DHC’s Litigation Department Wins Two Major Cases

DHC’s litigation department, led by founding partner, Larry Hutcher handles all types of complex commercial disputes.  Recently the firm has enjoyed a number of significant victories in cases that have been widely reported in both the general and legal specific media.

Two of the cases are as follows:

In Smile For Kids, Inc. v. Madison Square Garden Company, 52 Misc.3d 629, 32 N.Y.S.3d 866 (Sup. Ct. N. Y. Co. May 20, 2016), the Court dealt with a case of first impression.  Plaintiffs, ticket resellers, alleged that Madison Square Garden’s policy of limiting the number of Knicks and Rangers season tickets which a single customer could “purchase, control, coordinate, manage or direct” violated the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.  Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction enjoining and restraining MSG from redistributing Knicks and Rangers season ticket subscriptions and compelling renewal of subscriptions which MSG had refused to renew.

Although the Court stated that MSG’s ticket limit policy did not violate the statute, it held that MSG could not arbitrarily, capriciously and unreasonably determine that different individual season ticket holders were one person or entity.  Specifically, the Court held that MSG was not permitted to terminate season subscriptions of long-time holders “based on the circumstance that these long-term ticket holders have either chosen to do business with Plaintiffs or accept financing from Plaintiffs”.  Thus, the Court held that individuals who held Knicks or Rangers season tickets for a substantial time and who paid for their subscriptions independently should not be precluded from renewing their season tickets simply because they “very recently” did business with Plaintiffs or accepted financing from them.

Larry Hutcher, Peter Ripin and Richard Wolter represented the plaintiffs in this suit.

In Rosenshein d/b/a Park West Realty Co. v. Kushner et al., Case No. 15cv7397 (DLC) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Plaintiff, an investor in a multitude of real estate investment companies sold and managed by the individual Defendants, instituted suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) against the individual Defendants and several of the entities in which he had invested.

We moved to dismiss all of the RICO claims contained in the Amended Complaint, as well as the state law claims.

Judge Denise Cote rendered an Opinion and Order dated August 26, 2016, dismissing the action in its entirety. The RICO claims were all dismissed with prejudice upon statute of limitations grounds, and by reason thereof, Judge Cote held that she “need not address defendants’ remaining arguments” on the RICO claims.

In dismissing the RICO claims, the Court held that those claims were barred by the four-year statute of limitations governing RICO claims, upon the grounds that (a) a RICO claim accrues when a plaintiff discovers, or through reasonable inquiry should have discovered, his alleged injury, and (b) the accrual of a RICO claim does not await discovery of the alleged pattern of racketeering activity. In other words, the RICO statute of limitations applicable to RICO claims is subject to an injury-discovery rule, rather than a pattern-discovery rule. Based upon the controlling rule, the Court found that all of Plaintiff’s claims were time-barred.

In making her ruling, Judge Cote also discussed at some length the “storm warnings” that placed Plaintiff on inquiry notice of his alleged injuries, and found that Plaintiff was on inquiry notice of the injuries he was claiming more than four years before he commenced suit.

Larry Hutcher, Michael Wexelbaum and Richard Wolter represented the defendants.

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