Hearsay

Hearsay in opposition
Edwards v Rosario, 2018 NY Slip Op 07684 [1st Dept. 2018]

While the unsworn statement constitutes inadmissible hearsay, it may be considered in opposition to Earlybird’s motion because it is not the only evidence offered by plaintiff (see Erkan v McDonald’s Corp., 146 AD3d 466, 468 [1st Dept 2017).

Declaration against interest

Caminiti v Extell W. 57th St. LLC., 2018 NY Slip Op 07667 [1st Dept. 2018]

The court properly found that plaintiff’s testimony about her now-deceased husband’s statement regarding his accident is admissible as a declaration against interest (see generally Basile v Huntington Util. Fuel Corp., 60 AD2d 616, 617 [2d Dept 1977]; Guide to NY Evid rule 8.11, Statement Against Penal or Pecuniary Interest, http://www.nycourts.gov/judges/evidence/8-HEARSAY/8.11). Decedent’s statement that he should have known better than to use the ladder as he did, established that he knew his statement was against his interest. Although the statement was uncorroborated, it had sufficient indicia of reliability, in that the experienced, 52-year-old electrician described his accident to his wife alone in an emergency room while awaiting surgery, in the absence of any coercion or attempt to shift blame away from himself (cf. Nucci v Proper, 95 NY2d 597, 602 [2001]). Accordingly, we decline to reach plaintiff’s alternative arguments as to the statement’s admissibility.

Hearsay waived

Grant v Carrasco, 2018 NY Slip Op 06516 [2d Dept. 2018]

The plaintiff also submitted, however, an uncertified copy of a police accident report, which stated that according to the defendant driver, the plaintiff’s vehicle came to a sudden stop even though the traffic light was green. Although the police report contained self-serving statements not in admissible form, the plaintiff waived any objection to the admissibility of the report by submitting it in support of his motion (see Cruz v Finney, 148 AD3d 772, 773; Orcel v Haber, 140 AD3d at 937).

Videos and Experts

Torres v Hickman, 2018 NY Slip Op 04372 [2d Dept 2018]

Contrary to the plaintiff's contention, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in precluding the proffered surveillance video excerpt. "Testimony from [a] videographer that he [or she] took the video, that it correctly reflects what he [or she] saw, and that it has not been altered or edited is normally sufficient to authenticate a videotape" (Zegarelli v Hughes, 3 NY3d 64, 69). Where the videographer is not called as a witness, the video can still be authenticated with testimony that the video "truly and accurately represents what was before the camera" (People v Byrnes, 33 NY2d 343, 349; see Zegarelli v Hughes, 3 NY3d at 69). Furthermore, "[e]vidence establishing the chain of custody of the videotape may additionally buttress its authenticity and integrity, and even allow for acceptable inferences of reasonable accuracy and freedom from tampering" (People v Patterson, 93 NY2d 80, 84; see Read v Ellenville Natl. Bank, 20 AD3d 408, 409). Here, given the inability of the witness to testify regarding the editing of the master recording and the accuracy of the video excerpt, and his lack of personal knowledge as to the creation of the proffered disc and how it came into the possession of the plaintiff's attorneys, we agree with the court's determination that the plaintiff failed to properly authenticate the video excerpt (see Read v Ellenville Natl. Bank, 20 AD3d at 409-410).

Additionally, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in precluding the plaintiff's orthopedic surgeon from testifying that the accident imparted "tremendous energy" to the plaintiff's vehicle, since the witness was not a biomechanical engineer, and since he failed to quantify the amount of energy involved (see Plate v Palisade Film Delivery Corp., 39 AD3d 835, 837).

The plaintiff's contention that she was entitled to a missing witness charge is unpreserved for appellate review (see CPLR 4110-b).

CPLR 4547 — Negotiations / Missing Witness / Hearsay

Matter of Chi-ChuanFile Wang, 2018 NY Slip Op 04090 [1st Dept. 2018]

Here, proponents challenge the documents and testimony admitted into evidence concerning settlement negotiations in Shanghai at which proponent provided objectant with paintings he denied having taken from decedent's bank vault. Although CPLR 4547 precludes presentation of evidence of settlement negotiations, it expressly exempts exclusion of evidence, which is otherwise discoverable, solely because such evidence was presented during the course of settlement negotiations.

The list of paintings that was signed by proponent as part of the settlement conference in Shanghai was admitted into evidence because it included a factual admission that proponent possessed a painting that he accused objectant of stealing. Thus, its use at trial was permissible, notwithstanding that the factual statement was contained in a settlement document (see PRG Brokerage Inc. v Aramarine Brokerage, Inc., 107 AD3d 559, 560 [1st Dept 2013]).

Proponents also challenge the court's missing witness charge with respect to two of decedent's treating doctors in the hospital and the attorney who drafted the will. The court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in providing a missing witness charge with respect to decedent's treating doctors. The court's missing witness charge with respect to the attorney, Jerome Kamerman, was in error. Mr. Kamerman was living in Florida at the time of trial and was unavailable to proponents (see Zeeck v Melina Taxi Co., 177 AD2d 692, 694 [1st Dept 1991] [Proof that a witness is beyond the jurisdiction of the court is ordinarily sufficient to bar the inference as a matter of law]; People v Gonzalez, 68 N.Y.2d 424, 428 [1986]). In light of the testimony at trial regarding decedent's testamentary capacity, we find the error to be harmless as a matter of law (see CPLR 2002; Nestorowich v Ricotta, 97 NY 2d 393 [2002] ["viewing the charge as a whole, and in light of the evidence presented, counsel's arguments and the otherwise proper jury instructions, there is no indication that the error in judgment' charge clouded the issue or negatively influenced the jury's determination"]).

Emphasis is mine

Finally, proponents challenge the testimony of objectant's expert because his opinion was based in part on conversations with objectant regarding decedent's mental capacity. A psychiatrist's opinion may be received in evidence even though some of the information on which it is based is inadmissible hearsay, if the hearsay is "of a kind accepted in the profession as reliable in forming a professional opinion, or if it comes from a witness subject to full cross-examination on [] trial" (People v Goldstein, 6 NY3d 119, 124 [2005], cert denied 547 US 1159 [2006]). The court properly permitted the expert to testify, despite his conversations with objectant, since she was subject to full cross-examination at trial.

 

4518

City Natl. Bank v Foundry Dev. Group, LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op 02765 [2d Dept. 2018]

Contrary to the defendants' contention, the Supreme Court properly determined that certain exhibits presented at the inquest were admissible under the business records exception to the hearsay rule (see CPLR 4518[a]). " A proper foundation for the admission of a business record must be provided by someone with personal knowledge of the maker's business practices and procedures'" (Cadlerock Joint Venture, L.P. v Trombley, 150 AD3d 957, 959, quoting Citibank, N.A. v Cabrera, 130 AD3d 861, 861). Here, the plaintiff's witness testified that she was personally familiar with the record keeping practices and procedures of the plaintiff and Imperial, and, thus, the plaintiff laid a proper foundation for the admission of the records (see Yellow Book of N.Y., L.P. v Cataldo, 81 AD3d 638, 639-640).

Present sense, and other, exceptions [hearsay]

Gomes v Pearson Capital Partners LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op 01560 [1st Dept 2018]

In opposition, defendant failed to raise a triable issue of fact. We will not consider defendants' hearsay exception arguments, which are raised for the first time on appeal (see e.g. Gonzalez v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 29 AD3d 369, 370 [1st Dept 2006]), to raise an issue of fact as to whether plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of the accident. Even if we were to consider such arguments, they are unavailing. The business record exception is inapplicable, since defendants have not submitted the incident report for the December 24, 2012 accident. The present sense impression exception is also inapplicable, since the out-of-court statement from plaintiff to the foreman that he fell while climbing up the scaffold is not corroborated by independent evidence (see People v Cantave, 21 NY3d 374, 382 [2013]). The excited utterance exception does not apply, since defendants have not provided sufficient evidence of plaintiff's mental state or established that he made the hearsay statement to the foreman under the stress of excitement (see People v Johnson, 1 NY3d 302, 306 [2003]; cf. Heer v North Moore St. Devs., LLC, 61 AD3d 617, 618 [1st Dept 2009]). Furthermore, plaintiff's statement to the foreman does not fall within the declaration against interest exception because plaintiff was available to, and did, testify as a witness; there is no evidence that plaintiff knew the statement was adverse to his interests when it was made; and the supporting circumstances do not attest to its trustworthiness or reliability (see People v Soto, 26 NY3d 455, 460-461 [2015]).

Police reports and liablity

Roman v Cabrera, 2014 NY Slip Op 00445 [1st Dept. 2014]

Nonetheless, plaintiffs opposed the motion solely on the basis of a notation in Trooper Rosado's report to the effect that "Cabrera swerved to avoid Mr. Lawrence's vehicle and in so doing lost control of her vehicle, striking Mr. Román . . . ." This police accident report is insufficient to raise an issue of fact since it recites hearsay and was prepared by an officer who had not observed the accident (see Singh v Stair, 106 AD3d 632 [1st Dept 2013]). Moreover, plaintiffs have not demonstrated an excuse for their failure to offer proof on the issue in admissible form (see Friends of Animals v Associated Fur Mfrs., 46 NY2d 1065, 1068 [1979]).

Even if it were admissible, the police report would still be insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact. Liability may not be imposed on a party who merely furnishes the condition or occasion for the occurrence of the event, but was not one of its causes (see Sheehan v New York, 40 NY2d 496, 503 [1976]). The report would not have raised an inference that Lawrence's conduct caused the emergency condition created when his vehicle hit the median divider as he tried to avoid colliding with third unidentified car, which allegedly swerved into his lane (see Paulino v Guzman, 85 AD3d 631, 632 [1st Dept 2011]).

Emphasis mine.

Hearsay

Rosado v Phipps Houses Servs., Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op 02385 (1st Dept., 2012)

Plaintiff alleges that she slipped and fell in a puddle located on an exterior landing of premises owned, managed and/or operated by defendants, and that two yellow caution cones had been placed against the wall, to her right and left, as she exited, but not in the area of the liquid condition. The presence of caution cones here created a triable issue of fact as to prior actual notice of the condition, as defendants' witness admitted that they would place such caution cones to alert others to a slippery condition and plaintiff denied that the cones were being used to prop open a door, as had been alleged by defendants' witness (see Felix v Sears, Roebuck & Co., 64 AD3d 499 [2009]; Hilsman v Sarwil Assoc., L.P., 13 AD3d 692 [2004]). Additionally, while the hearsay portions of a witness affidavit submitted in opposition to the motion, which referred to an unidentified person or persons having admitted prior notice of the condition, were inadmissible (see Cassanova v General Cinema Corp. of N.Y., 237 AD2d 155 [1997]; Pascarella v Sears, Roebuck and Co., 280 AD2d 279 [2001]), the witness's first hand account of providing defendants with notice of the condition at least 45 minutes before the accident raised triable issues of fact as to prior actual and constructive notice of the condition.

Rosario v Vasquez, 2012 NY Slip Op 01874 (1st Dept., 2012)

In opposition, defendants failed to provide a nonnegligent explanation for the collision (Avant, 74 AD3d at 534); (cf. Ebanks v Triboro Coach Corp., 304 AD2d 406 [2003]). The uncertified police accident report submitted by defendants constitutes hearsay and, in any event, does not support Guzman-Sosa's account of the accident (see Rivera v GT Acquisition 1 Corp., 72 AD3d 525, 526 [2010]).

Contrary to the motion court's finding, depositions are not needed, since Guzman-Sosa had personal knowledge of the facts (see Avant, 74 AD3d at 534).

Quinche v Gonzalez, 2012 NY Slip Op 03158 (2nd Dept., 2012)

Contrary to the plaintiff's contention, the Supreme Court did not err in admitting into evidence at the subject hearing certain audio recordings. The recordings did not constitute inadmissible hearsay. "Hearsay is an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted therein" (Gelpi v 37th Ave. Realty Corp., 281 AD2d 392, 392). "However, a statement which is not offered to establish the truth of the facts asserted therein is not hearsay" (id.). Here, the recordings at issue were not offered for the truth of the matter asserted therein. Accordingly, the Supreme Court did not err in admitting the recordings into evidence on this ground. The plaintiff's remaining contentions concerning the admission of these recordings are unpreserved for appellate review.

 

Hearsay (4518)

CPLR R. 4518 Business records

Steinberg v New York City Tr. Auth., 2011 NY Slip Op 07480 (1st Dept., 2011)

Supreme Court correctly found that, as movant, defendant failed to show that it did not breach a duty to plaintiff. Defendant relied on hearsay testimony and accident reports submitted without an adequate foundation for their admission as business records (see Wen Ying Ji v Rockrose Dev. Corp., 34 AD3d 253, 254 [2006]; compare Buckley v J.A. Jones/GMO, 38 AD3d 461, 462-463 [2007]). In view of the testimony of defendant's foreman that it was necessary to safeguard the tools from theft and that defendant's other employees had seen Williams hovering around them, talking and yelling, it cannot be found as a matter of law that Williams's criminal acts were unforeseeable and therefore a superseding cause of plaintiff's injuries (see Bell v Board of Educ. of City of N.Y., 90 NY2d 944 [1997])

Mallen v Farmingdale Lanes, LLC, 2011 NY Slip Op 08569 (2nd Dept., 2011)

In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. The plaintiff's expert affidavit was speculative and conclusory and, therefore, insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact (see Fotiatis v Cambridge Hall Tenants Corp., 70 AD3d 631, 632; Pappas v Cherry Cr., Inc., 66 AD3d 658, 659; Rivas-Chirino v Wildlife Conservation Socy., 64 AD3d 556, 558). Further, the plaintiff's contention that incident reports regarding prior accidents raised a triable issue of fact as to whether there was a dangerous condition or whether the defendant had notice of any such condition is speculative, as there was no evidence that those accidents were similar in nature to the plaintiff's accident (see Hyde v County of Rensselaer, 51 NY2d 927, 929; Gjonaj v Otis El. Co., 38 AD3d 384, 385). The plaintiff's reliance upon a statement as to the cause of her accident contained in an incident report is also unavailing, as the report contained hearsay and the plaintiff failed to lay the proper foundation for its admission as a business record (see CPLR 4518[a]; Roldan v New York Univ., 81 AD3d 625, 627; Stock v Otis El. Co., 52 AD3d 816, 817; Daliendo v Johnson, 147 AD2d 312, 321). "Although hearsay evidence may be considered in opposition to a motion for summary judgment, it is insufficient to bar summary judgment if it is the only evidence submitted" (Stock v Otis El. Co., 52 AD3d at 816-817 [internal quotation marks omitted]). Accordingly, since the hearsay evidence, by itself, was insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact, and the other evidence submitted by the plaintiff in opposition to the defendant's motion also failed to raise a triable issue of fact, the Supreme Court properly granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

Yant v Mile Sq. Transp., Inc., 2011 NY Slip Op 07913 (1st Dept., 2011)

Plaintiff established his entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by stating that he was injured when defendants' school bus hit the rear of the bus on which he was riding (see Johnson v Phillips, 261 AD2d 269, 271 [1999]). In opposition, defendants raised a triable issue of fact by attaching the complete police accident report, which listed all of the passengers on the buses and did not include plaintiff's name. This document, which was admissible as a business record (see Holliday v Hudson Armored Car & Courier Serv., 301 AD2d 392, 396 [2003], lv dismissed in part, denied in part 100 NY2d 636 [2003]), raised the question of whether plaintiff was actually a passenger on the bus (see Perry v City of New York, 44 AD3d 311 [2007]). Accordingly, plaintiff's motion should have been denied and defendants should have been permitted to conduct discovery to determine whether or not plaintiff was indeed a passenger (see CPLR 3212[f]; Bartee v D & S Fire Protection Corp., 79 AD3d 508 [2010]).

Admission in deposition transcript

Singh v Actors Equity Holding Corp., 2011 NY Slip Op 07909 (1st Dept., 2011)

Plaintiff's argument that summary judgment should not have been granted because defendants failed to include signed, sworn copies of the deposition transcripts, is raised for the first time on appeal and thus, is precluded from review (Ta-Chotani v Doubleclick, Inc., 276 AD2d 313 [2000]). Were we to consider the argument, we would find that the signed, sworn documents were in defendants' possession and could have been provided to the motion court had defendants been notified of the omission. Moreover, the deposition transcripts are admissible as plaintiff's own admission since the transcripts had been certified as accurate by the court reporter (Morchik v Trinity School, 257 AD2d 534, 536 [1999]).