Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Documents filed

Two lawsuits move along

By David Baker
Posted Thursday Jan 1, 2015
375 words

As a new year starts, here is an update on two lawsuits, details of which have previously been published on this blog.

Patricia Cocozzo vs. Northeast Health

Details of this case were published in an exclusive story here in June 2014. Patricia Cocozzo alleges that she was sexual harassed while working in the emergency department at Samaritan Hospital, and that she was ridiculed because of her hearing impairment. She also alleges retaliation for complaining about the harassment, which allegedly involved in part a male employee showing her a video of himself having sex with another woman.  The suit claims violations of several sections of New York’s Human Rights Law.

At the time the first story appeared here nothing had been filed by attorneys for the defendants. Since then, a law firm in White Plains, N.Y., Jackson Lewis, has filed a response. This document, known as an answer, contains little of substance; it merely routinely denies all the allegations and then lists a set of standard “affirmative defenses”; that the claim is barred by the statue of limitations (they all say that, even when it clearly isn’t); that Cocozzo “…failed to make diligent and good faith efforts to mitigate her damages”; and also a novel defense: that Cocozzo’s claim is barred by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Law; i.e., that any perceived harassment was a workplace accident, claims for which cannot be brought in civil courts.

The first story on Cocozzo's claim is HERE

Estate of Tara Palmer vs. James Slavin, M.D. and Samaritan Hospital

In this case, it is alleged that Tara Palmer was advised by the defendant James Slavin that it was safe to fly following an operation on an ankle. The next day Palmer collapsed and died in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport en route to Boise, Idaho.  She was 31.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the estate by Palmer’s mother, Cheryl Maille, who lives in Boise. The date of the filing was November 2011 but there was no further activity in the public record until June 2014. In August, state Supreme Court Justice Patrick J. McGrath issued a scheduling order. A preliminary conference is set for March 2015.

The estate is represented by the Albany law  firm O’Connell & Aronowitz. Representing the defendants are Carter, Conboy, Case, Blackmore, Maloney & Laird, and Thorn, Gershon Tymann & Bonanni.

The first story on the Palmer lawsuit is HERE