Representative Cases for Professional Liability Litigation

By representing a wide range of professionals, our attorneys have acquired a thorough understanding of the nature of the services provided, as well as the regulatory frameworks and business environments within which they work.

We have significant experience and skill defending professionals from an array of claims, including those for:

  • accounting malpractice
  • legal malpractice
  • medical and dental malpractice
  • insurance agent and broker malpractice
  • title agents and abstractors malpractice
  • nursing home and assisted/senior living malpractice
  • property managers malpractice

Importantly, we also counsel our professional clients on risk management and malpractice prevention.

Our skills as trial lawyers allow us to successfully defend our clients before juries and increase the likelihood of reaching early favorable resolutions that best serve our clients’ interests.

Our professional liability practice has included the defense of class action, derivative and large individual claims, as well as defending professionals in administrative and state-initiated disciplinary proceedings. In many of the larger cases, clients benefit from our skills at managing and assessing massive document productions and electronic discovery.

Representative Cases

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  • Combined Container Inc. v. Prominent CPA Firm (Sup. Ct. Nassau County) (tried before jury and obtained a defense verdict, where company sued its accounting firm for almost $1 million after its bookkeeper embezzled $684,000 by putting her husband on the payroll; CPA firm had performed accounting for the defendant for at least 30 years and been retained to review the plaintiff's financial statements for the period of the fraud; successfully argued that the CPA firm complied with the applicable AICPA standards and that it was not responsible for uncovering the fraud)

  • DeLollis v. Friedberg Smith & Co., P.C., 600 Fed.Appx. 792 (2d Cir. 2015) (affirming dismissal of claim against auditor of auditor of so-called Madoff feeder fund on the ground that the firm’s client had no duty to perform audit procedure on Madoff registered broker-dealer and was entitled to rely on its financial statements; firm acted as co-counsel)

  • Kolodin v Valenti, 2017 WL 484179 (2d Dep’t 2017) (reversing trial court’s denial of summary judgment to accountant claimed to have given improper tax advice, appellate division held that the advice could not have been the proximate cause of plaintiff’s claimed loss arising from the transfer of funds she authorized from a joint brokerage account to an individual brokerage account owned by her former paramour)

  • Fox v. SLS Residential, Inc., Index No. 14183/2008 (Sup. Ct. Nassau County) (granting summary judgment for an owner and administrator of a psychiatric facility sued by the family of a woman who had been decapitated and dismembered by an out-patient)

  • Leroy v Levingart, (Civil Court, New York County) (LCBF associate Peter Wiltenberg obtained a dismissal of a dental malpractice case after opening, examining the client, cross-examining plaintiff, and summing up)

  • DeLollis v. Friedberg, Smith & Co., P.C., 933 F.Supp.2d 354 (D. Conn. 2013) (granting the motion to dismiss filed by LCBF on behalf of the auditor of an investment fund sued for tens of millions of dollars of Madoff-related losses; court held that plaintiffs had no plausible claim that the auditor departed from the applicable auditing standards in relying on annual confirmations from Madoff’s brokerage firm)

  • Dawson Foundation v. Zucker et al., No. 650053/11 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2012) (dismissing “holder claims” against accountant client)

  • Fox v. SLS Residential, Inc., 928 N.Y.S.2d 317 (App. Div. 2d Dep’t 2011) (rejecting plaintiff estate’s claim that clients affiliated with residential treatment facility may be held liable for medical malpractice for not controlling a voluntary mental health outpatient who committed a seemingly random murder of his mother’s neighbor)

  • Strumwasser v. Zeiderman et al., No. 112524/10, (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2011) (dismissing accounting malpractice and fraud claims against CPA firm and individual accountants who provided adversarial expert analysis/report)

  • Luske v. Greene et al., No. 106814/09, (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2011) (dismissing legal malpractice claims against law firm and individual lawyers who provided matrimonial legal services to plaintiff)

  • In re Beacon Associates Securities Litigation, 2010 WL 3895582 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (dismissing class action and derivative claims against auditor client of Madoff feeder fund, allowing claims against other defendants to proceed)

  • Septimus v. Bronsky, No. 106298/08 (Sup Ct. N.Y. Co. 2010) (defense verdict for only non-settling defendant with respect statements defendant orthodontist made to the Dental Peer Review Committee to which plaintiff had presented a malpractice claim prior to the initiation of the lawsuit, plaintiff’s claims for defamation and punitive damages having been previously dismissed)

  • Block v. Singh, No. 106297/08 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2010) (defense verdict for defendant who allegedly failed to detect an inflamed polyp in her sinus prior to the performing implants and bone graft, resulting in plaintiff having to undergo a sinus surgery)

  • Duravest, Inc. v. Viscardi, A.G., 2008 WL 1742845 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (dismissing RICO claim against accountant client)

  • Berger v. Bronsky, No. 115702/06 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2008) (defense verdict for only non-settling defendant where plaintiff alleged orthodontic malpractice arising from treatment to correct an impacted tooth and straighten teeth; verdict subsequently upheld by Appellate Division, First Department following plaintiff’s appeal)

  • Rivera v. Anilesh, 8 N.Y.3d 627 (2007) (rejecting the Appellate Division's ruling that the defendant dentist could not rely upon testimony as to her customary practice in treating a patient to support a reasonable inference that the dentist acted in accordance with that same routine when treating the plaintiff patient)

  • Urbont v. Grayson, No. 110453/05 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2007) (defense verdict where plaintiff claimed that defendant improperly prepared teeth, improperly fabricated the crowns, and maintained temporary crowns for an excessive period of time, resulting in tooth decay, need for 20 root canals, and the loss of multiple teeth and defendant argued that any delays were result of plaintiff’s nit-picking over the aesthetics of the crowns)

  • Vukelj v. Llagas, No. 10565/05, (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2006) (defense verdict based on informed consent and lack of malpractice after seven-day trial where plaintiff claimed that endodontist failed to properly perform a root canal resulting in Ludwig’s Angina (bacterial infection on floor of mouth) and a 6-day hospitalization)

  • National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. L.E. Myers Co. Group, 1997 WL 148231 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (after bench trial, client wholesale insurance broker found not responsible for failing to object to policy's prior acts exclusion, which would have barred coverage for a subsequent loss, because no mutual agreement to amend coverage provided by binder)

  • Kaplan v. Sachs, 234 A.D.2d 271 and 224 A.D.2d 666 (App. Div 2d Dep’t 1996) (affirming dismissal of legal malpractice action where criminal defense attorney allegedly prematurely rested at criminal trial in order to go on his honeymoon)

  • In Tufo v. Pellegrino et al., LCBF successfully moved to dismiss all claims, including claims for professional negligence, breach of contract, conversion, conflict of interest, and breach of fiduciary duty, asserted by a shareholder/officer of an automobile dealership against its accountants when he was allegedly denied certain shareholder rights and financial benefits by the other shareholders. The Supreme Court, New York County, found, among other things, that the accountants were not involved in the underlying transactions which gave rise to plaintiff's alleged injuries and the scope of the accountants' responsibilities, as identified in their engagement letter, would not have led to plaintiff's alleged damages. In addition to dismissing the complaint in its entirety, the court awarded costs and disbursements to defendants. The LCBF team was headed by Rebecca Embry

  • In Krasner v. RAHFCO Funds, 2012 WL 4069300 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), LCBF successfully moved to dismiss all federal securities and common law claims asserted by a group of investors against its accounting firm client (and others) arising from the accounting services provided to a hedge fund that was ultimately discovered to be involved in a multi-million dollar alleged Ponzi scheme. Since the plaintiffs had already amended their complaint once, the court dismissed all claims against the accountants with prejudice. Lou Corsi led the LCBF team

  • In Paladini v. Capossela, Cohen, LLC, 2012 WL 3834655 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District granted, with prejudice, the motion to dismiss LCBF filed on behalf of the accounting firm it represented. The Court found, among other things, that plaintiff's claims failed as a matter of law because of an absence of proximate cause. Specifically, the Court agreed with the accounting firm that plaintiff, when deciding to enter into two 2007 loans and distributions (for almost $100 million), could not have relied on the firm's 2007 audit in any manner as the audit was not completed until the following year. The LCBF team was headed by Sophia Ree

  • Irvin v. Jones, Index No. 2942/12 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk Co. December 13, 2012) (dismissing breach of fiduciary, accounting, and punitive damages claims against an accountant and his firm allegedly responsible for millions of dollars plaintiff allegedly lost as a result of a 1031 exchange and other investments time-barred, because "continuous representation doctrine" did not apply, and "holder claims" not actionable)

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