Construction Litigation (New York Labor Law)

New York’s Labor Law §200, §240 and §241 pertain to the duties imposed upon owners and contractors at construction projects. These sections of the New York Labor Law also provide protection and benefits to construction workers who are injured on a jobsite. Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC has a Construction Claims Unit that specifically handles the defense of owners and contractors. These matters often involve complex indemnity and insurance coverage issues that require a high level of expertise. Our firm is very adept in handling the defense of these lawsuits in a proactive and aggressive manner. Our attorneys are extremely familiar with New York Labor Law and related areas of law such as Workers’ Compensation, contract and insurance coverage, that are often involved in construction litigation. This is a constantly evolving field of law that requires attorneys to focus on impending legislation and the perpetually changing case law. The construction attorneys at Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC stay current with all of the changes.

Appellate Practice

The appellate practice group at Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC prosecutes and defends appeals in the State and Federal Courts throughout the State of New York. We have handled numerous appeals from full trials resulting in jury verdicts to motion practice. Our appeals often concern significant issues of law and our expertise in appellate practice and procedure serves not only our appellate clients, but our trial attorneys as well. We also believe that the appellate process is useful in promoting the informal resolution of cases. Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC has experienced appellate lawyers specializing in all facets of appellate work at the state and federal levels. The firm’s appellate practice spans all areas of substantive and procedural law. Our appellate attorneys excel at the effective presentation of oral argument to the appellate courts. The appellate attorneys at Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC often work with the trial attorneys during the trial and post trial phases of litigation so that our clients’ interests are protected in order to ensure the best possible result at trial and have the best possible record for appeal. Our attorneys not only handle appeals generated from cases handled by the firm, but are also retained to handle appeals involving significant or complex issues from other firms.

Excess Risk Claims

Our firm is often called upon to monitor cases involving large claims involving excess policies of insurance. Our firm handles excess risk claims on a primary basis and excess basis. When monitoring a case for an excess carrier our attorneys review the entire underlying file and when necessary attend all substantive depositions and conferences to insure appropriate defense by primary counsel. Our firm also concentrates on providing primary counsel with helpful suggestions and guidance throughout the course of litigation. This includes the formulation of defense strategies and selection of expert witnesses. Because of our active involvement at the early stage of litigation we present opportunities to settle claims and also assist in identifying potential issues that the primary carrier may have missed.

Professional Liability

For many years now Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC has been one of the most experienced and knowledgeable law firms handling professional liability matters. Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC exclusively defended legal malpractice claims on behalf of the Home Insurance Company who was the underwriter for legal malpractice insurance on behalf of the New York Bar Association for many years. Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating legal malpractice actions in all areas of the law. We also represent a wide range of professionals, including insurance agents and brokers, accountants, attorneys, real estate agents, appraisers, financial planners, broker-dealers, architects and engineers. Our lawyers bring years of experience in the representation of our professional clients. We have represented the professional sector in complex trials throughout New York State and Federal Courts. Our trial experience is extensive, and we have achieved excellent results throughout the history of the firm.

Motor Vehicle Litigation

Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC handles a large variety of motor vehicle related litigation. Our attorneys handle a great number of cases wherein we are called upon to defend clients in personal injury and property damage lawsuits arising from motor vehicle accidents. We work closely with the client and the insurer in obtaining favorable results. Our extensive experience in personal automobile cases encompasses uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, general defense and arbitrations. Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC also represents trucking companies in accident cases involving large commercial vehicles. The handling of these matters often involve coverage issues, National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and other ancillary issues. Over the years the members of our firm have been very successful in obtaining favorable results via summary judgment motions and at trial in matters involving motor vehicle accidents.

Insurance Coverage

The law firm of Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC has experienced and knowledgeable Insurance Coverage attorneys who handle a variety of coverage disputes, including the validity of disclaimers, reservations of rights, denials of coverage and the defense and prosecution of declaratory judgment actions in both the State and Federal Courts. The attorneys at Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC are adept at recognizing and analyzing essential issues such as late notice, specific policy exclusions, conditions and amendments and applying these considerations to an overall coverage analysis. Our firm has represented insurance carriers and private entities on both sides of the coverage dispute. Our expertise in this area frequently results in early resolution of coverage issues so that the client can avoid costly litigation of these complex issues. We have also represented insurance carriers in lawsuits and arbitrations involving claims of insufficient No-Fault payments. Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC routinely provides coverage opinions for insurance carriers in the areas of motor vehicle, construction, general liability and professional liability.

Municipal Liability Claims

The attorneys at Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC have a great deal of experience defending claims against municipalities such as the City of New York, County of Westchester, County of Suffolk, County of Nassau, Town of Oyster Bay, Town of Smithtown and various school districts throughout the New York area.  We have worked closely with the supporting claims professionals through the New York School Insurance Reciprocal and the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal in connection with the defense of these claims.

Defense of Assisted Living Facilities

Today people are enjoying longer lives than ever before.  With that greater life expectancy has come a dramatic increase in the role of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  As a result, there has been an appreciable rise in the number of claims in this area of law.  Given the age and frailty of some of the residents, accidents and injuries in nursing homes occur quite often  The plaintiff’s bar has devoted a great deal of time, energy and resources to creating claims and lawsuits from these incidents.  Given the population trend, this area of law will continue to grow well into the foreseeable future.  Our attorneys are adept at handling these types of claims.  We provide aggressive, efficient and practical defenses of these cases while working closely with the facilities and their employees.  The firm is also mindful of the relationship between the facilities.

General Liability and Trial Practice

Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC has always been focused on general liability defense and trial practice. This area of practice remains one of the most important parts of the firm’s work. The scope of our general liability practice includes premises liability, products liability, automobile, property damage, construction defect claims, mold claims, lead paint claims, and dramshop liability. The attorneys in our office handling construction defect claims consistently counsel insurance and corporate clients with respect to personal injury, defect and property damage claims. Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC has represented a variety of contractors, subcontractors, architects and engineers in this growing field of law. We are consistently mindful of all indemnity, additional insured and coverage issues and keep our clients advised accordingly. The attorneys at Hannum Feretic Prendergast & Merlino, LLC regularly try cases throughout the New York City and the greater metropolitan area.