For Our Clients Since 1935
Sennett, New York
The Sennett personal injury lawyers at Michaels & Smolak have strong ties to Sennett, a town in Cayuga County. The Town is named for an early settler, Daniel Sennett. It is located on the eastern side of Cayuga County bordering Auburn, where the law offices of Michaels & Smolak are located. The primary thoroughfare through Sennett from east to west is NY State Route 20. Sennett is situated directly between the Auburn city line and the Village of Skaneateles. Our senior trial attorney, Lee Michaels, makes his home in the town of Sennett.
Unfortunately, as of late, the Town of Sennett is best known for its squandering of taxpayer resources in multi-year vicious and protracted litigation over certain zoning issues involving the former Pioneer Restaurant property and its subsequent rehabilitation and development. In fact, the litigation became so divisive that the Sennett Town Board sued its own Zoning Board of Appeals. The Sennett ZBA voted unanimously to hire the personal injury lawyers at Michaels & Smolak to represent them in the litigation brought against them by the Town Board. The attorneys of Michaels & Smolak employed their legal skills to resolve the case in a manner very favorable to the ZBA.
The bulk of the firm’s work in Sennett, however, is in the personal injury field. Our personal injury attorneys serving Sennett residents are particularly proud of their representation of a severely injured passenger in a single car crash on County Line Road in Sennett. The driver of the car was traveling too fast for the road conditions and lost control on an icy curve, striking a tree and rendering a passenger quadriplegic. The driver’s insurance quickly offered its limited policy to the injured party but that was insufficient to fairly compensate the devastating damages. Before coming to the personal injury attorneys at Michaels & Smolak, this severely injured Sennett resident was told by other lawyers that the insurance policy was the limit of the potential recovery and that nothing else could be done for him. Michaels & Smolak disagreed with that assessment. They believed there was a legal argument that could tap into a large amount of money from another party.
The additional recovery was obtained through NY Vehicle & Traffic law Section 388, which provides that an owner of the vehicle is vicariously responsible for the damages caused by a permissive user of the vehicle. The Michaels & Smolak team argued in Court that the injured plaintiff should be allowed to recover from the true owner of the vehicle, a large corporation that had leased the vehicle to the driver.
After Michaels & Smolak started the lawsuit, the leasing company immediately filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that New York Vehicle & Traffic law Section 388 did not apply to leasing companies as “owners”. The Cayuga County Judge agreed and dismissed the paralyzed plaintiff’s case. However, the lawyers at Michaels & Smolak appealed that ruling to the appellate court in Rochester. In a unanimous decision, the appellate court agreed with the Michaels & Smolak’s attorneys and reinstated the action against the leasing company.
Ultimately, the case proceeded through the normal litigation process, where it was vigorously defended by the leasing company’s lawyers. Michaels & Smolak hired the best accident reconstruction experts in the country and had prepared to try the case before a Cayuga County jury when the case was successfully settled for millions of dollars.
The case above illustrates why many Cayuga, Seneca and Onondaga County general practice lawyers trust Michaels & Smolak with their personal injury clients. Many of them refer all their personal injury cases to the firm. If you were involved in any kind of accident in Sennett, NY, or the surrounding area, or in fact anywhere in New York State, feel free to contact the Sennett personal injury attorneys at Michaels & Smolak for your free consult.