Finding Plaintiff's Claim Implausible, Brooklyn Jury Rejects Trip & Fall Claim

Long Island & Queens, NY trip and fall lawyer Jonathan Cooper discusses how New York juries see through "manufactured" trip & fall claims.

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3/18/2011
Jonathan Cooper
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Brooklyn Jury Finds City School Liable For Injury to Girl During Gym Class, Awards $2.5 Million

If you were wondering whether a school can be held liable for a student's injuries during gym, please read this article, or call Jonathan Cooper at 516.791.5700

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9/22/2010
Jonathan Cooper
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NY High Court Reinstates Child's Hot Water Burn Case Against Building Owner

Long Island and Queens, New York child injury and school negligence lawyer Jonathan Cooper discusses a recent decision that was handed down by New York's Court of Appeals that reinstated the burn injury claims by an infant who was scalded by the hot water coming out of the faucet of her apartment's bathtub. For additional information on this topic, please contact Jonathan Cooper directly at 516-791-5700.

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10/29/2009
Jonathan Cooper
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In NY, Can A Construction Worker Recover For His Injuries Even If The Accident Is Largely His Own Fault ?

In this article, Long Island, New York construction site accident lawyer Jonathan Cooper discusses a recent decision from Kings County (Brooklyn) that addresses the question of whether a construction site worker is precluded from recovering damages under New York's Labor Laws for his injuries if his accident was largely his own fault. For additional FREE information on this topic, and construction site accidents under New York law generally, please visit www.JonathanCooperLaw.com.

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6/5/2009
Jonathan Cooper
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Sometimes those of us who litigate and try cases for a living, whether in the context of small business litigation, personal injury or defective products lawsuits,  tend to get "tunnel vision," and fail to see the forest for the trees. That's why an otherwise unremarkable jury verdict out of the Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York is important: it is a potent reminder to trial lawyers everywhere to remain mindful of the credibility of your witnesses in evaluating the viability and value your case.

In this particular case, there was a stark factual discrepancy between the plaintiff, who alleged that he was pushed off the roof of a 3 story apartment building by a police officer that was chasing him, and the police officer's claim that the plaintiff was in the process of running away from the police when the plaintiff lost his grip on the roof's ledge.

The jury sided with the plaintiff, finding more credible the claim by plaintiff. I suspect that the reason they bought plaintiff's version of events is because he conceded that the police officer did not intend to push him off the roof; according to the plaintiff, the police officer merely intended to push him off of a short 2 foot high paparet wall. And by conceding that small point, or "giving a little," he got a lot: the jury awarded him $4.6 million in damages for his personal injuries, which were quite severe: a fractured spine which resulted in paralysis.

 



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4/26/2009
Jonathan Cooper
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After a trial that recently took place in Brooklyn's federal court, a jury found that Black & Decker, which manufactured the lawnmower, was liable to the plaintiff, who lost his fingers in the cutting blades of one of its lawnmowers, because the lawnmower was defectively designed. The significance of this case lies in the second part of the jury's finding, however: although the jury held that the lawnmower was defectively made, in that the Black & Decker lawnmower's on/off switch was too readily turned on, which was a safety hazard, and further held that this defect was a significant factor in causing the plaintiff's personal injuries, they also held that by forgetting to unplug the mower before performing maintenance on the machine, the plaintiff was 90% responsible for his own accident. Consequently, despite finding that the plaintiff's loss of his fingers was worth $2 million, the plaintiff was only awarded $200,000.

So, why is case is blog-worthy? Because it provides one of the clearest demonstrations of how New York's comparative negligence doctrine works in a practical way. More importantly, I believe that this case shows the wisdom of some facets of our judicial system, in this case, the comparative negligence doctrine.  Although some might be inclined to side with Black & Decker in this case, and might even go so far as to say that the plaintiff should never have brought this lawsuit, especially considering the high degree of culpability that the plaintiff bore for his own accident (I admit that I probably would have rejected this case had it come to my office for this very reason) I think that this attitude is wrong both on public policy grounds, as well as for this specific case and plaintiff. Simply put, had this case never been brought, Black & Decker would have had no incentive to make their lawnmower safer for consumers by making it more difficult to accidentally engage the power switch, even though it is apparently a relatively simple modification. And without this case, the plaintiff would have been denied monetary compensation that Black & Decker owes him for their share of the fault for his accident.


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