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Marion Williamson v. Stephen T. Greenberg

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


April 13, 2011

MARION WILLIAMSON,
RESPONDENT,
v.
STEPHEN T. GREENBERG, M.D., FACS,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, Second District (Donald Birnbaum, J.), entered October 9, 2009.

Williamson v Greenberg

Appellate Term, Second Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on April 13, 2011

PRESENT: NICOLAI, P.J., TANENBAUM and LaCAVA, JJ

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $3,000.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

In this small claims action, plaintiff seeks to recover damages from defendant, a plastic surgeon, after she underwent Botox treatment in his office. She alleges that defendant and his staff misrepresented the nature of the procedure that she was to undergo. After a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded her the principal sum of $3,000.

The decision of a fact-finding court should not be disturbed upon appeal unless it is obvious that the court's conclusions could not be reached under any fair interpretation of the evidence (see e.g. Claridge Gardens v Menotti, 160 AD2d 544 [1990]). This standard applies with even greater force to judgments rendered in the Small Claims Part of the court given the limited standard of review (UDCA 1807; see Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]). Furthermore, the determination of the trier of fact as to issues of credibility is given substantial deference, as the trial court's opportunity to observe and evaluate the testimony and demeanor of the witnesses affords it a better perspective from which to assess their credibility (see e.g. Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 [1992]; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 [1991]).

The District Court credited plaintiff's testimony regarding the circumstances surrounding her treatment, and her testimony was not contradicted by any defense witnesses with knowledge of those circumstances. As the District Court's findings and conclusions are supported by the record, we are of the view that the judgment provided the parties with substantial justice according to the rules and principles of substantive law (UDCA 1807; Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams, 269 AD2d at 126). Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

Nicolai, P.J., Tanenbaum and LaCava, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: April 13, 2011

20110413

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