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Louisiana Man Sued Gallivant Times Square For Broken Dresser Now Says Complained to Desk

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 10 –  Shawn Smith of Louisiana was staying in a room at the Gallivant Times Square hotel at 234 West 48th Street on July 26, 2019 when his hand went through the window, shattering it and injuring him.  

He sued Interstate Hotels & Resorts and Sean Leong; the defendants removed the case from state to Federal court. 

 On March 5, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla had a proceeding scheduled for 3 pm. Inner City Press called in to cover it, and announced itself when asked.

   Defense counsel said, "Can I ask why?" 

 "Because it is a Federal court proceeding, not listed as any type of settlement conference, and it is public."  

 When Smith's counsel belatedly called it, the proceeding began.

After being unable to say if Smith's lack of employment is due to the incident, plaintiff's counsel confided that the hotel's Hicksville-based lawyer "doesn't buy it."

 He implied that he might not, either, saying that will be based on visiting the room and seeing the dresser at issue.  

 Defense counsel said Smith claimed one of the drawers of the dressed open up on its own, leading to him smashing his hand through the window, and that Smith's girlfriend had the same story, but another drawer.

He said he visited the room a week after the incident, and it had been occupied by another guest. Whether the dresser is still in the room or in storage is not known.  

It all seems to ride now on Smith's lawyer viewing the room, and in essence deciding if he believes his client or not. Discovery is due in August.

On March 24, Judge Failla held another proceeding, and Inner City Press again covered it. After a discussion of the SDNY's centralized calendaring system for jury trials, the trial was set for December 6.

Now on September 10, another proceeding in the case. There was talk of more discovery - a status report says "we have learned at Plaintiff's deposition, for the first time, that he or his friend reported the allegedly defective condition to defendant employees working at the front desk prior to his accident."

But, it was said, no record exists, and it is unlikely that in a Times Square hotel anyone would remember an oral complaint, years later. Many employees have left. Judge Failla said, You had six months to do discovery. And, it seems, the excuse that the facility was or is impacted by COVID is wearing thin.

The case is Smith v. Interstate Management Company LLC et al., 20-cv-10867 (Failla) 


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