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 accidents, slip and/or trip and fall accidents, auto 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:
- To Compete or Not to Compete: The Definitive Insider's Guide to Non-Compete Agreements Under New York Law
- When Schools Fail to Protect Our Kids
- When You Don't Have a Written Agreement
- Why Most Accident Victims Do Not Recover the Full Value of Their Claim
- Why Are There So Few Successful Defective Products Lawsuits?
In this case, Schechter v. 3320 Holding, LLC, the plaintiff sustained serious personal injuries when he opened an elevator door and stepped into an empty elevator shaft. In opposing plaintiff's arguments that the defendant building owner and elevator maintenance company should be deemed automatically liable for this elevator accident, the defendants relied on the testimony of an elevator maintenance employee, who opined that the interlock for the cab door had malfunctioned because both excess mop water and urine had gotten into the interlock, and caused it to stop working. In reversing the lower court's order, the appellate court rejected this argument out of hand, holding that the defendants' employee could not be considered an expert regarding elevator maintenance because he had no formal training or education regarding elevators, and was unfamiliar with the relevant codes and regulations. Although there was a dissenting judge to this opinion, I think the courts should take a more active role in assuring that the parties' experts are indeed appropriately qualified before accepting their opinion or giving it any deference.