Anda di halaman 1dari 4

_,I

SU P REM I~ COURT- ST/\TI~ OF NEW YORK

DUTCI 11~ss C()l IN T Y

Prese nt:

I-Ion. JAMES V. BRA

OS

·'

A RL E NE OST l~ R lI OUD T . i n d ividua ll y and as Ad mini strat rix of the ESTATE 0 1: .JOH N OSTER I IO U DT. Plaintiffs

-against-

ATIONAL ASSOCIATI ON Of UNDERWATER

INSTRU CTO RS,

RALPH GIGLIO, DANA GIG LIO, J EFFREY ll ArN J: S.

and MICHAEL NEGRIN,

rNC

J~EGJON/\ L SCU BA. INC'

Defendants.

Ju stice.

l)~CJSION AND ORDER

Ind ex No : 6099/2011

ts. Ju stice. l)~CJSION AND ORDER Ind ex No : 6099/2011 The fo ll owing pape

The fo ll owing pape rs were read and cons idered on the mov ing defenda nts' summary judgment motion.

NOTICE OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AF FIR MATIO N IN SUP PORT OF MOTION FOR SU lftvJARY .J UDGMENT EXHIBITS A-L MEMORANDUM OF LAW

AFFIRMATTON rN OPPOS ITION EXHIBITS A-R PLAINTIFF 'S AFFIDAVIT IN OPPOSITION EXHIBIT A

MEMORA

OUM OF LAW

REPLY AFFJRM/\TION fN SUP PORT OF MOTION fOR SUMfv!1~RY JUDGMENT EXHIBITS M-S

This ac tion a rises o ut o f the wro ngful dea th of John Osterhoudt allegedl y caused by the

defenda nts' negli gence during a n open

Association o f U nd erwate r In structors. Inc. C-' AUi'') \\e re discontinued \Yith prejudice by

kffrcy

lla ines . and Mi chae l Negr in (colkcti vc ly. the "Regional Dc.:!cndants' ' ) ri led a motion for su mmary judgme n t w h ich. by co ur t orde r el a ted Feb ruar y 26. 2014. was de e med premature

st ipula ti on dated Ja nua ry 28. 20 14. Regional Scuba. fn c

water sc uba dive. Plaintiffs· claims against Na ti onal

Ralph C iglio. Dana Gigl io

pend ing comp le tion of discovery. Co unse l have represented that discove ry ha s 110\\ been comp leted, and the motion is ripe for deter min ation on th e pape rs pre\'iously submitt ed.

Choice ol' I,aw:

Coun se l ag ree th at Ne w Yo r k lavv shal l a p ply lo pro cedura l iss ues. Reg ional Dclcn da nts claim that the court s hould ap ply Ca li fo rni a law to s ubstant ive iss ues based on the o rig in or the on line scuba d ive instruction s and the c hoi ce of Jaw prov is ion in the signed re lease and \\ai\'er or

liab il ity. T hey a llege that in the eve nt the

court

app li es Pen nsy lvania law ba sed on the location

or

t

he s cuba d i , ·e in c id e nt (citing 1 6 USCA

457),

P e 11n sy l va ni a law recognize s the e n fo r ceab il ity

or

c ho ice o f' law p rov is ion s in re leases . a nd thu s t he cou rl s h ou ld a p p ly Cali !'ornia l<.m in

accordance therew ith.

Pla intiffs co nte nd th at the co urt

s ho ul d apply New Yo rk law to s ub s ta ntive iss ues.

They

al lege that Ca lifornia and Pe nnsy lva ni a

do no t have suffic ien t contac ts w it h th is litigat ion.

si nce

Cal iforn ia-based c o mp a ny N AU I is no lon ge r a pa rt y to thi s

h ave fa il ed t o s ubmit s ul'fi c ic nt evide nc e de m o n stra ti n g t h e

Penn sy lv a ni a. Plaint i ff states New York

par t i es . and ar g u es the app li ca bil i t y of G e n era l Ob li gat i o n s L av; ~5 -3 26 dee m s li abi lit y r e l eases

r ema inin g

matte r a nd the Regional Defe ndants d i ve occ urr ed , , ·ith in t he bor d ers or

o n t h e res i d c nc~ 01· t he

app li es

1~1

"

·

b ased

as void again st public pol icy.

se rv ices or Ca lifornia-based company

l AU l , w hi c h prov i ded online i n st ru c ti onal scuba cou r ses and arrange d Co r a n open water

Regio nal Scuba. Plain ti ffs a lso executed the lia bil ity

re lea ses whe re in th ey agreed that a ny di s putes ari s ing therel'ro m s hal l be gove rned by California

ew Yo rk 's General

Ob liga tions

rec reat ional es tab li slm1ents s uch as " poo l, gy mn as ium. pl ace of a mu se me nt or rec reat ion or

si mi lar establis hm e nt" (lei .). In cont rast. the prim ary purpose fo r the pl a inti ffs · agreement \\·ith

AU l was fo r instructiona l sc ub a test ing the i r pra c ti ca l sk ill s un der

Co mplaint i!I 6 , 38 . 39; Op pos it io n fa:. D. E . F) . as op posed to a recrea ti o nal sc u ba d i\'e

F . Sup p. 2d

580. 590 [E. D. N. Y

in vo h in g

law (O pp. Ex . P i !3 ). Eve n if the co urt we re to accep t plaintiffs ' posi t ion.

in structi onal div e to be sup erv ised by

It is clear that pla intiffs e nlis ted the ins tructi onal

Law

§5 -326

is

in app li cah le

s in ce

it

pe rtains

to

liab ilit y

re leases

di ve lessons in cl udi ng an open dive coursewo r k component th e s upcn · is i o1 1 or a cenif ie d s cuba in struc t o r (see Verified

Lu rl ey v . D ee p Exp l orers. I nc . , 281

1

De pt.

excursio n fo r l e is u r e purpose s (see GOL §5-326.

2003 j , Basc huk v Diver's Way Scuba, 209 A. 0 .2 d 369. 370 [2 "'

1994]. Accordingly,

Ca li forn ia law gove rn s th e substa nti ve

iss ues in acco rdance w ith the c ho ice

or law

provision or the liability re leases signed by plaintiffs

(see 'eclloyd Lines B.V. ,

Superior

Co urt,

3 Ca l. -l- 1 1i 459, 466 [Cal. 1992 J(abse nt a co n n ict o r law . th e co urt s h al l enforce the partie s'

choice of la\\).

Summary Judgme nt:

to grant s umm ary

s ubmi tt ed o n the motion

e ntitl e th e movin g pa rty to judgm e nt

th e p l aint i ff to s h o\\', e:x is ts as to t he ca u se

849 [200 1]). Ca li fo rn ia law re cog n ized the e nforcea bilit y of liab il ity waive rs that clearly and

25 Ca l. 4th 826.

b y produc in g ev i d e n ce o f' spcc ili c l~1cts. tha t a triable issue or mmerial fact

Upo n such show ing ; t hc_b urdcn s hil't s to

California Code of C iv il P rocedure §4 37(c) req ui res

the tria l court

jud gmen t if no triable issue ex is ts as

to a materi al foct. and if the pa pers

as a matte r o l'lm, ·.

of' action o r t he del'e nse (A!d.u ilar v. /\ tlanti c Ri c h fi e ld Co

uneq ui voca lly ex press the parti es'

inten tion to excu lpate a to rtfeaso r f'rom li ab ilit y fo r future

n

eg ligen ce

(Madison v . Superio r Co urt , 203 Cal. /\pp.3d 589, 597 [ 1988 1). s uc h as the n: lca ses

s

igned

by

pl a i nti ffs

re leasi n g AU L Regional Sc ub a. lnc., Ra lph A. Gig li o . and their

')

em pl oyees/age nts fro m an y claim s o f negli gence and w ron g ful

''gro ss ne gli genc e", " intentio nal , wanton o r wi ll fu l misco nduc t" (see Pl ai ntiffs' O ppos it io n Ex.

P). The release s a lso state that th e p lain tiffs exp ress ly a ss um e the inherent ri sk assoc iated wi th

sc ub a d iv ing. inc luding th ose ri s ks posed by a remo te di ve loc ati o n (lei .).

death , w ith the except ion or

Notvvith sta nd ing the lo regoin g, plain tiffs have ra ised issues o r l~lCL rega rd in g whether th e Reg iona l De fend a nts ' co nduct ro se to a level o r ··gross neg lige nce'· , ·' inte nti o na l. wanton or

w ill Cu l mi

of ordinar y inhere nt ri s ks involved in a dive co ve red by the ass umption of risk doct rin e. Arle ne Osterhoudt te stified that she and her deceased hu s band d iscu ssed th e m edi ca l q ue s ti o nn a ire w ith

Ra lph Gigli o, who all egedl y instructed them not to di sc lose the deceased 's

Oster houdt A ffid . In Opp . i1s, Depo. p. 2 1-22). The record rai ses iss ues of !"ac t as lo whether th e Regional De fendant s, ha v ing fu ll kno wled ge th at plainli ffs we re l"irs t-t im e o pe n \Va le r d ivers. \-Vere gros sl y negli gent in schedu lin g the di ve during the w inter w ith icy conditi o ns in rou gh

\;>,'aters ; in alleged ly fail ing to

and ma intain the no vice d ivers w ithin a leavin g the d ive w ithin o ne minute d ue

the

di ve . There are al so iss ues of fac t regarding ca usation s in ce the medi ca l ex aminer dee med th e

cau se of th e dcccdenf s de ath a s a n acc id e nt a l drow nin g . and the Reg io na l Defe ndants d id no t

reaso nab ly to th e lack

s co ndu ct " w hi ch is an e x p r ess e x ception to th e l iab i lit y r e lease and beyond t h e sco pe

medical co nd itio n (A.

prope rl y supervise the d ive by in structor Ralph Gigi lio

sa fe di stance ; and

of app ropria te we ig ht a nchorage in his d iv ing s ui t to s ustain h im un de r wa ter ror

submit any f'urther expert med ica l o pini on that th e di v in g co nditions did not cause o r co ntri bute to the drowning.

As regard s p la int iffs ' negligent infli ction of em otion al di s tress on he r ow n acco rd and as

a bys tander w itn ess ing he r hu s band 's fail ed asce nt from th e di ve . the re are issues of fac t as to wh eth er an y o f the afo remen ti oned co ndu c t of the Reg io na l D efen da nt s co ns ti tutes wrongful conduc t tha t wo uld for esceab ly cause d istress to J\ den e Osterhoudt (s ee ge n e rn lly A ustin v.

T e rhu ne, 367 F. J d

neglige nt infli ction of emotion a l d is tress]; s ee als o B urgess v . S upe rior Court, 2 Cal. 4 1 1i 1064 , I 0 73 [C a l. 1992][settin g forth the eleme nt s fo r a bys tand e r' s cl a im of neg lige nt infli cti o n of .e motional d istress]) .

11 67,

1172

W1i Cir.

200 4 ] 1.se t ti ng forth elem e nts

for

a direct c la im

o f

The reco rd is devo id o r a ny a ll egat io ns suffi c ie nt lo

Ha ines or N egr in or Dana G ig li o perso nall y li a ble fo r th ei r act io ns em ployees/agen ts of Reg io nal Sc uba, and thu s suc h cl a im aga in s t

Gi glio indi v idu al

Ra lph

in struct ions (A . O ste rhoudt Affid . In Opp . iis, Dep o . p. 2 1- 22) .

ho ld

in the ir o ffi cia l cap aci ty as

Ha in es .

ly are d is m issed . In contra st, plai ntiffs ha ve ra ised iss ues of fa c t rega rdin g

questionna ire

po te nt ia l

egr in. and Dana

p ie rce

lh c co r po ra le

vei I

to

Gi gli o 's

p e rs on a l

liab ili ty

based

o n

his

all eged

med ica l

On the bas is of the fo regoin g. it is hereby

ORD ERED

Giglio

di smissed, s in c e plaintiffs h ave not stated a legal bas is to hold them perso na ll y

that

the

plainti ffs'

c la ims

again st

Haines .

cgri n.

an d

Dana

indiv iduall y are lia bl e for their

Sc u ba. [t is f'urthe r

acts w ith in the sco pe of th e empl oy me nt/ age ncy re lati o ns hip w ith Reg io na l

,

.)

ORDERED

th at

in

a ll

ot her respects , the R egional

mo tion is de ni ed: and it is Curth c r

Defendants·

s um ma r)

j udgmenL

O RDUH :: l ) that a pretrial ~cukrncn t co nli

9:15/\M.

-r

L· n ce shal l be he l d l rn Se ptem ber 12, 20 1-1 at

Coun se l arc rem ind ed that jury se lection is schedu led for Janu ary 5, 20 15 al I 0:00/\M .

Th e fo rego ing cons titut es th e dec is ion and o rde r of' this co urt.

Dated: /\ ugust I J . 20 14 Poug hk ee psie . New York

LN'l LR:

/

~ '·dh

~JAM'ES V . BRAND S, J .S .C.

Jeffre y W. Pad il la. Esq .

Padilla & , ssociates. PL LC

Attorneys for Pla in tiffs

845 Th ird

Avenue, 6 1 " Floo r

New York, NY 10022

A lto n .l . Hal l. [sq.

Dcl

Attorneys for Plaintiff Arlene Os te rhoud t

5 16 2 I ' 1 Strcct Cov ington. Louisiana 70433

isc &

I la ll

Kennet h Stenger. Stenger, Robert s.

At torn eys fo r th e Reg io na l Defe nd an ts

11 36 Route 9 Wappinge rs Fa lls, NY 12590

Esq. Davi s & Diam ond. I .i ,P

David G. Co ncannon , Esq. Law OITi ccs or· David C]. Co ncann o n. LLC

/\t torncys l'or the R•

200 l~aglc Road. Sui te 116

Wayne. Pen nsy lvan ia 19087

'.gio nal Dc knd,m ts

Pur s ua nt l o CPLR

sc

\\'rittcn noti ce o r its entry. except that" hen the appc: llant has sen-eel a copy

Section 5513. an appeal as or

right must be taken \\' i th in thirty day s after

appealed form and 01· the judgme nt or

r\'i cc b;

a pa rt y

upon the appe ll ant or a copy or the jud gme nt o r o rd er

order nnd ' ' rittcn not ice of it s c nt r.) . the appeal mu st be tal-.en '' ithin thirt: day s thcrcor

vVhen s ubmittin g m otion papers to Judge Brands' Chambers, please do not submit any co pies. S ubmit only the o riginal papers.