Another Appellate Victory in Dismissal of Fiduciary Duty Cause of Action

SACS earned a significant victory in the Appellate Division, Second Department.  The Court reversed Justice George Silver’s decision that had denied the branch of our CPLR 3211 motion seeking dismissal of the plaintiff’s cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty.  Robert M. Ortiz, Christopher Simone and Lena Holubnyczyj drafted the brief, and the appeal was argued by Robert M. Ortiz. 

The Appellate Division agreed with our argument that the plaintiff’s Complaint was insufficient to state a cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty given the lack of pleaded facts to support the existence of a fiduciary duty.  The Court’s decision reaffirmed that a plaintiff is mandated to meet pleading requirements and that a cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty must be pleaded with particularity.  In this regard, the Court held: “Here, the Amended Complaint did not allege facts that would give rise to a fiduciary relationship between the plaintiff and the defendants.  The Amended Complaint failed to allege facts that demonstrated that the plaintiff’s relationship with the defendants was somehow unique or distinct from the defendants’ relationships with other group members generally” (citations omitted). “Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted those branches of the defendants’ separate motions which were pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) to dismiss the cause of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty insofar as asserted against each of them.”

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