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Leigh H. Sutton



Practice Areas

  • Products Liability
  • Food, Drug, & Medical Devices
  • Architects & Engineers
  • Property Loss/Damage
  • Fire & Explosion
  • Subrogation
  • Construction/Labor Law
  • Premises Liability

Education

  • New York Law School, J.D.
  • Boston University/Columbia University, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
 
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LEIGH H. SUTTON joined MDAF in 2008 after having worked at a well-established insurance defense firm in New York City.  In his prior position, Mr. Sutton focused on the areas of premises liability, general liability, and elevator/escalator litigation.  At MDAF, Mr. Sutton specializes in defending medical device and other product manufacturers against product liability claims and defending architects, engineers, and other construction professionals against claims of malpractice.  He also has extensive experience representing co-operative boards of directors against shareholder property loss/damage claims.  In addition, Mr. Sutton has successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of insurance companies in subrogation matters pertaining to losses involving fire, explosions, and water leaks/infiltration.  Mr. Sutton has litigated cases throughout the States of New York and New Jersey, and a large percentage of his practice is venued in Federal Courts.        

PRIOR EXPERIENCE

  • Gottlieb, Siegel & Schwartz, LLP
  • New York City Human Resource Administration
  • AstraZeneca PLC

AWARDS

Mr. Sutton was selected to the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for excellence in Product Liability defense.  Each year no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.  

Mr. Sutton won first place as National Champion of the 2007 Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition.  

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Defendant's verdict in breach of contract trial for architect who allegedly took an unreasonable amount of time to obtain Department of City Planning approval, failed to deliver preliminary designs, failed to respond to issues raised by the Staten Island DCP promptly, and who overcharged for services performed.
  • Defendant's verdict in malpractice/breach of contract trial for architect who allegedly negligently designed plans for the conversion of a commercial building into an Eating & Drinking Establishment, resulting in claimed damages of $2,977,390 comprising lost profits and renovation costs;
  • Obtained settlement of $2,000,000 in subrogation action on behalf of insurance client for fire loss to the Schuyler County Shared Services Building that resulted from a contractor's improper clamping of electrical wires together with hydraulic lines in a 2008 Volvo VHD truck;
  • Obtained dismissal of multiple product liability actions against a manufacturer of pain pumps by plaintiffs that alleged that following arthroscopic shoulder surgery, a pain pump was used to administer continuous local anaesthetics to their shoulder, resulting in glenohumeral chondrolysis;
  • Obtained dismissal of malpractice action against architect for allegedly failing to underpin an adjoining building pursuant to New York City Administrative Code section 27-1031(b)(1); 
  • Obtained dismissal of product liability action commenced against manufacturer of hip implants by plaintiff alleging that the failure of the product resulted in multiple revision surgeries;
  • Obtained dismissal of product liability action against manufacturer of generic Phenytoin/Fosphenytoin (Dilantin) by plaintiff alleging that the drug caused her to to develop Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and/or Toxic Expidermal Necrolysis (TEN).

 IMPORTANT DECISIONS

  • Burgos v. Satiety, Inc., 2010 WL 4907764 (EDNY, 11/30/2010) - plaintiff alleged injuries following a voluntary procedure involving a medical device subject to an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE).  On summary judgment, plaintiffs state law claims of negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability against the subject device's manufacturer were dismissed as they were preempted by 21 U.S.C. section 360(k) (the Medical Device Amendments Act of 1976) and failed to state a parallel claim.  Plaintiff was granted leave to file an amended complaint to properly state a parallel claim. 
  • Burgos v. Satiety, Inc., 2013 WL 801729 (EDNY, 03/05/2013) - plaintiff alleged injuries following a voluntary procedure involving a medical device subject to an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE).  Following prior motion practice, all of plaintiff's causes of action against the subject device's manufacturer were dismissed, with the exception of her negligent manufacturing claim.  Following limited discovery regarding the manufacture of the subject device, plaintiff's remaining cause of action was dismissed on summary judgment for failure to state a cause of action, since plaintiff was unable to produce any evidence that the subject device had been manufactured contrary to the specifications contained within the IDE.  
  • Brd of Mgrs of the 352 21st St. Condominium v. South Park Slope Realty, LLC​ - plaintiff, an association of building unit owners, claimed damages, pursuant to 16 causes of action, for alleged defective construction of the building not in accordance with the condominiums offering plans.  Plaintiff's causes of action against the architect were dismissed on summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff lacked privity with the architect, plaintiff is not a third-party beneficiary to the contract between the architect and the sponsor, and because plaintiff's claims are barred by the Martin Act (New York General Business Law 23-A)

ORGANIZATIONS

  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York County Bar Association
  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals

 

 



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