A veteran New York trial lawyer, Theodore H. Friedman has been described by the New York Law Journal as among the city’s top personal injury attorneys. His plaintiff counsel in the appellate case DeLima v. Trinidad Corp. (302 F.2d 585, 1962) was vital in establishing that under the Jones Act, shipowners were liable for negligence in cases where they “played any part, even the slightest” in seaman injuries.
Following a successful decade of litigation practice as Partner with Phillips Nizer, LLP, Mr. Friedman established his own Manhattan law firm in the early 1970s. He notably undertook trial and appellate counsel roles in the seminal landlord liability case Nallan v. Helmsley-Spear, Inc. The original 1969 incident that led to the case involved the shooting of the plaintiff in the unattended lobby of an office building owned by the defendant. Nallan sought personal injuries damages from the building owner, based on the fact that the attendant employed to watch the lobby (and provide at least minimal protection to visitors) had been absent and was negligent in his duties. In addition, the building’s neighborhood was recognized as a high-crime area, in which actions to prevent foreseeable criminal acts should have been taken.
Mr. Friedman’s appellate work in this case, decided a decade after the actual shooting incident, was vital in defining the scope of premises security liability in New York City. In particular, the decision made clear that building owners had a minimum level of responsibility in ensuring the safety of tenants and guests on their properties.