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Benedict v. Tarnow & Juvelier, LLP

Supreme Court, New York County

December 24, 2013

THEODORA BENEDICT, Plaintiff,
v.
TARNOW & JUVELIER, LLP, TARNOW LAW FIRM PL, MARTIN JUVELIER, PLLC, MARTIN D. JUVELIER, an individual, and HERMAN H. TARNOW, an individual, Defendants. Index No. 116709/2009

Unpublished Opinion

DECISION/ORDER

SHLOMO S. HAGLER, J.S.C.

Motion by plaintiff to dismiss defendants' libel counterclaim.

Papers Numbered

Plaintiff's Notice of Motion with Affirmation of Plaintiff's Counsel, Alexander T. Coleman, Esq., in Support of the Motion & Exhibits A through D . . 1 2

Affidavit of Defendant Martin D. Juvelier, Esq., in Opposition to Plaintiff's with Exhibits A through F ....3

Reply Affirmation of Plaintiff's Counsel, Alexander T. Coleman, Esq., in Further Support of Plaintiff's Motion . .. . . 4

Transcript of Oral Argument of January 14, 2013 ....... 5

Plaintiff's Letter dated January 16, 2013 with Attachments............................................................... 6

Defendants' Letter dated January 28, 2013 ............ ................ 7

Transcript of Oral Argument of February 25, 2013............8

Plaintiff Theodora Benedict ("plaintiff or "Benedict") commenced this action against defendants Tarnow & Juvelier, LLP ("T&J LLP"), Martin D. Juvelier, individually ("Juvelier"), Martin Juvelier, PLLC ("Juvelier's new firm") (collectively "the Juvelier defendants"), Herman Tarnow, individually ("Tarnow"), and the Tarnow Law Firm, PL ("Tarnow's new firm") (collectively "the Tarnow defendants"), alleging disability discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and retaliation. The Juvelier defendants counterclaimed for libel. In this motion sequence number 007, plaintiff moves to dismiss the Juvelier defendants' libel counterclaim for failure to state a cause of action pursuant to CPLR § 3211(a)(7).

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

Prior to this action, plaintiff filed a claim with the New York State Department of Human Rights ("SDHR") for wrongful termination, age discrimination, and disability discrimination claiming that she was fired because of being diagnosed with a rare tumor in her sinuses, which required surgery. On October 25, 2007, after giving notice of her illness to her employer and co-workers, Benedict's employment was terminated. (Complaint, ¶¶ 5, 6, 14, 27.) On November 9, 2007, Benedict filed an age and disability discrimination claim with the SDHR. (Id. At ¶¶ 35-37.) On or about November 28, 2007, Benedict was offered her old position back at T&J LLP. (Id. At ΒΆΒΆ 38-39.) In December of 2007, soon after plaintiff was rehired at her old position, she once again lost her job due to the firm's dissolution. At the SDHR proceeding, plaintiff claimed that she was discriminated against and terminated because of her medical condition. In addition, plaintiff alleged at the SDHR proceeding that T&J LLP was dissolved in order to avoid the legal ramifications of firing the ...


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