Time tick by, constantly and rapidly. Gilbo v Horowitz 2018 NY Slip Op 31844(U) July 31, 2018
Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 158727/2017 Judge: Margaret A. Chan is an example of how there can be a terrible injury, yet no clear legal malpractice landscape. Besides the confusion over which attorney might be responsible, there is the question of timing.
“Plaintiff is an attorney and represents himself in this matter. In the underlying personal injury action, plaintiff suffered devastating injuries when he was struck by a motor vehicle driven by non·party Crandall Glasglow as he walked across Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, on July 21, 2012. Plaintiff alleges that he suffered a traumatic brain injury, :fracture of the left humerus and the neck vertebrae, and a severed brachial plexus of the left arm, among other injuries (NYSCEF Doc. No. 1- Verified Complaint at 1J 11). Plaintiff spent nine weeks in a medically induced coma and seven months recuperating in the hospital (id at 1111 12·13).
On September 14, 2012, while hospitalized, plaintiff executed a retainer agreement with defendant Mark L. Bodner, P.C. (Bodner) and simultaneously executed a Power of Attorney authorizing his.mother to pursue a personal injury claim related to the accident on his behalf (id at 1J 18). Bodner negotiated a settlement with Glasglow’s insurer on September 21, 2012, for the purported limit of the policy- $25,000.00 (id at 1J 20). Bodner attempted to deliver the net proceeds of that settlement to Gilbo, but Gilbo refused it (id at 1J 28). Bodner later filed a Notice of Claim against the City of New York, which is stamped received on October 18, 2012 (NYSCEF Doc. No. 8- Notice of Claim).”
“Recovery for legal malpractice requires proof of three elements: (1) attorney negligence; (2) the negligence was the ‘proximate cause’ of the actual loss sustained; and (3) quantifiable damages (Cosmetics Plus Group, Ltd v Traub, 105 AD3d 134, 960 NYS2d 388 [1st Dept 2013]). There is no dispute that the Kings County action remains pending. As such, no adverse decision exists that would suggest that “but for” defendants’ alleged negligence, plaintiff would have had a more favorable outcome. Plaintiff, at this juncture, has not sustained any actual damages attributable to the alleged malpractice; plaintiffs claim is not ripe. Consequently, his claim for legal malpractice is dismissed with leave to replead (see Flintlock Const. Services, LLP v Rubin, Fiorella & Friedman LLP, 110 AD3d 426, 427 [1st Dept 2013]; Parametric Capital Mgt., LLC v Lacher, 15 AD3d 301, 302 [1st Dept 2005]; Kahan Jewelry Corp. v Rosenfeld, 295 AD2d 261 [1st Dept 2002]). “