INDEX NO.

511377/2014

FILED: KINGS COUNTY CLERK 07/15/2015 03:49 AM
NYSCEF DOC. NO. 5

RECEIVED NYSCEF: 07/15/2015

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF KINGS
-------------------------------------------------------------------X
JEFFREY CABREJA,

VERIFIED COMPLAINT
Index No.: 511377/2014

Plaintiff,
-againstPHOENIX HOUSE FOUNDATION, INC.,
PHOENIX HOUSE DEVELOPMENT FUND
INC., PHOENIX HOUSES OF NEW YORK,
INC., and PHOENIX HOUSES OF LONG
ISLAND, INC.,

Jury Trial Demanded

Defendants.
-------------------------------------------------------------------X

Plaintiff, JEFFREY CABREJA, complaining of the defendants, by his attorney,
Michael A. Huerta, alleges, upon information and belief:
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
1.

This is an action seeking damages against the defendants, for psychological

injuries, personal injuries and other damages arising out of their negligence in connection with
an assault and battery upon the plaintiff. Plaintiff was in a rehabilitative program maintained by
defendants; as such plaintiff resided in the program house under the rules and regulations created
by the defendants. The defendants supervised and controlled plaintiff and other members of this
program as part of an alcohol and drug program. Defendants imposed strict rules upon defendant
and other participants of this program. Defendants employ security guards and other agents to
enforce program rules. John Doe, a member of the program entered the program house
intoxicated. John Doe went on to commit an assault and battery upon the plaintiff in the program
house. Defendants were negligent in their supervision of participants and execution of program
rules. Defendants’ negligence caused plaintiff great harm. Plaintiff seeks redress.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
2.

This Court has jurisdiction over defendants, PHOENIX HOUSE FOUNDATION,

INC., PHOENIX HOUSE DEVELOPMENT FUND INC., PHOENIX HOUSES OF NEW
YORK, INC., and PHOENIX HOUSES OF LONG ISLAND, INC., pursuant to CPLR §§ 301
and 302 because defendants have domiciliary in New York State and/or regularly conduct
business in New York State, and because defendants committed tortious acts and transacted
business within New York State from which the causes of action arise.
3.

Venue is proper under CPLR § 503(a) as plaintiff resides in KINGS County in the

City and State of New York.
4.

This action falls within one or more of the exemptions set forth in CPLR §1602.

5.

The plaintiff has not made the request of relief herein to any other Court or judge.
THE PARTIES

6.

That at all times herein mentioned, upon information and belief, plaintiff,

JEFFREY CABREJA, was a resident of Kings County, City and State of New York.
7.

That at all times herein mentioned, upon information and belief, defendant,

PHOENIX HOUSE FOUNDATION, INC., is a New York domestic business corporation that
maintains its principal place of business at 164 WEST 74TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW
YORK, 10023.
8.

That at all times herein mentioned, upon information and belief, defendant,

PHOENIX HOUSE DEVELOPMENT FUND INC., is a New York domestic business
corporation that maintains its principal place of business at 164 WEST 74TH STREET, NEW
YORK, NEW YORK, 10023.

2

9.

That at all times herein mentioned, upon information and belief, defendant,

PHOENIX HOUSES OF NEW YORK, INC., is a New York domestic business corporation that
maintains its principal place of business at 164 WEST 74TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW
YORK, 10023.
10.

That at all times herein mentioned, upon information and belief, defendant,

PHOENIX HOUSES OF LONG ISLAND, INC. is a New York domestic business corporation
that maintains its principal place of business at 164 WEST 74TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW
YORK, 10023.
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
11.

That at all times herein mentioned, upon information and belief, defendants,

PHOENIX HOUSE FOUNDATION, INC., PHOENIX HOUSE DEVELOPMENT FUND INC.,
PHOENIX HOUSES OF NEW YORK, INC., and PHOENIX HOUSES OF LONG ISLAND,
INC., and their agents, servants, employees and/or contractors, sponsored, operated, controlled,
and managed a residential drug alcoholic program (“rehabilitation program”).
12.

That at all times herein mentioned, upon information and belief, defendants,

PHOENIX HOUSE FOUNDATION, INC., PHOENIX HOUSE DEVELOPMENT FUND INC.,
PHOENIX HOUSES OF NEW YORK, INC., and PHOENIX HOUSES OF LONG ISLAND,
INC., and their agents, servants, employees and/or contractors, owned, operated, controlled
and/or supervised the location 50 Jay Street in the county of Kings, City and State of New York
(“50 Jay Street”).
13.

That at all times herein mentioned, upon information and belief, defendants,

PHOENIX HOUSE FOUNDATION, INC., PHOENIX HOUSE DEVELOPMENT FUND INC.,
PHOENIX HOUSES OF NEW YORK, INC., and PHOENIX HOUSES OF LONG ISLAND,

3

INC., and their agents, servants, employees and/or contractors, owned, operated, controlled
and/or supervised the rehabilitation program at 50 Jay Street.
14.

That on or around July 24, 2014 at or about 11:00 PM, that the plaintiff was a

participant in the rehabilitation program.
15.

That on or around July 24, 2014 at or about 11:00 PM, that the plaintiff was a

lawfully present at 50 Jay Street as a resident in the rehabilitation program.
AS AND FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION:
NEGLIGENCE
16.

Plaintiff repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in the

Paragraphs 1 through 15, inclusive, as though fully set forth at length herein.
17.

Defendants owed a duty to the plaintiff as the owners and operators of the

rehabilitation program and 50 Jay Street.
18.

That on or around July 24, 2014 at or about 11:00 PM, defendants did breach the

duty owed to plaintiff by allowing another participant of the rehabilitation program to unlawfully
enter, while intoxicated on drugs and or alcohol, the premises known as 50 Jay Street and cause
an assault and battery upon the plaintiff.
19.

Defendants did recklessly, negligently, wantonly contribute, cause, foster an

environment of danger which proximately caused injury, suffering and pain upon the plaintiff.
20.

That the defendants failed to protect the plaintiff from a violent intoxicated

participant who sought plaintiff out for a physical attack. That the intoxicated participant was
allowed by the defendants and their agents, servants, employees and/or contractors, to enter 50
Jay Street, to locate plaintiff in the building and to physically attack plaintiff.
21.

That the defendants failed to create, maintain, supervise a security system to

prevent attacks on residents, particularly the plaintiff. Further, the residence assigned to the
4

plaintiff did not have any security devices or measures which could be used to stop a violent
attack by an intoxicated participant. Further, the residence assigned to the plaintiff had no
security device to alert or warn defendants and their agents, servants, employees and/or
contractors, that an emergency or an attack was taking place.
22.

Defendants negligently failed breached their duty to protect plaintiff from the

environment that the defendants created.
23.

That the defendants knew or should have known that the intoxicated attacker on

the night of July 24, 2014, would attack plaintiff or another participant in the rehabilitative
program, but negligently, recklessly and wantonly failed to cure such dangerous condition.
24.

That the defendants knew or should have known that the intoxicated attacker on

the night of July 24, 2014, would be a danger to residents of the program and failed to warn,
protect, or notify the plaintiff and other residents of such dangerous condition.
25.

That plaintiff in no way whatsoever caused or contributed to any of his injuries,

pain and suffering.
26.

Solely as a result of the negligence of the defendants, as stated herein, plaintiff

sustained serious, severe and permanent injuries and disabilities; was rendered sick, sore, lame
and disabled; sustained severe mental anguish, nervous shock, great physical pain and loss of
enjoyment of life; was compelled to obtain medical treatment and will be compelled to undergo
further medical treatment for an undetermined amount of time, and had to expend great sums of
money for medical and hospital expenses.
27.

By reason of the foregoing, this plaintiff has been damaged in a sum that exceeds the

monetary jurisdiction of all lower courts that might otherwise have jurisdiction of this action.

5

WHEREFORE, the plaintiff demands judgment against the defendants as follows:
(1) Judgment against the defendants, jointly and severally, hold them liable for the injuries
and damages herein described;
(2) Awarding the plaintiff damages in an amount exceeding the jurisdictional limits of all
lower courts which would otherwise have jurisdiction;
(3) Taxing and allowing the costs and disbursements of this action; and
(4) Granting such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Dated:

New York, New York
July 14, 2015

HUERTA PLLC

By:
Michael A. Huerta
Attorney for Plaintiff
HUERTA PLLC
1 World Trade Center
Suite 8500
New York, New York 10007
Mailing Address
HUERTA PLLC
P.O. Box 141
New York, New York 10008
(212) 729-4385 tel
(866) 959-0064 fax

6

VERIFICATION
Pursuant to CPLR 3020:
I, Michael A. Huerta, an attorney, at Huerta PLLC, admitted to the practice of law before
the Courts of the State of New York, and not a party to the above-entitled cause, affirm the
following to be true under the penalties of perjury pursuant to CPLR 2106: I have read the
foregoing Complaint and know the contents thereof, and the recitals contained in the Complaint
are true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.
The sources of my information and the grounds of my belief as to all matters in the
foregoing Complaint not therein stated to be upon my personal knowledge are gathered from my
research involving plaintiff and defendants; investigation involving recitals of Complaint; and
information regarding Defendants that is available to the public.
I have made this verification for the plaintiff as he does not reside in the county where
my office is located.

Dated:

New York, New York
July 14, 2015
Michael A. Huerta
Attorney for Plaintiff

To the best of my knowledge, information and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable
under the circumstances, The presentation of these papers or the contentions therein are
not frivolous as defined in subsection (c) of section 130-1.1 of the Rules of the Chief
Administrator (22NYCRR)

__________________________
Michael A. Huerta

7

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful