Search Site
226 Lenox Ave. | New York, New York 10027
Free Consultation 212-406-9466

Today, the New York Post reported that the widow of Yankee’s Pitcher Cory Lidle was ordered to pay $80,000 in court costs for losing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the plane Lidle was in when he crashed into a Manhattan apartment building.

The Post article is copied in its entirety below.

You may ask: When might someone be required to pay the other side’s court costs and/or attorneys’ fees?

1. Attorneys’ fees: Unless there is a specific statute, written contract provision or perhaps a court rule requiring reimbursement of attorneys’ fees, the losing party generally does not have to pay the prevailing party’s attorneys’ fees.  Costs can be a different story.

An example of a statute that allows a successful plaintiff to recoup attorneys’ fees and costs from the defendant is 42 U.S.C. 1983, the “civil rights law.”  If you prevail at trial, your attorneys can apply to the court to have their fees paid by the losing party. When you sign a retainer agreement with an attorney for this type of case (false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force), there should be a provision, which states that your attorney may select the contingency fee (usually one third of the net recovery), or,  in lieu of the contingent fee, the attorney may elect to apply to the court for reimbursement of his/her fees.  If the latter, the client may keep the entire net recovery while the attorney would be paid for services from the additional court awarded fees.

Please take note: As far as contract provisions, the language should be clear to satisfy the exacting “unmistakable intent” standard established by the Court of Appeals in Hooper Assoc., Ltd. v. AGS Computers, Inc., 74 N.Y.2d 487 (1989)

However, absent a statute or contract provision permitting fee shifting, the successful litigant will not be reimbursed for attorneys’ fees from the unsuccessful party.

2. In Federal Court, the rules allow the prevailing party to recoup its costs (not attorneys’ fees absent a specific statute permitting an award of fees).  Taxable costs include court filing fees, witness fees, transcript costs, etc.  See Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) and 28 U.S.C. § 1920.  For a discussion of the federal rule, take a look at:

Cory Lidle’s widow, along with the pilot’s widow, filed their cases in federal court. Since they did not prevail, the above rules permit the defendants to make an application to the court clerk and/or judge for an award of costs.  See the link, above, to determine what are considered “taxable” costs in federal court.

3. For actions brought in New York State courts, costs (and attorneys’ fees in rarer circumstances) that may be reimbursed to the prevailing party are described in the New York Civil Practice Rules.  There are extensive rules pertaining to a variety of issues, types of costs, types of actions, etc. Take a look at Articles 80 – 86 of the New York Civil Practice Rules (NY CPLR). Here is a link to the CPLR:

Yankee Widow 80-grand slammed in crash suit


Last Updated: 3:25 AM, February 4, 2013

Posted: 2:35 AM, February 4, 2013

The widow of late Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle is crying foul after being ordered to pay more than $80,000 for losing a suit over the private-plane crash into a Manhattan high-rise that killed her husband. “It’s an injustice compounded on an injustice,” said lawyer Todd Macaluso, who represents Melanie Lidle. Lawyers for aircraft maker Cirrus Design Corp. won a judgment for court costs against Melanie and Stephanie Stanger, whose husband, professional pilot Tyler Stanger, also died in the 2006 Upper East Side wreck. It’s unclear if Cirrus will also seek to recoup its huge legal fees for successfully battling the women’s product-liability claims. The tragic widows alleged that defects in the design of Cory Lidle’s Cirrus SR20 caused its controls to lock up during a U-turn over the East River. A Manhattan federal jury took just three hours to clear the company in 2011, and an appeals court unanimously upheld the verdict last month. Macaluso blamed the outcome on pretrial rulings that kept jurors from learning that Cirrus recalled all its SR20’s and changed the manufacturing process after the deadly incident. Lawyers for Cirrus didn’t return requests for comment. [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

Our Office
  • New York Office
    226 Lenox Ave.
    New York, New York 10027
    Phone: 212-406-9466
    Fax: 212-406 9410
  • "Lenox Avenue attorney Carmen Giordano is honest, experienced and determined to win. He and his staff consistently provide incredible customer service and a solid commitment to serving the Harlem community."  -Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day

  • "I initially hired Carmen S. Giordano in 2005 to represent Be & D, our high-end ladies accessories division, in litigation with one of our major suppliers. Mr. Giordano quickly and efficiently collected pertinent information and was able to obtain a judgment that I considered most satisfactory. I have continued to ask Mr. Giordano to represent us in domestic and some international matters. I know that I can rely on his legal advice, and I deeply appreciate his personal warmth and genuineness whenever I contact him."  -Larry Dumain

  • "Recommend Carmen Giordano?” You cannot “recommend ” a friend, you have to experience the warmth the caring, the true concern to help you with your problem . It’s an “experience ” to to hear the sound advice and how to proceed with a dilemma. Yes, Carmen is a true “trailblazer”, a “template ” for other attorneys, in his total concern for his client/friend and how to help. He is also very well supported by his staff."  -Peter Grinenko

  • "Carmen is an OUTSTANDING Lawyer. This guy really gets things done! I never met a lawyer who put in so much effort and hardwork into their cases . I met Carmen about a month ago where i had a real messy case and a month later my case was settled. I recommend him as a lawyer 100%. This guy is the real deal!"  -Mancita

  • "I have been very happy with the work Carmen has led on my behalf. He is responsive and completely reliable and trustworthy. I know I can always depend on him to make sound recommendations on my behalf. He knows the law from A to Z and stays current on changes in the law whether it’s estate planning, employment issues or legal matters for same-sex couples. He has as comfortable style which helps clients be at ease and he always takes the time to explain concepts and implications so we can arrive at informed decisions together."  -Jack T

  • "Carmen helped me fight a case against a crooked Psychiatrist named forester. We settled the case and therefore won. With the win and the money, I was able to rebuild my life to some degree. Lawyers don’t get much better than this guy. Thank You again Carmen!"  -Jon

  • "Mr. Giordano is honest, trustworthy, efficient, thorough & caring. He is professional & personable. He truly cares about his clients. I highly recommend him."  -Kim

  • "Carmen Giordano is the embodiment of everything you would hope to find in a lawyer; he is trustworthy, sincere and knows his stuff. He comes highly recommended from such a vast cross-section of people–from mutual friends at the National Action Network, to clothing designers and music producers. Having experience in such a variety of areas makes Giordano one of the most well rounded attorneys I know. I wholeheartedly recommend him because unlike some in his industry, he really looks out for you. And from the times I have been in his office, he truly represents everyone from the falsely accused in Harlem, with nowhere to turn, to big shots, including top musicians and an occasional judge."  -Michelle

  • "I highly endorse this lawyer. He has great integrity and very broad experience in litigation. He has had great success in achieving excellent results for his clients; provides vigorous and reliable representation to each client; and has excellent judgment in assessing the merits of a claim."  -Margaret King, Attorney

  • "Carmen Giordano came to my rescue when I needed it most. I was a passenger in a taxi that crashed, leaving me badly injured and unable to work or take care of my 3 children. The taxi company tried to downplay my injuries and my losses. But Carmen fought for me every step of the way in this complicated case. He understood my lost wages, and understood the strain on my family (he’s a father too). He made sure the judge understood it, too. By the the time he concluded his eloquent opening argument, the defendants quickly settled. I remain extremely grateful to Mr. Giordano."  -Lauren

Leave a Review