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News 2013


Dismissal of “Bullying” Claim


Lewis Silverman obtained summary judgment on behalf of a school district in a case where the plaintiff, a high school student, alleged that he had been “bullied” and subjected to “harassment” by other high school students. The motion argued that New York State does not recognize a cognizable cause of action for bullying.  The plaintiff’s cause of action, therefore, was analyzed under a negligent supervision theory.  The Court found that because the plaintiff had no evidence that any of the alleged bullies had a prior history of dangerous activities, the plaintiff could not prove the notice element of the claim and summary judgment dismissing the case was appropriate.





Dismissal of Case Alleging Unconstitutional Police Interview of Disabled Student


Lewis Silverman prevailed on a FRCP 12(b)(6) pre-Answer motion to dismiss in a case where a school district allowed police to interview a nineteen year old developmentally disabled student after she reported that her brother had thrown something at her, causing bruising to her face.  The plaintiff alleged a host of constitutional causes of action under 42 U.S.C § 1983, including due process violations, Fourth Amendment search and seizure violations and conspiracy claims. The plaintiff sought damages from the school district, a teacher and a school social worker.  The Southern District of New York dismissed all of the federal claims, holding that the plaintiff did not sufficiently allege a Monell cause of action and the individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity regarding the Fourth Amendment search and seizure claim.  The conspiracy claims were dismissed because of a lack of any specific details about the purported conspiracy and because of the intra-corporate conspiracy doctrine.






Dismissal of Excessive Force and Wrongful Death Claim


In Glowczenski v. TASER, et al., Lewis Silverman represented a Village of Southampton, New York police officer in a wrongful death and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 excessive force case pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  The court granted a motion to exclude the plaintiff’s expert forensic pathologist from testifying at trial.  Without a cause of death expert, the plaintiff was not able to produce any evidence that the police officer’s actions were a contributing cause of death.  Furthermore, because the officer was operating upon orders of a superior officer, the court found that he was also entitled to qualified immunity.  Consequently, the excessive force and wrongful death causes of action against the officer were dismissed.






Speaking Engagement

“Claim Handling and Investigation 101”


Lewis Silverman led a training session for the staff of LaMarche Associates, Inc.,a regional independent insurance adjusting firm, entitled “Claim Handling and Investigation 101.”  The training session was given to new and experienced members of the LaMarche staff and focused on issues related to the investigation and adjustment of trucking, construction and general liability claims.  The training session provided an overview of claim handling, actions to take in claim adjusting and investigation, and a review of particular issues in trucking and construction liability cases.






Speaking Engagement “Social Media and Litigation”


Lewis Silverman, Caroline Lineen and Jerry Smith presented a CLE seminar to attorneys and claims staff of the Wright Insurance Group entitled “Social Media and Litigation” on September 13, 2013.  The seminar topics included social media’s role in litigation, social media investigation, discovery and trial issues, and ethical considerations.

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