Overview

Steven H. Kaplan’s primary areas of focus are insurance coverage opinions and litigation, appeals, personal injury construction accident litigation, and general defense work in the New York and New Jersey state and federal courts.  He has argued appeals before New York’s Court of Appeals and three of its four Appellate Divisions, the New Jersey Appellate Division, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and he has filed papers with the United States Supreme Court. 

Steve’s general defense practice ranges over a wide spectrum of subject matters, including insurance agent and broker errors and omissions, funeral director errors and omissions, employment discrimination, wrongful termination and whistleblower cases, defamation and business torts, premises liability, liquor liability, product liability, asbestos, negligent security, vehicular and aviation accidents, and, on the appellate level, medical and dental malpractice.

Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court,
    • District of New Jersey
    • Eastern District of New York
    • Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • Second Circuit
    • Third Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

  • Albany Law School of Union University
     – J.D., cum laude
  • State University of New York at Albany – B.A, magna cum laude

 

  • Kennedy v. Related Mgmt., 403 Fed. Appx. 566 (2d Cir. 2010), cert denied, 131 S. Ct. 2451 (2011). The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (reported at 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64732) granting summary judgment to a landlord, dismissing would-be tenants’ discrimination claims brought under the federal Fair Housing Act and the New York State Human Rights Law. The Second Circuit rejected plaintiffs’ claim that they were denied subsidized housing because one of them suffered from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, holding that defendant had articulated a non-discriminatory reason for rejecting their application and that there was no evidence that the articulated reason was pretextual. The United States Supreme Court thereafter denied plaintiffs’ petition for a writ of certiorari.
  • Potomac Aviation v. Port Authority of N.Y. & N.J., 413 N.J. Super. 212 (App. Div. 2010). The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the grant of summary judgment to defendant, a fixed base operator at a general aviation airport, dismissing a negligence case for damage to a jet aircraft parked within the facility caused by the negligence of a motorist on a public road adjacent to the airport. Although the Appellate Division found the accident to be foreseeable, it held that the defendant rebutted the presumption of negligence which arose from the bailment of the aircraft. Rejecting plaintiff’s expert’s opinion, the Appellate Division held that premises defendants generally have no duty to protect those on their premises against the risks created by the negligence of third-parties using the adjacent public roads.
  • Lombardo v Mastec N. Am., Inc., 68 A.D.3d 935 (2d Dep’t 2009). The New York Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s order and granted summary judgment to the defendant with respect to an assault perpetrated by its employees upon a customer. The Appellate Division held that the assault was outside the scope of the employment relationship and that plaintiff’s negligent hiring and supervision claims were meritless.
  • Cresson v. New York Univ. Coll. of Dentistry, 45 A.D.3d 352 (1st Dep’t 2007). The New York Appellate Division affirmed the grant of summary judgment to a school of dentistry in a malpractice action based on the statute of limitations. The court rejected plaintiff’s various arguments that a course of continuous treatment had suspended the limitations period.
  • Aparicio v. Acme Am. Repair, 33 A.D.3d 480 (1st Dep’t 2006). The New York Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s order and granted summary judgment to the defendant in a product liability action. The court rejected the conclusion of plaintiff’s expert that the accident was caused by a design defect, concluding that such was due to improper maintenance.
  • Quiles v. Term Equities, 22 A.D.3d 417 (1st Dep’t 2005). The New York Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s order granting summary judgment to plaintiffs in a wrongful eviction case. The Appellate Division found that there was a question of fact as to whether the apartment building had been so “effectively demolished” by a fire that the landlord was not required to offer apartments to the rent-regulated former tenants when a new building was constructed on the site.
  • Colonial Coop. Ins. Co. v. Desert Storm Constr. Corp., 305 A.D.2d 363 (2d Dep’t 2003). The New York Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s order granting summary judgment to an insurer and upholding its disclaimer of liability insurance coverage for an underlying personal injury action. The Appellate Division found that codefendants with cross-claims against the insured in the underlying action had standing to challenge the disclaimer, and that there was a question of fact concerning whether the disclaimer was timely.
  • Gates v. Goldstein, 303 A.D.2d 163 (1st Dep’t 2003). The New York Appellate Division upheld the defendant’s verdict in a medical malpractice action for failure to diagnose prostate cancer while still treatable, rejecting plaintiff’s Batson challenge to defendant’s peremptory challenges of African Americans during jury selection, plaintiff’s claims that the trial judge displayed a homophobic bias, and plaintiff’s various assignments of error pertaining to evidentiary rulings and jury charges.
  • First Fin. Ins. Co. v. Allstate Interior Demolition Corp., 193 F.3d 109 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1999). The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision granting summary judgment to an insurer upholding its disclaimer of liability insurance coverage for an additional insured general contractor with respect to a property damage claim based on the alleged material misrepresentations of the named insured subcontractor when applying for the commercial general liability insurance policy.  The Second Circuit held that there were questions of fact concerning whether the interior demolition subcontractor had provided accurate information concerning its operations in its application for the insurance policy, whether that contractor was obligated to volunteer that it occasionally demolished elevators, and whether the purported misrepresentations, in any event, were material to the insurer’s decision to issue the policy.
  • Kavanagh v. Ogden Allied Maint. Corp., 92 N.Y.2d 952 (1998).  The New York Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division and held that, when a personal injury plaintiff intends to adduce the testimony of a vocational rehabilitation expert to establish damages, the defendant is entitled to obtain an examination of the plaintiff by its own vocational rehabilitation expert.
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