FKB’s A. Michael Furman and Salvatore Lapetina successfully dismissed all claims against FKB’s client, a New York based medical staffing agency, by way of a summary judgment motion. Plaintiff, a traveling nurse employed by FKB’s client, claims to have tripped and fell in a hospital located in New York City, sustaining injuries. Plaintiff commenced an action against the hospital in the Supreme Court, New York County, and the hospital commenced third-party proceedings against FKB’s client, seeking contractual indemnification for the Plaintiff’s injuries.

In its motion for summary judgment, FKB successfully argued that Plaintiff’s accident was not contemplated by the parties when entering into the contract at issue, and the indemnification provision, analyzed individually and in conjunction with the entirety of the contract, was not triggered by the Plaintiff’s accident at the hospital’s premises. FKB argued that the accident did not arise from the services provided by FKB’s client, and FKB’s client did not breach the contract at issue. FKB also argued that the scope of the indemnity provision was limited to professional malpractice related to patient care.

By Decision and Order dated January 3, 2022, Justice Richard Latin granted FKB’s motion dismissing all claims against FKB’s client. In its Decision, the Court agreed with FKB’s arguments and held, “By its plain terms, the indemnification provision at issue would be triggered in the event of a finding that plaintiff was professionally negligent while providing patient care, or if [FKB’s client] breached the agreement, or the act arose from any service, which is not the case here. Had the parties intended [FKB’s client] to indemnify [the hospital] for all claims arising from any work-related activity irrespective of negligence, they had only to say so unambiguously…Such an intention is not unmistakably clear from the language of [the contract]…, and it is not for the court to rewrite the contract and supply a specific obligation the parties themselves did not spell out.” Accordingly, Justice Latin granted FKB’s motion for summary judgment and ordered dismissal of all claims against FKB’s client.

If you have any questions about this decision, or the defense in general, please contact A. Michael Furman and Salvatore Lapetina.


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