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Matthew Rice

Special Counsel
800 Westchester Avenue
Suite C-700
Rye Brook, NY 10573
(914) 977-7337
(914) 977-7301 - Fax
mfrice@mdwcg.com

Matt is a member of the Casualty Department where he primarily represents and defends large property owners, general contractors and sub-contractors against high-exposure complex claims made under New York State Labor Law. Given this focus, he has gained significant experience in the field and developed a reputation as a fierce litigator against the most respected adversaries. He also handles matters involving products liability, automotive liability, retail liability, hospitality and liquor liability and general commercial liability.

Matt received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University in 2000. In 2003, he obtained his juris doctor from St. John’s University, having been admitted as a St. Thomas Aquinas Scholar. In beginning his career, he worked at three high-profile litigation firms in New York City, obtaining impressive results for both plaintiffs and defendants. At the same time, he also obtained his Masters of Business Administration in 2011 from New York University’s Stern School of Business to enhance his business acumen in the court room.

Matt is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell and admitted to practice in the state of New York.

Significant Representative Matters

  • Recently obtained a defense verdict in New York County regarding our client's New York State Labor Law liability. In sum, the matter involved a declaratory judgment action between two insurance companies following their contributions of nearly $2 million dollars toward the settlement of an underlying New York State Labor Law case.  We represented the plaintiff's employer in the case. After the parties' summary judgment motions were denied, a 5 day bench trial on the sole issues of defense and indemnity and our client's alleged liability under the Labor Law was held.  Factually, it was a difficult task to prove that the insured was not at least partly liable. Nonetheless, the Court found there could be no valid claims against our client.

  • Successfully defended a large New York City electrical contactor, obtaining summary judgment, arguing plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of his accident. Plaintiff was a 48-year-old carpenter whom the client hired to install a small wooden floor. To do so, plaintiff made his own make-shift table saw from a mail basket, plywood and a skill-saw. It was argued that plaintiff knew that he was doing was dangerous and that he was the sole proximate cause of his accident. Following motion practice, both the lower Court and Appellate Division First Department agreed and dismissed plaintiff's case in full.

  • Successfully defended a major New York City electrical company, obtaining summary following the close of discovery. Plaintiff was a 50-year-old iron worker who fell from a window opening. One of plaintiff's claims was that electrical conduit (properly installed) prevented him from regaining his footing and contributed to his fall out of the window over 40 feet. The injuries in the case were catastrophic. Using a combination of experts (accident reconstructionist, bio-mechanical engineers and doctors), it was successfully proven that there was no possibility the conduit in question caused plaintiff to fall, but, rather, it was because of the sheer gravitational force of the window plaintiff had lost control of while installing it.

  • Successfully defended one of  New York City's largest plumbing contractors, obtaining summary judgment and proving the client had no involvement in the alleged accident whatsoever. More specifically, plaintiff claimed the client installed defective and leaking plumbing, which caused him to fall and severely injure his back. Upon review of all records, plaintiff clearly was incorrect. The alleged plumbing involved had not even been installed at the time of the accident.

  • Successfully defended a smaller upstate New York general contractor against a claim by its own employee, where he fell from a ladder. More specifically, the client was dismissed from the case based on a workers' compensation defense after it was demonstrated the owner of the premises attempted to frauduently edit documents to create an indemnity obligation.

Published Works

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Wrap-Up Insurance Policies, Anti-Subrogation and the Practical Applications of These Topics, Marshall Dennehey client presentation, September 13, 2017

  • The New York State Labor Law – An Overview and Primer, Marshall Dennehey client presentation, August, 2017

  • The Practical Applications of the New York State Labor Law, National insurance carrier client presentation, September, 2016

Education

  • New York University Stern School of Business, New York, NY  (MBA, 2011)

  • St. John's University School of Law, Jamaica, NY (J.D., 2003)

    Honors: St. Thomas Aquinas Scholar

  • Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Ithaca, NY (B.S., 2000)

    Major: Industrial Labor Relations

Dec 1, 2017
The matter involved a declaratory judgment action between two insurance carriers following their contributions totaling nearly $2 million toward the settlement of a Labor Law case. We represented the underlying plaintiff's employer in the case....

Education

  • New York University Stern School of Business (MBA, 2011)
  • St. John’s University School of Law (J.D., 2003)
  • Cornell University (B.S., 2000)

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 2004

Honors & Awards

Year Joined Organization: 2017

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