A recent decision from New York County Commercial Division Justice Joel M. Cohen highlights the hurdles that defendants face in trying to assert a fraudulent inducement defense to a breach of contract claim. Justice Cohen’s decision also reinforces the potential benefits plaintiffs can enjoy by moving for partial summary judgment early, before fact discovery is completed.Continue Reading New York County Commercial Division Decision Highlights the Hurdles Defendants Face in Asserting Fraudulent Inducement Defense to Breach of Contract

Does the business harm caused by COVID-19 qualify as “direct physical loss” for insurance purposes? In Spirit Airlines, Inc. v. American Home Assurance Company, Index No. 655755/2021, Commercial Division Justice Robert R. Reed held that the answer is no. In a decision announced on the record at an August 18, 2022 oral argument and entered on September 13, 2022 (see here), Justice Reed explained that his decision was dictated by the First Department’s April 7, 2022 decision in Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. v. Westport Insurance Corp., 205 A.D.3d 76 (1st Dep’t 2022), and that he “follow[s] the First Department until the Court of Appeals says that the First Department is wrong.”Continue Reading The Commercial Division Rejects Yet Another Insured’s Claim for Coverage for Covid-Related Revenues Losses

In “Governor Cuomo’s “Tolling” of New York Statutes of Limitation Has Ended, But What Did It Accomplish?”, we examined the debate surrounding whether Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.8 and subsequent orders up to and including Executive Order No. 202.67, which extended Executive Order No. 202.8 (collectively, the “Executive Orders”), actually tolled New York statutes of limitation and other litigation deadlines for the period of March 20, 2020 through November 3, 2020, or merely suspended them.  For purposes of determining whether a claim or an appeal was timely filed, the answer to this question can have huge implications.  If the Executive Orders merely accomplished a suspension, then any claim or filing deadline that would have otherwise lapsed during the period of March 20, 2020 through November 3, 2020 would need to have been filed no later than November 4, 2020—the day after the suspension period ended.  On the other hand, if the effect of the Executive Orders was a true tolling of the statutes of limitation and other court deadlines, then any time that remained on the limitations period as of March 20, 2020 would be added back (and start to run again) once the limitations period resumed on November 4, 2020.
Continue Reading The Second Department Weighs in on Tolling vs. Suspension of Statutes of Limitation Pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s COVID-era Executive Orders