Michael McClaren and Shannon O’Neill Prevail on Motion for Summary Judgment in a § 1983 Lawsuit

Webster Szanyi attorneys Michael McClaren and Shannon O’Neill recently obtained a decision dismissing a § 1983 lawsuit brought against multiple police officers, sheriff, and county for claims of false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and Monell.  The firm filed a summary judgment arguing that probable cause was a complete defense for the claims.  The firm argued that there was ample probable cause for the arrest and subsequent confinement based on: a 911 call from a witness, dash camera footage, and observations made by an officer during the traffic stop.  After substantial briefing and oral argument, Magistrate Judge Roemer issued a report and recommendation that recommended the defendants’ motion for summary judgment be granted.  Despite plaintiff’s objections to the report and recommendation, the District Court Judge Sinatra ultimately agreed with the recommendation to grant the defendants’ summary judgment and issued a decision that the case be...

Michael McClaren and Shannon O’Neill Prevail on Motion to Dismiss in a Child Victims Act Lawsuit

Judge Chimes issued a favorable decision on a school’s motion to dismiss vicarious liability claims and request for punitive damages in a lawsuit brought under the Child Victims Act.  Michael McClaren and Shannon O’Neill successfully argued that allegations of sexual assault are outside the scope of employment rendering the doctrine of respondeat superior inapplicable.  Judge Chimes also granted the school’s motion that punitive damages are not recoverable against public...

D. Charles Roberts Jr. and Kevin G. Cope obtain dismissal of Article 78 proceeding against local Town

Webster Szanyi attorneys Charlie Roberts and Kevin Cope successfully defended a local Town in an Article 78 proceeding seeking to overturn the Town’s denial of a proposed concept plan for a large subdivision.  The proposed development has a long history dating back almost 20 years, during which time the Town approved a prior concept plan to develop the subdivision.  The developer did not proceed with the approved development because it was unable to acquire certain property needed for an entrance to the subdivision.  The developer subsequently amended the plan to change the location of the entrance to the subdivision.  The amended plan, however, contained a large cul-de-sac with over 40 single family residential lots in violation of the Town’s Subdivision Law and New York State Fire Code, and which presented a safety risk to the proposed residents.  As a result, the Town Board denied the developer’s application for the amended concept plan.  In response, the developer filed an Article 78 Petition in Erie County Supreme Court, alleging the Town Board’s decision was arbitrary and capricious, irrational, and not based on substantial evidence, and asked the Court to overturn the Town Board’s decision and approve the amended concept plan.  After substantial briefing and oral argument, the Court upheld the Town Board’s decision, and agreed the amended concept plan clearly violated Town Subdivision Law and that the Town Board’s determination was sound, rational, and based upon substantial...