Experienced. Determined. Respected

Areas of Practice

The Law Offices of Douglas Coppola primarily handled serious personal injury cases for commercially insured and self-insured clients, including those arising out of construction site accidents, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability accidents, product liability claims, as well as other diverse and unique personal injury accidents.  Our wide range of experience made us highly qualified to achieve excellent results for our clients.  We represented clients in New York State courts as well as in the United States District Court Western District of New York, and we have prevailed for our clients not only at trial but also at the appellate level, including the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, as well as the New York State Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest appellate court. Some of our reported cases include the following:


Dram Shop (General Obligations Law Section 11-101)


Oursler v. Brennan, 67 A.D.3d 36, 884 N.Y.S.2d 534, lv. granted to app., 68 A.D.3d 1824, 891 N.Y.S.2d 301 (4th Dept. 2009) – obtained summary judgment on behalf of our bowling alley client in Dram Shop action arising out of extraordinary factual events allegedly resulting in the death of a young wife and mother.  The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, reversed the grant of summary judgment but our office was then successful in persuading the Fourth Department to send the case to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, to review the appellate court’s reversal. The case settled while pending at the Court of Appeals.


Premises Liability


Cerra v. Perk Development, 197 A.D.2d 851, 602 N.Y.S.2d 277 (4th Dept. 1993) – summary judgment obtained dismissing complaint against our client in slip and fall action; solidified the “continuing storm” doctrine in commercial premises liability cases.


Siegel v. Molino, 236 A.D.879, 653 N.Y.S.2d 759 (4th Dept. 1997) – summary judgment obtained for our client in slip and fall case reiterates the “continuing storm” doctrine applicable to slip and falls in New York State.


Andrews v. Porreca, 227 A.D.2d 940, 643 N.Y.S.2d 250 (4th Dept. 1996) – summary judgment granted to our client based on lack of notice of allegedly dangerous condition.


Bruno v. Price Enterprises, 299 A.D.2d 846, 752 N.Y.S.2d 180 (4th Dept. 2002) – summary judgment obtained for our client contractor dismissing plaintiffs’ complaint in case of snow and ice falling from roof.

Beam v. Adam, Meldrum & Anderson Co., 227 A.D.2d 1062, 639 N.Y.S.2d 607 (4th Dept. 1996) – summary judgment affirmed in favor of our client holding that there is no duty to warn of allegedly dangerous condition which is open and obvious.


Labor and Construction Law


Keavey v. New York State Dormitory Authority, 6 N.Y.3d 859, 816 N.Y.S.2d 722 (2006) – New York State Court of Appeals affirms summary judgment obtained for our client dismissing plaintiff’s complaint, holding that “[t]he act of falling into a five-to-six inch gap between insulation boards, which were stacked eight-feet tall, is not a gravity-related accident encompassed by New York State Labor Law §240(1).” 


Carroll v. County of Erie, 48 A.D.3d 1076, 850 N.Y.S.2d 738 (4th Dept. 2008) – affirmed lower court order granting summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s Labor Law and negligence claims against our client arising out of excavator accident on work site.


Paul v. Ryan Homes, Inc., 5 A.D.3d 58, 774 N.Y.S.2d 225 (4th Dept. 2004) – summary judgment in favor of plaintiff reversed and summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s New York State Labor Law §240(1) cause of action granted in favor of our client, holding that plank from which plaintiff fell on jobsite was not a tool used in the performance of his work but rather was merely a passageway from one place of work to another.


Czaska v. Lenn Lease Ltd., 251 A.D.2d 965, 674 N.Y.S.2d 559 (4th Dept. 1998) – summary judgment in favor of plaintiff on New York State Labor Law 240(1) claim reversed and plaintiff’s complaint dismissed where plaintiff injured while insulating second-story windows by stapling sheets of plastic over them was held not to be engaged in alteration of structure within meaning of Labor Law, but rather was engaged in routine maintenance.


Donnelly v. City of Niagara Falls, 5 A.D.3d 1103, 773 N.Y.S.2d 631 (4th Dept. 2004) affirms lower court order dismissing plaintiff’s Labor Law 240(1) cause of action where plaintiff was struck by bag of asbestos debris thrown down from roof above and the asbestos debris was not material being hoisted or load that required securing at time it fell, and granting summary judgment dismissing third-party action against our client asbestos monitor.


Motor Vehicle Accidents


Robinson v. Day, 265 A.D.2d 916, 695 N.Y.S.2d 825(4th Dept. 1999), summary judgment dismissing complaint obtained in favor of our client driver of tractor-trailer alleged to be at fault in multiple vehicle accident.


Products Liability


Jones v. W+M Automation, Inc., 31 A.D.3d 1099, 818 N.Y.S.2d 396 (4th Dept. 2006), lv. denied 8 N.Y.3d 802, 830 N.Y.S.2d 698 (2007) – summary judgment granted to defendants dismissing plaintiffs’ complaint alleging causes of action in strict products liability, negligence, failure to warn and breach of express and implied warranties, where the system conformed to the employer’s specifications and was safe until subsequently modified by employer.


Dental Malpractice


Christopher v. Dokko, 55 A.D.3d 1367, 865 N.Y.S.2d 185 (4th Dept. 2008) – appellate court affirms jury verdict in dentist’s favor and denies plaintiff’s motion for new trial in significant dental malpractice case.


Assumption of Risk


Kaiser v. Lakeshore Youth Soccer Association, 6 A.D.3d 1160, 775 N.Y.S.2d 725 (4th Dept. 2004) – summary judgment obtained for our client based upon experienced soccer player's assumption of the risk of injury in soccer scrimmage.


Insurance Coverage


Dryden Mutual Insurance Co. v. Greaser, 269 A.D.2d 792, 702 N.Y.S.2d 479 (4th Dept. 2000) – affirmed lower court order granting declaratory judgment to our client insurance carrier that it was not obligated to defend and indemnify insured sued for injuries.

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