Monthly Archives: October 2018

Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. Announces Investigation of India Globalization Capital, INC. (NYSE AMERICAN: IGC)

wall street stock marketNEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2018 — Kantrowitz Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., a firm with a nationwide consumer fraud and securities fraud class action practice, has been following the events concerning India Globalization Capital, Inc. (“IGC” or the “Company”) for a number of months and is now actively investigating potential securities fraud claims on behalf of shareholders of IGC resulting from allegations that IGC and/or its executives issued materially misleading business information to the investing public.  The NYSE American LLC has announced on October 30, 2018 that “the staff of NYSE Regulation has determined to commence proceedings to delist the common stock of India Globalization Capital, Inc. — ticker symbol IGC —from the Exchange. Trading in the Company’s common stock on the NYSE American will be suspended immediately.”

If you purchased India Globalization securities and would like to discuss your legal rights and options, please contact GARY S. GRAIFMAN, ESQ. at Kantrowitz Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. toll free at (888) 752-5018 or ggraifman@kgglaw.com.

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Who Is Responsible If You Slip and Fall on Icy Steps or a Sidewalk Outside Your Apartment Building?

Risk of slipping when climbing stairs in winter. Winter is coming! In fact, in many places in New York and New Jersey, temperatures have already dropped into the low 30s or even colder. Ice and snow are sure to follow.

The risk of slipping and falling in an accident rises exponentially in colder weather. Ice, snow, and sleet can create treacherous — even potentially deadly — conditions for pedestrians, as sidewalks and steps become difficult if not impossible to walk on.

What if you rent? The sidewalks and parking lots outside your house or apartment building should be kept free of ice and snow, and so should the steps. It’s part of the duty of whomever is responsible for maintaining the building.

But what if you slip and fall due to ice or snow on the sidewalks, walkways, or steps? Who is responsible?

Responsibility for Maintaining Building Safely

There are some general principles in liability and responsibility in buildings. Ultimately, owners of buildings have what courts term “a duty of care” to keep their buildings well maintained and safe for tenants. In the case of snow, ice, and sleet, that means making sure all the areas tenants would reasonably walk on are kept clear of snow, ice, and sleet. It also means sanding properly if conditions could change.

There are two other elements in assessing responsibility and liability. Owners not only have a duty of care, they have to know that the area is unsafe (or the conditions need to be deemed such that a reasonable person would have known), and have had sufficient time to shovel, de-ice, and sand.

Now, if you slip and fall due to the fact that ice and snow wasn’t removed from walkways and steps around your building, several parties might be at fault. It depends on the system for snow and ice removal.

When Is the Property Owner at Fault for a Slip and Fall on an Icy Walkway?

The owner might be at fault if he failed to remove the snow or ice if he was personally responsible. If the owner hired a property manager to oversee maintenance of the building(s), the property management company could be at fault if they failed to either remove it or hire someone to do it. If either the property manager or owner engaged a super or a grounds crew to perform the shoveling, de-icing, and sanding, and they failed to do so, they could be at fault. If the owner failed to engage either a property manager or super/grounds person, or failed to train them, the owner might be at fault.

But slip and fall cases can, of course, be complex. Supers and grounds crew can argue that they were not given the instruction, or not properly trained. All parties could potentially argue that the snow or ice had only recently occurred, and that didn’t have sufficient time to clear it.

All these parties could also argue, unfortunately, that the person who slipped and fell was at fault. If they didn’t know that the temperature was low enough to cause ice, for example, or hadn’t had time to clear it, they may argue that you knew the area was unsafe but walked on it anyway, or didn’t wait for it to be cleared. They may even argue that you wore improper footwear for cold and icy conditions, or were walking too fast.

Do You Need a Slip and Fall Attorney in New York or New Jersey?

Slip and fall cases can be complex in terms of determining who is at fault. You need an experienced attorney on your side to make sure you receive fair treatment and just compensation for your injuries.

NY & NJ slip and fall lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman have been investigating and litigating cases involving negligence on the part of landlords and property managers in New York and New Jersey for more than four decades.

We will fight to see that you receive just compensation. For a complimentary case review, call us today toll free at our Bergen County or Rockland County offices.

Additional Resources:

  1. National Safety Council. Fall-prevention Measures Can Keep Older Adults Independent. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/older-adult-falls.
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention. Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter. https://www.cdc.gov/features/winterweather/index.html.
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Thank You & It’s Not Too Late to Donate to Bike MS NYC!

bike ms nycNew Jersey & New York divorce attorney Paul Goldhamer, Esq. is a proud co-founder of the law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, established in 1975. In addition to being a highly-respected practitioner of matrimonial law in NY & NJ, Mr. Goldhamer keeps busy with charity efforts, teaching, media appearances and more. In 2014, Paul received the prestigious honor of being named a “Super Lawyer” by Superlawyers.com.

From Paul Goldhamer, Esq.:

Dear Friends, Clients & Fellow Fighters of MS:

A big thank you to all of you who helped me raise more than $20,000! I will be the 6th largest fundraiser in metropolitan NY, thanks to you!

The rally was on Oct. 21st. (See pictures!). 3000 riders raised $1.8M. I truly appreciate your support.

It is not too late: Your tax-deductible contribution will help create life-changing programs for people living with MS.

To make a donation online, below:
http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/NYNBikeEvents?px=13657273&pg=personal&fr_id=29981

To send a donation, mail to:
National MS Society – NYC – Southern NY Chapter
Attn. Bike MS NYC
733 Third Ave, Third Floor
New York, NY 10017-3204

Please continue your help! Until next year:
Thank you!

bike ms nyc

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Slip and Falls at School: Who Is Responsible?

School hallway with rows of lockersFor generations, schools were looked upon as safe spaces. In fact, schools operate under the aegis of in loco parentis, which means that schools are as responsible for the safety of children as parents are.

Sadly, we all know that schools are less safe than they once seemed to be. Shootings, bullying, and more make headlines around the country and the world.

Slip and Falls In and Around Schools Can Be Dangerous

Slipping and falling accidents can make students unsafe as well. In fact, of the roughly 14 million children injured in accidents each year, approximately 25% happen in or around schools. About 20,000 children 14 years old or younger are taken to emergency rooms each year for traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained on a playground, for example. Eighty percent of playground injuries are caused by falls, according to the National Safety Council.

Children can slip and fall for a number of reasons in and around schools. Perhaps tree roots or a stump remain on the playground. Perhaps a spilled lunch remained on the cafeteria floor. Stairwells and banisters may have been improperly maintained.

Determining Responsibility

Who is responsible if your child slips and falls while at school or on school grounds? Ascertaining responsibility can be complex.

First, in any accident, a party who was responsible for causing the accident can be liable if the court finds them to be negligent. A finding of negligence has several different constituent elements. First, the party has to be responsible for making an area safe. They should have a duty of care to the people who will use the space.

Second, they need to have known, or a reasonable person should have known, that an area was not safe. Third, they need to have had a reasonable time to remedy the unsafe condition. This means, for example, that if a lunch is spilled in a cafeteria, the school’s maintenance staff needs to know about it or should have reasonably known about it, and needs to have had sufficient time to clean it up.

Fourth, responsible parties can be found negligent if the first, second, and third conditions were met, but they did not make the area safe.

That said, responsible parties in school slip and fall accidents can be multiple, and ascertaining the degree of responsibility can be complex here as well. It could be improper performance by the school staff. It could be school administrators, who failed to properly train or supervise the staff. It could be lack of proper maintenance or installation by contractors who the school hired. All these parties and more can bear some degree of responsibility for a slip and fall accident.

If You Need a Slip and Fall Lawyer in New York or New Jersey

The NY & NJ slip and fall attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman are experienced in premises liability cases in New York and New Jersey. We have been handling slip and fall cases since 1975, and are committed to obtaining fair and just compensation for our clients.

For a complimentary case review, call us today toll free.

Additional Resources:

  1. National Safety Council. Landing Lightly: Playgrounds Don’t Have to Hurt. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/child-safety/playgrounds.
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Safe Youth, Safe Schools. https://www.cdc.gov/features/safeschools/index.html.
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How the New 2018 Tax Laws Will Affect Your Matrimonial Agreement

New York & New Jersey divorce lawyer Paul Goldhamer, Esq. co-founded Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman in 1975. Since then, in addition to his prestigious accomplishments in matrimonial and estate law, Mr. Goldhamer has committed  himself to charity fundraising, public seminars, media outreach and teaching. Paul was named a “Super Lawyer” in 2014 by Superlawyers.com.

From Paul Goldhamer, Esq.:

2018 new tax laws as they effect Matrimonial agreements: What has changed?

Divorced taxpayers combined will receive an increase in their monthly net cash flow provided their individual income is less than $200,000. But where those tax savings end up might surprise you and all that depends on how your divorce decree is drafted.

Here’s a short summary of the changes that will affect nearly all divorced taxpayers with children:

  1. Lower individual income tax rates. Federal tax rates are between 10% and 37%. In 2017 a single tax filer would hit the 25% federal tax bracket with $47,950 in annual taxable income. In 2018, a single tax filer can have an annual income of $82,500 before they enter the 24% bracket.
  2. Maintenance (alimony) will no longer be tax deductible to the payor or taxable to the recipient for those decrees signed after 12/31/2018. I believe if the agreement is executed properly before Dec. 31st, 2018, the parties are entitled to the deduction. But this is unsettled. The non-deductibility in most cases with a combined income under $315,000 will tend to increase net annual after-tax cash flow as opposed to an alimony tax deduction due to the lower and expanded individual income tax rates.
  3. Nearly doubles the standard deduction. The standard deduction for a single filer was $6,350 in 2017 and in 2018 it is $12,000. For a married couple, it is $24,000.
  4. Elimination of the personal exemption. Along with the increase in the standard deduction, the new Tax Bill eliminates the personal exemption deduction that was $4,150 per eligible person in 2017.
  5. Expanded Child Tax Credit. The child tax credit increased from $1,000 to $2,000 in 2018 for those children under age 17. In addition, $1,400 is refundable meaning you could still receive up to $1,400 per child even if you did not pay any federal income taxes.
  6. Tax Credit for Non-Child dependents. The Tax Bill added an additional tax credit of $500 for other dependents such as children age 17 and over and/or grandparents that may reside with you as an example.

Here’s a longer discussion of some of the key aspects:

Prenuptial Agreements

For couples who previously drew up prenuptial agreements, the outcome should they divorce is more uncertain. It is common in prenuptial documents for lawyers to insert language calculating alimony payments based on years of marriage and a clause saying alimony payments are deductible for one spouse. A question exists: will these clauses hold up in 2019 and beyond. Can you rely on it? In the absence of guidance from the I.R.S., a document providing for deductible alimony payments might not be honored, if alimony is no longer deductible. A married couple might want to consider renegotiating the agreement, even if it might unsettle the marriage.

Business Valuation

But, there are reasons to delay divorce. Other tax-driven divorce issues require a more careful eye. One is how a private business should be valued. This has always been an important component of divorce settlements. But, the new tax law increases the cash flow of certain pass-through entities — businesses where the taxes on the earnings are paid by the owner, not the company — in a way that raises their value. Because of increased cash flow and reduced taxes, a business could drastically increase in value. Figuring this out will require a more complex expert evaluation, increasing the cost and time. A business is almost always the most contested asset in a divorce, with many of the numbers in a settlement derived from its value. One of those numbers is child support, which is generally negotiated only once. This raises the importance of getting it right. The higher cash flow, if any, from the change in the tax law will not be known until the business owner files a tax return next year.

Other

Child support has always been nondeductible and remains so. But some practitioners are reminding their clients to look closely at the tax benefits of different assets. For instance, couples should weigh receiving a house as against a spouse’s retirement plan. The spouse who has custody of the children wants the house. But the new tax changes, particularly in states where deductions for high state and local taxes have been curtailed, may make the family home less valuable in the long run than a retirement account with a similar value. Spouses who get the retirement account will not be able to draw down on it until age 59½, but they will have a more solid financial base in their later years. And by opting for the retirement account over the house, they can avoid paying those property taxes. Examining how the parents are going to pay for a child’s education is also important. Given the changes in the tax laws, 529 college savings plans can now be used for private high school. They used to be limited to postsecondary and college education. This can help with school costs sooner, but it presents several problems. One problem is whether enough money will be left over to pay for college. Also one must make sure spouses don’t count the assets in a 529 plan toward their contribution to school or college. The new tax law adds a new level of complexity to the overall agreement.

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KGG Settles Class Action Lawsuit Against Flowers Foods, Inc.

KGG Partners Randy J. Perlmutter and Gary S. Graifman successfully resolved a class-action case involving Flowers Foods bakery product delivery distributors who alleged they were improperly misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees.  The case settled after more than two years of hard fought litigation, just prior to a trial on the core issue of misclassification.  The trial was ordered after KGG successfully defended Flowers’ motion for summary judgment.

The settlement encompasses 27 plaintiffs and contains significant monetary and non-monetary relief for the plaintiffs.  The total settlement was $1.49 million inclusive of attorney’s fees.  Flowers also agreed to several important changes to their distributor agreements that will better serve the remaining distributors now and in the future.  There were no objections to the settlement which was overwhelmingly well received.

To learn more details regarding the case and settlement, all documents are available on www.pacer.gov. The case is Schucker v. Flowers Foods, Inc., No. 16-cv-3439 (S.D.N.Y. 2018).

photo of attorney randy perlmutter

Attorney Randy J. Perlmutter

Gary S. Graifman AV Preeminet rating Martindale Hubbell

Attorney Gary S. Graifman

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BikeMS: Last Easy Chance to Donate Before Rally on October 21!

paul goldhamer bike msNY & NJ family law attorney Paul Goldhamer, Esq. helped establish Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, with offices in Rockland County and Bergen County, in 1975. In addition to practicing divorce and estate law, Mr. Goldhamer maintains a full slate of charity work and lectures at universities, civic organizations and high schools. Mr. Goldhamer was recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Superlawyers.com in 2014 .

From Paul Goldhamer, Esq.:

Dear Friends, Clients & Fellow Fighters of MS:

If you already contributed to my 2018 BikeMS ride: A big thank you! Last year I was the 3rd highest fundraiser in the NY Metro area (see picture above).

The rally is on Oct. 21st. Mile by mile, dollar by dollar, Bike MS provides funding to ensure people affected by MS can live their best lives.

I truly appreciate your support. Your tax-deductible contribution will help create life-changing programs for people living with MS.

To make a donation online, click below:
http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/NYNBikeEvents?px=13657273&pg=personal&fr_id=29981

To send a donation, mail to:

National MS Society – NYC – Southern NY Chapter
Attn. Bike MS NYC
733 Third Ave, Third Floor
New York, NY 10017-3204

Please help! Thank you,

Paul

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Bergen County Heroes of the Month

Parent Project The law office of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman is proud to support Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy! Their mission is to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy which is a genetic disorder characterized by the progressive loss of muscle. Duchenne affects approximately 1 out of every 5,000 live male births. About 20,000 children are diagnosed with Duchenne globally each year.

Parent Project MD works to accelerate research, raise their voices in Washington, demand optimal care for all young men, and educate the global community. Their family-centered approach is at the heart of everything they do.

Kimberly Galberaith, COO, and her team were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedule to meet with us at their headquarters in Hackensack, New Jersey. PPMD was established in 1994 and has since invested more than $50 million into Duchenne research. Their contributions over the years have led to advancements inspiring an additional $500 million investment in research from the federal government!

Since 1994, the average lifespan of people with Duchenne has increased from late teens/early-20s to mid-20s /early-30s. This incredible leap is not because of any drug interventions or treatments. It is because PPMD has pushed to advance care.

How can you help?

Parent Project MDPPMD is always looking for great people to join their cause!

Click here to find out more about ways to get involved.

PPMD holds fundraising events all throughout the country such as TCS New York City Marathon on November 4th. Click here for a complete list of events.

You can also join the fight to end Duchenne by donating here. For additional questions, please reach out to info@parentprojectmd.org.

KGG Law Firm Proudly Supports Local Charities

KGG Law Firm has been helping Bergen County residents with legal matters since 1975. Our wide-ranging expertise includes personal injury law, family law and divorce, class action litigation, employment law, estate planning, and real estate. While there are plenty of New Jersey law firms you can choose to represent your best interests, we are one that puts our money where our mouth is. We proudly support local causes like Habitat for Humanity and Ramapo-Bergen Animal Shelter to make our community a better place to live. Contact us for a free case review.

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