Wrestler’s Suit Against Law Firm Heads to Trial

     (CN) – A New York appeals court cleared the path for trial in the case of a former Olympic wrestler who says his attorneys botched his lawsuit against T.G.I. Friday’s after he was hit in the head with a highchair at the chain restaurant.

     Matthew Ryan was struck with the highchair while an employee was moving it in 1999. He sued in 2002, and the case was dismissed in 2005 when Ryan’s side did not comply with a judge’s request for detailed information about the case.
     Ryan then sued the law firm of Powers & Santola, claiming he would have won the case if not for the firm’s negligence. The trial court denied his motion for summary judgment, and the Albany-based Third New York Appellate Division upheld the decision, allowing the claims to proceed to trial.
     “There are questions of fact as to whether plaintiffs failed to cooperate with defendants in providing them with pertinent economic and financial information,” Justice John Egan Jr. wrote.
     “Finally, insofar as defendants submit medical evidence that Ryan, as an Olympic wrestler in 1984 and 1988, sustained multiple head injuries with a loss of consciousness, there are also questions of fact with respect to causation in the underlying action,” the ruling states.
     Although the opinion refers to Ryan as a former Olympian, David Wallechinsky, vice president of the International Society of Olympic Historians, said “no wrestler by the name of Matthew Ryan has ever competed in the Olympics.”

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