Independent contractor Oscar Melendez suffered disabling back injuries when a cable attached to an elevator in a city-owned building snapped. Melendez retained the Roe law firm to bring a premises liability suit on his behalf. A firm attorney allegedly filed suit against a company that had serviced the elevator but did not name the city in the lawsuit. After several years, Melendez learned that a court had dismissed his suit and that further litigation was time-barred.
Melendez claimed the Roe law firm should have named the city as a defendant in the underlying action.
The firm countered that it had been reasonable to name the maintenance provider.
The parties settled before suit was filed for $1 million.
Citation: Melendez v. Roe Law Firm, settled before filing, June 2012.
Claimant counsel: Steven L. Kaplan, Melville, N.Y.