Last October, New York Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle’s plane crashed into an apartment building in Manhattan, killing Lidle and the flight instructor who was on board. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, but has not yet determined the cause of the crash or issued its final report (nor has it even been able to say definitively who was flying the plane). But New York dentist Larry Rosenthal knows who is at fault: he’s suing the estate of Lidle for $7 million, claiming that to be the value of his apartment and belongings destroyed when the plane hit his building. He has nowhere to live and is a “refugee,” although Rosenthal’s attorney allows that “It’s not as bad as someone in Katrina.”
There are probably no precedent-setting issues in the case, but we do get this amusing bit of legal analysis from his lawyer (New York Post):
“There’s no excuse for smacking a plane into an apartment building in the middle of Manhattan,” said the Rosenthals’ lawyer, David Jaroslawicz.
That’s not necessarily the case, though; last week, Lidle’s widow figured out an excuse: she filed a lawsuit of her own against the plane manufacturer and associated companies, claiming that some unknown design flaw in the plane caused the crash.
The plaintiff is no stranger to litigation; he is currently suing a former patient who he claims has defamed him on the internet. That defamation suit is based on claims on one of the two gripe sites set up by former patients: Baddentist.com and Lyingdentist.com, which contain many curious and colorful allegations. Smile!
Update: a reader pointed me to this 2002 New York Law Journal story reporting that the dentist’s lawyer has had some legal troubles of his own:
A small New York law firm faces nearly $200,000 in sanctions after a federal appeals court said it had not received a severe enough penalty for an abusive securities fraud suit.
Jaroslawicz also argued that the sanctions should be reduced because he had recently contracted an unspecified disabling disease and because he operated a small law firm.
The 2nd Circuit sided with NU-Tech, saying that the suit constituted a “substantial failure” to comply with requirements of Rule 11(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The court rejected Jaroslawicz’s health-related arguments, saying they could not be considered because Jaroslawicz refused to submit financial and medical evidence related to his condition.