Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols & Porter, LLP is proud to announce that Arthur Yankowitz has joined the firm as a partner in the Valhalla office. Mr. Yankowitz has devoted his career to defending doctors and hospitals in the Metropolitan area for more than three decades. We are delighted to welcome Arthur aboard.
VBPNP is very excited to announce that Graig Avino, Michael Battiste, Danielle Hansen, Thomas Jaffa and Nicole Wittman have been elected as partners in the firm!
Graig joined the firm in May of 2018 with the goal of assisting in the development of our New Jersey practice. From his start with VBPNP, Graig has demonstrated a tremendous willingness to work hard, and that effort shines through in the quality of his analysis and work product.
Mike came on board in February of 2016 and is one of our longest tenured attorneys. He is a hardworking and intelligent attorney who will stop at nothing to serve his clients. Mike is extremely creative and insightful and can be counted on to cover every base on a case.
Tom joined us in September of 2018 and has demonstrated his leadership skills from minute one. Tom has been in the forefront of assisting and mentoring less experienced attorneys on issues of law and file management.
Danielle excels in many areas, but none more so than her outstanding legal mind. She always provides great insight and analysis on her files. Danielle compliments these skills with a tremendous work ethic. Since her start with us in February of 2019, Danielle’s efforts have gone beyond her own work as she has been a great resource for other less experienced attorneys.
Nicole is an excellent attorney whose work product is outstanding. Like her peers, she is a thoughtful and considerate person who is ready and willing to help in any way. Nicole has been with us since May of 2017, and her efforts and quality work have paid off in the development new clients for the firm.
We congratulate our new Partners Nicole, Danielle, Tom, Mike and Graig!
Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols & Porter, LLP is proud to announce that Terri Bohm has joined the firm as an associate specializing in medical malpractice defense. Mrs. Bohm obtained her Juris Doctorate from Fordham University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross. Prior to joining VBPNP, Terri worked for a solo practitioner in class action litigation. Subsequently, she spent several years as an associate at a major medical malpractice firm on Long Island, before leaving that position to raise her family. Mrs. Bohm is admitted to practice in the State of New York and is working out of the Garden City office.
We are delighted to welcome Terri to the team.
Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols & Porter, LLP is very proud to announce that the firm was again recognized by Best Companies to Work for in New York. The annual list of the 2021 Best Companies To Work For In New York was created by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management (NYS-SHRM) and Best Companies Group.
This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in New York, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Companies To Work For In New York. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an anonymous employee survey to measure their experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final rankings. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in New York and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.
VBPNP is very proud to announce that 19 of our attorneys have been recognized by the prestigious Super Lawyers®, a rating service which identifies those attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. No more than five percent of lawyers from a given state are selected. The following attorneys have been recognized as Super Lawyers in 2021:
- Alfred P. Vigorito
- John W. Barker
- Gary W. Patterson, Jr.
- Jeffrey R. Nichols
- Mamie Stathatos-Fulgieri
- Scott Singer
- Gregg Weinstock
- Kiki Chrisomallides
- Dylan Braverman
- Kenneth J. Burford
- Charles K. Faillace
- Anna I. Hock
- Guy A. Lawrence
- Neil Mascolo, Jr.
- Adonaid C. Medina
The following attorneys were recognized as Rising Stars:
- Lindsey Brown
- Danielle Hansen
- Ruth L. Tisdale
- Nicole Wittman
Tammy A. Trees secured a summary judgment dismissal in a matter venued in Suffolk County Supreme Court involving a medical malpractice lawsuit against a radiologist. This dismissal was granted prior to any depositions having been conducted.
Plaintiff’s decedent was a then 39-year-old married female with children who went to her primary medical physician with complaints of headaches for which she was referred for an MRI of the brain without contrast. The MRI of the brain was read by our client, a radiologist, as unremarkable aside from sinusitis. Seven months later, plaintiff’s decedent was diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer, which ultimately led to her death. Plaintiff claimed that our client negligently failed to use contrast in performing the MRI of the brain and failed to diagnose abnormal growths/tumors, leading to metastasis and death.
Ms. Trees argued that our client made the correct diagnosis and that the images did not reveal evidence of malignancy. She further argued that it was not the duty of the radiologist to determine whether an MRI should be performed with or without contrast, citing case law directly on point. An expert affirmation was submitted in support, opining that the role of the radiologist is limited to interpreting the study as ordered by the referring physician and correctly documenting the findings.
In an order dated March 23, 2021, Justice George Nolan granted Ms. Trees’ motion for summary judgment. The Judge found that although physicians owe a general duty of care to their patients, that duty may be limited to those medical functions undertaken by the physician and relied on by the patient. The question of whether a physician owed a duty to the plaintiff is a question for the court and is not an appropriate subject for expert opinion. Judge Nolan found that the radiologist assumed the limited role of taking images, interpreting the images, and documenting their findings pursuant to the direction of the plaintiff’s decedent’s primary care physician. The radiologist did not assume a general duty of care to schedule or urge further testing or diagnose plaintiff’s brain cancer. As such, Judge Nolan dismissed the Complaint against the radiologist.
Associate Nicole C. Salerno wins summary judgment dismissal of a plaintiff’s Complaint in a professional negligence matter venued in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, in Hudson County. Plaintiffs, beneficiaries of an estate, were seeking the equitable relief of unwinding two bona fide conveyances of title. She handled the matter under the supervision of partner Gregg Weinstock.
Plaintiffs asserted the improper sale of certain property contrary to the Last Will and Testament of a certain decedent by the Executrix, as well as the professional negligence of title insurers and attorneys. Plaintiff specifically alleged that the title company involved in the second transfer of the property failed to exercise reasonable care in searching title and reviewing the Will prior to issuing a title commitment and policy.
Judge Jeffrey Jablonski granted Mrs. Salerno’s motion for summary judgment dismissal of plaintiffs’ Complaint against the title company involved in the second conveyance of the property. The judge dismissed the plaintiffs’ Complaint based on that fact that the title company involved in the second conveyance of the property owed no duty to the beneficiaries of the estate. The judge further found that a title company’s liability is limited to the policy with its insured-buyer and that the company is not liable in tort for negligence in searching records, unless the title company agrees to conduct a search and provide the insured with an abstract of title, which was not alleged here. The judge further reasoned that the plaintiffs’ Complaint should be dismissed as a matter of law, because it failed to allege any contractual argument against the title company involved in the second transfer of the property. Because plaintiffs were not an insured or intended third-party beneficiary under its contract with the underwriter, any contractual argument asserted lacked merit.
Nicole C. Salerno secured a summary judgment dismissal in a matter venued in the New York County Supreme Court involving New York Labor Law governing a construction accident. The case was complicated by the fact that plaintiff’s complaint was voluntarily dismissed and the New York State Insurance Fund (“SIF”) intervened to prosecute plaintiff’s claims in order to recover monies expended in connection with workers’ compensation benefits paid to plaintiff.
Plaintiff, a maintenance engineer and operator, sustained injuries while walking on a pier in New York, New York. He claimed that on the pier, a wooden plank failed beneath his feet, causing him to fall and sustain injuries. The accident occurred as the plaintiff was attempting to board a barge after it had been demobilized. Plaintiff asserted claims of negligence and violations of Labor Law §§200, 240 and 241(6) against multiple defendants, including a defendant subcontracted to install lighting into the existing railings located on the pier.
Judge Lynn R. Kotler granted Mrs. Salerno’s motion for summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s Complaint against said defendant subcontractor. The Judge found that based on 33 USC § 933[b] and Pallas Shipping Agency, Ltd. v. Duris, 461 U.S.529 (1983), SIF lacked standing to maintain an action on behalf of the plaintiff. Honorable Kotler further concluded that SIF’s claims also lacked merit as a matter of law. The Judge dismissed the Labor 240 claim based on the fact that plaintiff did not fall from a height and his accident was not caused by a height differential. The Labor Law 241(6) claim was dismissed as plaintiff’s cited Industrial Code sections were determined to be either inapplicable or insufficient to sustain a 241(6) claim. As for the negligence and the Labor Law 200 claims, Judge Kotler concluded that there was no testimony that defendant subcontractor exercised supervision and control over plaintiff nor advised him to access the barge in the manner he attempted. The Judge further found that there was no proof in the record demonstrating that defendant subcontractor had notice of the condition which caused plaintiff’s accident or that they caused it.
As such, Judge Kotler dismissed the negligence and Labor Law 200 claims against the defendant subcontractor. Additionally, defendant subcontractor’s motion to dismiss the cross-claims against them was also granted, as the Judge held that there was no basis to find that they contributed to plaintiff’s injuries or that they were otherwise contractually liable to any other defendant to defend or indemnify arising from plaintiff’s accident.
After an extensive delay due to the ongoing global pandemic, Adam Covitt, with the assistance of Vasilios Lolis, secured a defense verdict on January 14, 2021. This followed a two-week medical malpractice trial in Suffolk County Supreme Court last spring. The case was a wrongful death matter of significant exposure.
The plaintiff had alleged a failure to diagnose colon cancer in a 51-year-old ulcerative colitis patient during several screening colonoscopies. Through successful cross-examination of the plaintiff’s experts, Mr. Covitt was able to establish that the alleged colonoscopy guidelines did not apply to this patient and that his client used appropriate clinical judgment in performance of the procedures. Moreover, he was able to establish flaws in the plaintiff’s expert’s calculation of the alleged tumor size and that the growth rate relied upon by the expert was completely speculative.
Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols & Porter, LLP is very proud to congratulate the following members of our team on passing the New York State Bar Exam:
Five for five. Great job. Welcome to the bar.