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Hughes v. Nussbaumer, Clarke Velzy

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department
May 27, 1988
140 A.D.2d 988 (N.Y. App. Div. 1988)

Opinion

May 27, 1988

Appeal from the Supreme Court, Erie County, Ostrowski, J.

Present — Dillon, P.J., Green, Pine, Balio and Davis, JJ.


Judgment unanimously reversed on the law with costs and motion denied. Memorandum: A judgment was entered after the entry of the order from which this appeal was taken. Where a prior order is subsumed within a judgment, the appeal is from the judgment, not the prior order (Chase Manhattan Bank v Roberts Roberts, 63 A.D.2d 566). Nevertheless, absent prejudice to the respondent, this court has the discretionary power to treat the notice of appeal as one taken from the judgment, and we conclude that our discretion should be exercised in this case (CPLR 5520 [c]; Frankel v Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., 106 A.D.2d 542; Chase Manhattan Bank v Roberts Roberts, supra).

We further conclude that the judgment dismissing this action must be reversed. Hughes, Szymborski and Perna were injured on January 15, 1975 in an explosion at the old control building of the Buffalo Sewer Authority's Bird Island Sewage Treatment Plant. Perna died a few days later as a result of injuries suffered in the blast. An action was then commenced by or on behalf of the three Authority employees against Nussbaumer Clarke, Inc., an engineering firm that performed certain design, consulting and supervisory work in 1952 in connection with the expansion of the sewage treatment facility. Plaintiffs claimed that defendant was negligent in the design or redesign of the old control building.

We find that Special Term erred by granting defendant's motion to dismiss. Although defendant demonstrated that the written contracts did not require it to perform services in connection with the old control building, the affidavit of plaintiffs' expert and the 1952 report prepared by defendant and annexed to that affidavit were adequate to raise issues of fact whether the scope of the project changed to include work on the old control building and whether defendant in fact performed design services relating to that building. Since a design engineer may be held liable to those endangered by the engineer's negligence irrespective of privity (Clemens v Benzinger, 211 App. Div. 586, 590-591; see also, Cubito v Kreisberg, 69 A.D.2d 738, affd 51 N.Y.2d 900), we reverse and deny defendant's motion for summary judgment.


Summaries of

Hughes v. Nussbaumer, Clarke Velzy

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department
May 27, 1988
140 A.D.2d 988 (N.Y. App. Div. 1988)
Case details for

Hughes v. Nussbaumer, Clarke Velzy

Case Details

Full title:WILLIAM HUGHES et al., Appellants, v. NUSSBAUMER, CLARKE VELZY et al.…

Court:Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department

Date published: May 27, 1988

Citations

140 A.D.2d 988 (N.Y. App. Div. 1988)

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