Molod Spitz & DeSantis, P.C.


Our Motion for Summary Judgment, which provided proof that our client did not design, maintain or install the playground equipment on which the infant plaintiff was injured, was granted without any opposition from the plaintiff. (Cortes v. City of New York and Designed for Fun).

November 2012


The Court agreed with our arguments and granted our Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that our client did not own, maintain or repair the tree-well in question. (Sixto Toledo v. NYC Transit Authority of New York, Bellmarc Property, et al.).

October 2012


The Supreme Court, New York County, granted a motion for summary judgment by Christopher Coleman on behalf of Gallery House Condominium and John J. Grogan & Associates, Inc. as to a trip and fall claim. Specifically, plaintiff claimed that he tripped on an expansion joint in front of the Gallery House located at 77 West 55th Street, in New York, New York. He fell on his face, causing a fractured eye socket and an alleged traumatic brain injury. Plaintiff demanded $6.5 million to settle the case. Plaintiff’s expert measured the expansion joint at 3/4 inch wide and one inch deep. Judge Debra James found no question of fact as to the trivial nature of the alleged defect and found that plaintiff’s expert failed to cite any convincing standard that calls for expansion joints to be exactly 1/4 inch in width. (John Fayolle v. East West Manhattan Portfolio LP, et al.)

August 2012


In a case tried to verdict by Salvatore J. DeSantis, plaintiff, an employee of Pro Concrete, fell while getting off a dump truck after breaking up some concrete in the bed of the truck. Pro Concrete was hired by our client, Shelter Express, to rip up the sidewalk so that it could install a bus shelter. While plaintiff was coming down from the truck, he fell from 8 feet according to the plaintiff, but only from 3-4 feet according to other witnesses. Plaintiff claimed violations of New York Labor Law Sections 240(1) and 241(6). All parties made motions for summary judgment which were denied and an appeal from the denials is pending. The jury found that there was no Labor Law Section 240(1) violation, and although there was a violation of Section 241(6), there was no proximate cause. The plaintiff’s demand to settle was $1.4 million and the offer was $25,000. The Court recommended $350,000. The injuries involved a fractured wrist with surgery and a fractured ankle. Siguenza v. City of New York, Cemusa, Inc and Shelter Express.


Salvatore J. DeSantis defended our pro bono client, who was charged with violating a restraining order and violating the terms of his probation, in a bench trial in Superior Court, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Our client was vindicated on both charges.

June 2012


Alice Spitz, the Harmonie Group’s Immediate Past President, attended the Group’s Spring Conference in New Orleans. The Harmonie Group is an affiliation of independent law firms providing a broad spectrum of high quality legal services to corporations, insurance carriers, and third party claim administrators across the United States, and internationally as well. You can access the Harmonie Group's law firm directory here.

May 2012


To celebrate her 30+ years with MSD, we sent Fran Shafer and her husband on a cruise to the Caribbean Islands. Thank you for your ongoing dedicated service to the firm!

April 2012

Alice Spitz, celebrating our new New Jersey practice with Newark's Mayor, Cory Booker.

March 2012


the law firm of molod spitz & desantis, p.c. is very pleased to announce that:

we are expanding our practice to new jersey

and trial attorneys:
david b. owens & sean p. king
have become partners in the firm

Molod Spitz & DeSantis, P.C.     Molod Spitz & DeSantis, P.C.
1430 Broadway, 21st Floor       35 Journal Square, Suite 1005
New York, NY 10018                  Jersey City, NJ 07306
212-869-3200                           201-795-5400

February 2012

appellate division affirms grant of summary judgment to dag hammarskjold towers

Salvatore J. DeSantis and Marcy Sonneborn were successful in having summary judgment awarded to Dag Hammarskjold Towers and having the decision affirmed on appeal. The plaintiff was injured when she tripped and fell on a decorative sidewalk in front of the Dag Towers. Plaintiff initially testified that she had "no idea" how she tripped and fell and she could not identify or mark on photographs the specific rise, declivity or defective condition of the sidewalk that caused her accident. Nevertheless, she submitted an Affidavit in Opposition to the Summary Judgment Motion in which she claimed that the sidewalk pavers were cracked, uneven and irregular, causing her to trip. The Appellate Division agreed with the Supreme Court that Dag Towers was entitled to summary judgment because a jury would have to engage in impermissible speculation to determine the cause of the accident. Smith v City of New York.

December 2011

preparation leads to defense verdict even when faced with a stop sign

In this two vehicle collision case in Supreme Court, Queens County, New York, Salvatore J. DeSantis obtained a defense verdict for Church Mutual. It took defeating the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, winning the interlocutory appeal of that decision, and finally trying the case to verdict to overcome the fact that our client had a stop sign against him. The key to success was retaining an accident reconstruction expert where the plaintiff simply relied upon an assumption of clear liability. The 34 year old plaintiff suffered significant injuries and never returned to work. The plaintiff’s settlement demand was consistently the full policy limits through the trial, until while the jury was out, a high/low settlement agreement of $675,000/$250,000 was reached. The jury deliberated for one hour before returning with a defense verdict. The high/low agreement in place prevents any further appeals in this matter. Chang-Hoon Lee, v. Kew Gardens Sung Shin Reformed Church of New York and Young Soo Su.

November 2011

for a good cause

MSD’s billing coordinator participated in a FIFTY MILE BIKE RUN to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Congratulations for being one of NMSS’ top fundraisers, Oliver!

October 2011

harmonie conference

Alice Spitz, The Harmonie Group's Immediate Past President, will be attending the Group's 2011 Fall Conference in Boston, Massachusetts this month. The Harmonie Group is an affiliation of independent law firms providing a broad spectrum of high quality legal services to corporations, insurance carriers, and third party claim administrators across North America. You can access the Harmonie Group's law firm directory here.

September 2011

msd's diversity - sharing expertise with a czech audience

Hendrick Vandamme was interviewed by Czech National Radio about the recent 11th Circuit decision declaring the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama in March 2011 unconstitutional. You can listen to the interview here, in Czech - just one of the many languages Hendrick speaks.

August 2011


msd partner shares expertise in nylj article

In "Public Health Law Protections for Funeral Homes Affirmed" (New York Law Journal, July 18, 2011), MSD firm member Teresa A. Gruber shows how an important appellate court’s interpretation of changes to the Public Health Law assists in the defense of funeral homes.


msd partner shares insurance expertise with other defense counsel

Salvatore J. DeSantis moderated a CLE panel discussion about allocating damages among multiple insurers at the annual meeting of the FDCC (Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel) in Virginia.

July 2011


transportation conference - taking control of the steering wheel

MSD firm member Teresa A. Gruber presented at the Harmonie Group’s Transportation, Construction & Product Liability Conference in Chicago this month. Her topic: Taking Control of the Steering Wheel in Negligent Hiring, Retention, Supervision and Entrustment Claims in Trucking Litigation - Generally & In New York State Particularly. The Harmonie Group is an affiliation of independent law firms providing a broad spectrum of high quality legal services to corporations, insurance carriers, and third party claim administrators across North America. You can access the Harmonie Group's law firm directory here.

June 2011


MSD Successfully Defends Summary Judgment Denial on Appeal

Salvatore J. DeSantis and Marcy Sonneborn were successful in having a decision denying Summary Judgment to a motorist affirmed in the Second Department. The plaintiff/motorist claimed that he was entitled to summary judgment because he had the green light and the defendant school van entered the intersection without looking and seeing oncoming traffic. The Appellate Division affirmed that questions of fact existed as to whether the plaintiff observed all road conditions properly before the intersection collision. The case will proceed to trial for a jury to decide. Chung Hoon Lee v Kew Gardens Sung Shin Reform Church

May 2011


MSD Motion for Summary Judgment Brings Voluntary Discontinuance

Alice Spitz and Marcy Sonneborn brought a Motion for Summary Judgment in a lead paint case where MSD represented the Landlord and Managing Agent of a multiple dwelling on Manhattan’s upper west side. The infant plaintiff was the daughter of the resident superintendent. When lead levels were discovered in the infant’s blood that were higher than that allowed by New York City law, the family vacated the premises and brought suit. The plaintiff’s attorney never tested the amount of lead in the paint in the superintendent’s apartment before filing his Note of Issue. We argued that the superintendent, who also did construction work outside the building, may have carried lead dust into the apartment on his work boots. More significantly, the child’s expert examining physician found absolutely no effects of the minimally elevated blood lead levels in the child. In the face of our strong Motion for Summary Judgment, the plaintiff voluntarily discontinued the action and the Complaint was dismissed. Valdes v Schacter Realty, NY County

March 2011


Persistent & Aggressive Deposition Results in Plaintiff’s Discontinuance of Lawsuit

The plaintiff underwent an intensive and grueling deposition during which his inconsistencies were revealed by MSD’s Mark Grodberg. Rather than subjecting his client to another day of testifying, the plaintiff’s counsel decided to discontinue the action. Thomas Gallagher v. Kevin Hahn.

February 2011



We’ve Packed Up and Moved Around the Corner

Our new office address is:

Molod Spitz & DeSantis, P.C.
1430 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

Our Phone and Fax numbers remain the same

Phone: (212) 869-3200
Fax:      (212) 869-4242

We’re now fully settled into our new suite of offices. Our clients are always welcome to visit. While we have a different location, we provide the same great service.

December/January 2011


Past successes are not a guarantee of future performance
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