Plaintiff loses on appeal in this legal malpractice case. Injured in a casino after slipping and falling in vomit, the attorney sent a claim letter but did nothing further, the statute of limitations then running out. AD: no proof of notice to the casino, and legal malpractice case must be dismissed.
"The issue in this legal malpractice action is whether plaintiff established that "but for" the negligence of defendants in failing to timely commence a personal injury action on her behalf, she would have prevailed in that litigation. On July 4, 2002, plaintiff was walking through the lobby of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City when she slipped on a substance she identified as vomit. Plaintiff did not see any substance on the floor prior to her fall. She alleges that after she fell, a woman dressed in a blazer and holding a walkie-talkie, whom she believed to be a security guard, came over and told her to get up. When she tried to get up unassisted, she allegedly fell again in the vomit
"After depositions, defendants filed a "renewed" motion for summary judgment, this time relying on plaintiff’s deposition testimony, where she again admitted that she had no information regarding how long the dangerous condition existed. Defendant Kuczinski also noted that during each of his discussions with plaintiff about the case, she never mentioned any "second" fall. Plaintiff responded that she should not be penalized for her inability to prove notice in the underlying action, since that inability was solely the product of defendants’ negligence in failing to investigate the case and timely commence an action. According to plaintiff, had a formal action been timely commenced, she would have obtained the names of crucial witnesses, such as the security guard, as well as any surveillance videotapes kept by the casino, in routine pre-trial discovery proceedings. In addition, plaintiff argued that actual or constructive notice could be inferred in the underlying action, given the vomit’s proximity to the lobby desk and bell boy station.