Town of Amherst Lawsuit in the Headlines

recent article in the Buffalo News highlighted the ongoing legal battle that arose from a decade-old Scaffold Law suit.

The “Bissell Case”, says the article, “has become synonymous with a nightmarish tug-of-war between the town and a wealthy state agency that has failed to honor its own policies and make payment in a multimillion- dollar lawsuit that has cost town taxpayers tons of money.”

Because of the Scaffold Law, the town was held liable because it owned the property on which the accident occurred.

In 2008, the town paid a $23.4 million judgment to Bissell, of which their insurance policy covered $10 million. The town took out a short term bond two years ago to cover the cost, and in July, the town was forced to make the first principal payment of $3.1 million.

The also highlights a little known deficiency in New York’s legal system – interest on judgments is paid at 9%, rather than the prevailing market rate. In this case, the interest is now more than $6 million. This is yet another of the many areas of our civil justice system that cries out for reform.

Read the full article here.



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