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Smith v. Seinfeld

Civil Court of City of New York, New York County

May 31, 2013

Adrian B. SMITH, Claimant,
v.
Jerry SEINFELD, Defendant. UK Nanny LLC, Claimant, Jerry Seinfeld, Defendant. UK Nanny LLC, Claimant,
v.
Jerry Seinfeld, Defendant. No. 1841/2012.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been referenced in a table in the New York Supplement.

Claimants were self represented and defendant's attorney was John Rosenberg (of Rosenberg and Giger).

JENNIFER G. SCHECTER, J.

Defendant Jerry Seinfeld moves for summary-judgment dismissal of the cases commenced by claimants Adrian B. Smith and UK Nanny LLC.

In March 2012, Mr. Smith emailed Hal Petri, who is employed by an entity affiliated with defendant:

" Nice chatting. By all means let me know if you need any Domestic Staff, House Managers/Butlers, Housemen, Secretaries, Housekeepers, Nannies, Cooks, Drivers,,,,, etc Basically anything and everything, including Couples and staff for the Hamptons. I'm a small operation Midtown West, and charge a flat 10% rather than the usual 18% or 15% fees. Often I have the same resumes/applicants as the higher priced Agencies. I also give a full one year in replacement. Look forward to hearing from you when the need arises. At present there are so many wonderful staff available. High unemployment. Few Openings" (Petri Affidavit [" Petri Aff" ], Ex B).

In June 2012, Mr. Petri interviewed candidates that Mr. Smith referred. It is undisputed that none were hired.

In an email sent at 11:53 a.m. on June 20, 2012, Mr. Petri thanked Mr. Smith and informed him that " the positions have been filled" (Petri Aff, Ex B).

According to Mr. Smith, at approximately 2:15 p.m. on that same day, in a telephone conversation, Mr. Petri told him, among other things, that one candidate that was interviewed " was too old," a second was younger and " might work out" and a third was " a little fat" (August 23, 2012 Smith Affidavit [" Aug Aff" ], at 1).[1]

Mr. Smith emailed Mr. Petri later in the day (at 5:35 in the afternoon) that he would " have" to send a bill for his work in finding suitable help. Mr. Smith stated that he was " looking at over 34 hours over 4 weeks, at $150 per hour = $5,100 ... but call it $5,000, and this will be used as FULL CREDIT ... so if you hire the Hamptons lady, or someone else, then I'll apply the amount as credit. I think that is very fair and businesslike Hal.... Again you will then have a $5,000 credit to be used for a full year from this date. Don't worry, you will use it. Trust me" (Petri Aff, Ex B).

Mr. Petri replied that he had never " been given such a bill without a contract in place, but under the circumstances" agreed to forward an invoice to the billing department. He further requested that Mr. Smith not reach out to him in the future ( id. ).

Mr. Smith responded that he was " really offended" by some of the things that Mr. Petri wrote and reiterated that he would offer a " full credit of 5K" off the bill, if one of his candidates was hired ( id. ).

The following day, on June 21, 2012, he emailed Mr. Petri:

" Fine ... this is your attitude. Not one reply.

" Send me the check, as promised, and we ...


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