A CPLR 3101 lessonOctober 30, 2015

Cruz v City of New York, 2015 NY Slip Op 07910 (1st Dept, 2015)

This one is interesting.  The usual notion is that the failure to identify a witness pre-trial will preclude their ability to testify.  From the Court:

“The trial court properly permitted the testimony of a witness whose identity was not disclosed prior to trial. The witness was called to lay the foundation for the admission of a nonparty witness’s statement, and he was not the type of witness whose identity was required to be disclosed during discovery”

“The trial court also properly admitted the statement as a prior inconsistent statement. While the nonparty witness, who initially testified that the signature on the statement looked like hers, ultimately denied signing the statement, defendant was permitted to “introduce proof” to the contrary (see CPLR 4514; Larkin v Nassau Elec. R.R. Co., 205 NY 267, 270 [1912]). Further, the statement was properly admitted, even though it was not provided in discovery, as there is no indication in the record that production of the statement was sought and refused (compare Bivona v Trump Mar. Casino Hotel Resort, 11 AD3d 574, 575 [2d Dept 2004] [noting that the defendants’ failure to provide requested information in their possession would preclude them from later offering proof regarding that information at trial]). Nor is there any indication that plaintiff requested a jury charge that the statement was to be considered only for impeachment purposes. Thus, plaintiff failed to preserve her argument that the trial court erred in not giving that charge to the jury (see Peguero v 601 Realty Corp., 58 AD3d 556, 560 [1st Dept 2009]).”

If the statement or evidence is not in your possession, then you cannot be penalized failing to produce the statement pretrial.  This case really drives home that lesson

Leave a Reply