Associate Urvashe Sameer Obtains Judgment Dismissing Third-Party Complaint Against Bride and Groom Pursuant to NY General Obligations Law § 5-322

Plaintiff alleged that she sustained injuries when she fell during a wedding at a venue in Greene County, New York.  She filed suit against the venue, who then commenced a third-party action against Fleischner Potash’s clients—the bride and groom—alleging that, pursuant to an indemnification clause in the contract between the venue and the couple, the couple owed the venue defense and indemnification for Plaintiff’s claims.  Plaintiff did not assert any direct claims against the couple.  Fleischner Potash filed a motion for summary judgment and argued that, because the contract disclaimed the venue’s liability for all claims of injury arising out of the couple’s use of the venue’s own property, even if the venue itself was actively negligent in bringing about the injury, the indemnification provision was void and unenforceable as against public policy and under an obscure General Obligations Law § 5-322, which deems unenforceable any contract or agreement entered into with caterers/catering establishments which disclaims the caterer’s liability for damages resulting from the negligence of the caterer.  Plaintiff provided an affidavit in support of our motion, stating that her fall was caused by the structure of the barn itself, foreclosing the possibility that the couple was negligent in bringing about the accident.  The Court granted Fleischner Potash’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety and dismissed the third-party action.