Reported Decisions

One of the many strengths of Trief & Olk is its ability to handle complex litigation involving issues that require inventive solutions. One way you can see the diversity and complexity of our cases is to view some of our reported cases as follows:

COMMERCIAL DISPUTES

  • Agrawal v Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 2011 NY Slip Op 7928, 932 N.Y.S.2d 72 (1st Dep’t 2011). An international family was denied payment of two life insurance policies totaling $1,500,000 from Metropolitan Life Insurance Company after the death of the family matriarch. Met Life declined to pay the benefits by claiming that the decedent misrepresented her net worth when applying for the policy. Once litigation began, the insurer claimed there were additional medical misrepresentations in the application. After a lower court found in favor of the insurer based on the additional claims of misrepresentations and dismissed the case, Trief & Olk was able to successfully overturn the lower Court’s decision and was granted summary judgment for the full amount of the policies, $1,500,000. The Appellate Court held that “Defendant’s failure to assert the other defenses in its initial repudiation constitutes a waiver of those defenses for purpose of denying liability under the policies.”United Pickle Products Corp. v. Prayer Temple Community Church, 43 A.D.3d 307, 843 N.Y.S.2d 1 (1st Dept. 2007). The Court reversed a decision of the lower court and granted our client adverse possession of certain real estate.
  • Goldman v. Simon Property Group, Inc., 31 A.D.3d 382, 818 N.Y.S.2d 245 (2d Dept. 2006). In an action brought on behalf of a class of holders of gift cards who were charged a fee because the cards were not used within six months of purchase, the lower court dismissed the class action on the grounds that it was preempted under federal law. On appeal, we were able to get the lower court reversed and the action reinstated.
  • Burke v. Steinmann, 2004 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8930 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). We were able to obtain summary judgment for our client, who had entered into agreements to purchase a restaurant and assume managerial and operational control of the restaurant while awaiting approval of the purchase. The owners of the restaurant, however, refused to go ahead with the purchase and terminated our client. The court awarded compensation as a manager under the management agreement and rejected claims by the owners that it was entitled to damages for our client’s handling of the restaurant.
  • Golia v. The Leslie Fay Co., Inc., 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 13794 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). In an age discrimination case, the court found that our clients had demonstrated “ample” evidence for a factfinder to determine that they were victims of discrimination and imposed sanctions on the defendant for the destruction of evidence.
  • Freeman v. Complex Computing, Inc., 119 F.3d 1044 (2d Cir. 1997), and 979 F. Supp. 257 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). In this action, we were able to “pierce the corporate veil” and require the principal of the defendant corporation to arbitrate a dispute with a former employee, not simply the corporation itself.
  • Micro Korea Co., Ltd. v. Big Joy Brothers Co., Ltd., 1994 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8414 (S.D.N.Y. 1994). We were able to win summary judgment in a contract dispute in which the defendant claimed that there were oral agreements but the court held that any such oral agreement was unenforceable under New York law.
  • Green v. Royal Indemnity Co., 1994 U.S. Dist. Lexis 7948 (S.D.N.Y. 1994). We were able to obtain a judgment for the family of a man killed when the wheels of a tractor trailer broke loose and struck the van driven by the decedent. The insurance company disclaimed coverage, but because the tractor trailer had a federal endorsement, we were able to collect against the insurance company.
  • Total Spectrum Manufacturing, Inc. v. Frassetto, 172 A.D.2d 747, 569 N.Y.S.2d 133 (2d Dept. 1991) and 168 A.D.2d 552, 562 N.Y.S.2d 773 (2d Dept. 1990). In two disputes between a commercial tenant who had an exclusive option to purchase the premise and its landlord, we were able to obtain an order that the landlord breached its contract with the tenant by giving another defendant an option to renew its lease, contrary to its agreement with our client. We also obtained an order which was affirmed on appeal granting our client a “Yellowstone Injunction” barring the landlord from evicting our client and allowing it to cure a default under the lease, if any.
  • Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. v. Young Astronaut Council, 747 F. Supp. 945 (S.D.N.Y. 1990). We tried an action before Judge Robert L. Carter in which Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., our client, won a judgment against the Young Astronaut Council for breach of contract which included attorneys’ fees as well as the sums due under the contract.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.