September 23, 2022: KPL attorneys Richard Jones and Chris Fraga secured dismissal of a third-party claim for contribution stemming from a soured business deal between a 90-year-old businessman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his longtime lawyer, Howard Kleinhendler.
Initially, Applestein sued Kleinhendler for professional malpractice, elder abuse, breach of fiduciary duty and other tort theories accusing his former attorney of abusing the attorney-client relationship in connection with the sale of a piece of land known as Fones Cliffs that allegedly resulted in millions of dollars in losses. In response, Kleinhendler filed third-party claims against Applestein’s estate counsel and accountant, attempting to point the finger at other professionals for the claims made against him by Applestein.
In defending estate counsel, KPL successfully persuaded Judge Frederic Block of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York that Kleinhendler’s claims for contribution were barred under the application of either New York or Florida law requiring the dismissal of Kleinhendler’s third-party complaint in its entirety.
The case is: Applestein v. Kleinhendler, 120CV1454FBMMH, 2022 WL 4451215 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 23, 2022)