Real Estate entities, such as an apartment building will always have insurance against trip and falls.  However, that type of general liability insurance typically will not provide insurance against a claim of a person injured while working at the building, such as in a construction accident.  In Ruiz v 829 Realty LLC  2021 NY Slip Op 05834  Decided on October 26, 2021  Appellate Division, First Department the claim against the  attorneys is dismissed.

“Contrary to defendant/third-party plaintiff 829 Realty, LLC’s contentions, the documentary evidence submitted by Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Co. (Acceptance), 829 Realty’s insurer, utterly refuted 829 Realty’s allegations that disclaimer of coverage in the main personal injury action was improper (see generally CPLR 3211[a][1]; Goshen v Mutual Life Ins. Co. of N.Y., 98 NY2d 314, 326 [2002]; Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co. v Terk Tech. Corp., 309 AD2d 22, 29 [1st Dept 2003]). The complaint in the main action, which was properly considered by the motion court, alleged that on January 25, 2018, plaintiff “fell from a height” at the premises owned by 829 Realty, while working for defendant Arsh Gen Construction Corp., which was hired by 829 Realty. Those allegations do not suggest a reasonable possibility of coverage in light of the relevant contractor’s exception, which excluded coverage for claims premised on personal injury sustained by an employee of an independent contractor while working on behalf of an insured, or on the job site but not working for an insured (see generally City of New York v Wausau Underwriters Ins. Co., 145 AD3d 614, 617 [1st Dept 2016]). The third-party complaint and the affidavit from 829 Realty’s member did not raise an issue of fact as to whether Acceptance had actual knowledge of facts establishing a reasonable possibility of coverage, because neither directly countered plaintiff’s factual allegations that he was working for a contractor at the premises when his accident occurred (id.).

829 Realty’s arguments regarding the dismissal of its claims as against Molod, Spitz & Desantis, its former counsel in the main action, are not persuasive because a client may not evade the pleading requirements applicable to a legal malpractice cause of action by framing allegations, which sound in malpractice, in terms of breach of fiduciary duty or breach of contract (see Ulico Cas. Co. v Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, 56 AD3d 1, 10-11 [1st Dept 2008]; e.g. Cherry Hill Mkt. Corp. v Cozen O’Connor P.C., 118 AD3d 514, 514 [1st Dept 2014]; Boslow Family Ltd. Partnership v Kaplan & Kaplan, PLLC, 52 AD3d 417, 417 [1st Dept 2008], lv denied 11 NY3d 707 [2008]; Walter v Castrataro, 94 AD3d 872, 873 [2d Dept 2012]).”

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Andrew Lavoott Bluestone

Andrew Lavoott Bluestone has been an attorney for 40 years, with a career that spans criminal prosecution, civil litigation and appellate litigation. Mr. Bluestone became an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County in 1978, entered private practice in 1984 and in 1989 opened…

Andrew Lavoott Bluestone has been an attorney for 40 years, with a career that spans criminal prosecution, civil litigation and appellate litigation. Mr. Bluestone became an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County in 1978, entered private practice in 1984 and in 1989 opened his private law office and took his first legal malpractice case.

Since 1989, Bluestone has become a leader in the New York Plaintiff’s Legal Malpractice bar, handling a wide array of plaintiff’s legal malpractice cases arising from catastrophic personal injury, contracts, patents, commercial litigation, securities, matrimonial and custody issues, medical malpractice, insurance, product liability, real estate, landlord-tenant, foreclosures and has defended attorneys in a limited number of legal malpractice cases.

Bluestone also took an academic role in field, publishing the New York Attorney Malpractice Report from 2002-2004.  He started the “New York Attorney Malpractice Blog” in 2004, where he has published more than 4500 entries.

Mr. Bluestone has written 38 scholarly peer-reviewed articles concerning legal malpractice, many in the Outside Counsel column of the New York Law Journal. He has appeared as an Expert witness in multiple legal malpractice litigations.

Mr. Bluestone is an adjunct professor of law at St. John’s University College of Law, teaching Legal Malpractice.  Mr. Bluestone has argued legal malpractice cases in the Second Circuit, in the New York State Court of Appeals, each of the four New York Appellate Divisions, in all four of  the U.S. District Courts of New York and in Supreme Courts all over the state.  He has also been admitted pro haec vice in the states of Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida and was formally admitted to the US District Court of Connecticut and to its Bankruptcy Court all for legal malpractice matters. He has been retained by U.S. Trustees in legal malpractice cases from Bankruptcy Courts, and has represented municipalities, insurance companies, hedge funds, communications companies and international manufacturing firms. Mr. Bluestone regularly lectures in CLEs on legal malpractice.

Based upon his professional experience Bluestone was named a Diplomate and was Board Certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys in 2008 in Legal Malpractice. He remains Board Certified.  He was admitted to The Best Lawyers in America from 2012-2019.  He has been featured in Who’s Who in Law since 1993.

In the last years, Mr. Bluestone has been featured for two particularly noteworthy legal malpractice cases.  The first was a settlement of an $11.9 million dollar default legal malpractice case of Yeo v. Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman which was reported in the NYLJ on August 15, 2016. Most recently, Mr. Bluestone obtained a rare plaintiff’s verdict in a legal malpractice case on behalf of the City of White Plains v. Joseph Maria, reported in the NYLJ on February 14, 2017. It was the sole legal malpractice jury verdict in the State of New York for 2017.

Bluestone has been at the forefront of the development of legal malpractice principles and has contributed case law decisions, writing and lecturing which have been recognized by his peers.  He is regularly mentioned in academic writing, and his past cases are often cited in current legal malpractice decisions. He is recognized for his ample writings on Judiciary Law § 487, a 850 year old statute deriving from England which relates to attorney deceit.