Our Areas of Expertise

Automobile and Commercial Vehicles

Molod Spitz & DeSantis (MSD) represents both carriers and self-insureds, as well as multi-state common carriers. Our extensive experience in personal automobile cases encompasses uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, general defense and arbitrations. Our expertise in commercial vehicles, including direct leasing and renting, makes us attuned to carriers' specific needs and to indemnification and other insurance requirements in leasing agreements. MSD also represents the trucking industry in accident cases involving tractor-trailers, which require an early response at the scene to secure evidence and protect the driver's rights, as well as regular communication with the carrier to provide the best results while striving to contain costs.

Construction Litigation

We represent owners, contractors, sub-contractors, employers and their agents — both as direct and third-party defendants — in cases involving accidents that occur on construction sites. We completely explore and analyze the risk-sharing possibilities of each case, and conduct thorough discovery and evaluation.

Employment Practices Liability

Among MSD's activities in this rapidly growing area of litigation is defending employers in claims related to contractual restrictive covenants such as non-compete clauses. We are knowledgeable in various aspects of employment law including the Americans with Disabilities Act … the Age Discrimination in Employment Act … the Family Medical Leave Act … Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 … Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 … and the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. In addition, we assist clients in developing employment policies and conducting workplace training.

Environmental Litigation

We defend the interests of building owners, real estate developers and homeowners in cases involving environmental issues such as elevated levels of lead, mold infestation and other toxins. We thoroughly scrutinize each claim from various vantage points, leveraging our extensive knowledge of environmental, scientific, medical, economic and additional coverage implications.

Insurance Coverage

Property, casualty and liability insurance carriers often consult MSD about the parameters of insurance coverage, coverage options, and issues related to the mutual obligations of the insurer and insured. We have litigated numerous declaratory judgment actions on behalf of our insurer clients.

Liquor Liability/Dram Shop Defense

MSD has more than 25 years’ experience defending owners of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, catering halls and other commercial premises in liquor liability cases. This area of law includes claims based on New York’s Dram Shop law, a statute that seeks to impose absolutely liability on establishments to compensate persons injured as a result of the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages. MSD has also set the standard in New York case law involving patron-to-patron assaults in bars and restaurants.

Police and Municipal Liability

We represent municipalities (directly and through their insurers) and other government entities, as well as government officials, in allegations of various types of constitutional violations. The issues involved range from police misconduct, due process and equal protection to commerce clause, first amendment rights and general negligence.

Premises Liability

In what is probably the most varied aspect of personal injury defense practice, MSD represents owners of commercial buildings in personal injury lawsuits based on claims against the premises. We possess a thorough knowledge of safety engineering principles as they relate to stairways, ramps and flooring — as well as building maintenance issues with regard to snow and ice, floor waxing, lighting and transient foreign matter.

Product Liability

MSD represents manufacturers and businesses in claims of injuries arising from the use and misuse of a broad range of products — from dry cleaning chemicals and power lawnmowers to machine press equipment, glass cookware and office furnishings.

Professional Malpractice

We represent other law firms; accounting firms; directors and officers; insurance agents and brokers; and others in cases of malpractice, errors and omissions.

Security

MSD represents owners of residential apartment complexes, commercial premises, restaurants and nightclubs in allegations that they failed to maintain a reasonable standard of security, resulting in foreseeable injuries to those on the premises. We effectively defend such cases using thorough investigation, detailed preparation and skilled trial advocacy.

Now with the acquisition of the practice of Carl S. Young & Associates, we have added a dedicated unit to represent our insurers of the transportation industry in subrogation actions.

Subrogation, Fire Losses, Personal Injury, and Property Damage Claims

MSD has extensive specialized litigation experience in representing owners and insurers of residential and commercial properties in claims of property damage and injuries resulting from fires; water damage; construction activities or defects; electrical, gas and water service problems; and product or equipment malfunction. Our representation includes pursuing subrogation claims, as well as the defense of third-party claims related to property damage, personal injury, casualty losses and arson. Our comprehensive experience in this area includes warehousemen/bailment, common carrier, homeowner's, boiler and machinery, business interruption and jeweler's block policy losses. We also provide the defense of first-party claims involving these insurance policies.

 

 

 

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