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EDNY Blog

Current Developments in the US District Court for the
Eastern District of New York
Posted: December 3, 2013

Claim For Derivative Citizenship Through Father Denied Due To Parents’ Informal Separation

In Moreno v. Holder, No. 13 CV 1285, (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 6, 2013), Judge William Kuntz denied a pro se petitioner’s claim of nationality based on derivative citizenship.  The petitioner was born in Panama to Panamanian parents who later became U.S. citizens and ultimately settled in New York.  The government unsuccessfully initiated removal proceedings against the Petitioner in 2004 following convictions...

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Posted in EDNY, Immigration
Posted: November 13, 2013

Court Invokes “Inherent Powers” To Order Sanctions For Negligent Spoliation Of Evidence

In Rodgers v. Rose Party Functions Corp., No. 10 CV 4780 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 12, 2013), Chief Magistrate Judge Steven Gold granted the plaintiff an adverse inference as a sanction for the defendant’s negligent failure to preserve a key piece of evidence.  Plaintiff Tiffani Rodgers was injured when she slipped on a flight of stairs on the premises of defendant Rose...

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Posted: November 12, 2013

Search Reasonable Even Though Police Mistaken Regarding Type Of Evidence Search Would Uncover

Judge Pamela Chen decided a case “all about chickens” in Santos v. Zabbara, 11 CV 2516 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 18, 2013), where a police raid of plaintiff’s residence for “chickens,” code for cocaine, turned up no drugs but instead resulted in the seizure of real fighting chickens. Santos and his immediate family brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 2516 against several...

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Posted in EDNY, Fourth Amendment
Posted: November 6, 2013

Attempt To Lift Officer–Director Bar Fails

In SEC v. Alexander, No. 06 CV 3844 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 24, 2013), Judge Nicholas Garaufis denied a motion by the former CFO of Comverse to modify a consent judgment.  Facing charges that he participated in a scheme to backdate stock option grants in Comverse stock, David Kreinberg had pleaded guilty in 2006 and entered into a consent order with the...

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Posted: November 5, 2013

Three-Judge Panel Holds That Defendant Sued In One Capacity Cannot Bring Cross-Claim In A Different Capacity

The October 29 Memorandum and Order in Favors v. Cuomo, No. 11 CV 5632 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 29, 2013), is the third decision of the three-judge panel presiding over challenges to New York’s state and federal legislative redistricting, which the Panel earlier noted courts have come to expect “at predictable ten year intervals” coinciding with the census.  After a pair of...

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Posted in EDNY, Standing
Posted: October 30, 2013

Punitive Damages Award In Big Pharma Case Reduced From $10 Million To $900,000

In Davids v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., 06 CV 431 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 9, 2013), Judge Spatt resolved post-trial motions  in a case involving the defendant’s alleged failure to warn plaintiff of potential dangers posed by an anti-cancer drug called Zometa.  A jury awarded plaintiff $450,000 in compensatory damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages because the drug caused her to develop a...

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Posted in EDNY, Punitive Damages
Posted: October 28, 2013

Disparate Treatment Claim Dismissed For Lack Of Nexus

In Forgione v. The City of New York, et al., 11 CV 5248 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 17, 2013), Judge Gleeson granted summary judgment for the police department and two of its officials, dismissing disability discrimination claims brought by a police captain under the New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-101 et seq.  (The court also dismissed retaliation...

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Posted: October 23, 2013

Rule 56 Requires A “Genuine” Issue Of Fact

In Cruz v. Reiner et al., 11 CV 2131 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 16, 2013), Judge Brian Cogan granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment in a case alleging excessive force pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.  In so doing, the court found that even though a party opposing summary judgment submits a sworn statement giving its version of events, a genuine factual...

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Posted in EDNY, Summary Judgment
Posted: October 23, 2013

Attacks On Witness Credibility Do Not Create Questions Of Fact

In Dominick v. Hospitality Valuation Services, Inc., 11 CV 3452 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2013), Judge Joanna Seybert denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment in an action alleging pregnancy discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of Title VII and under the New York State Human Rights law. The plaintiff worked at a search firm specializing in the hospitality industry.  She...

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Posted in EDNY, Summary Judgment