A short and sweet primer on how to save a case that has been brought outside the applicable statute of limitations
Last v Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 2010 NY Slip Op 03416 (2d Dept. 2010)
“[t]he plaintiff, whose causes of action were asserted in a untimely filed complaint, as opposed to in an amendment to a timely filed complaint, in an intervenor’s complaint in a timely commenced action (see CPLR 1013), or in an untimely commenced action that could be consolidated with a timely commenced action (see CPLR 602; cf. DeLuca v Baybridge at Bayside Condominium I, 5 AD3d 533, 535), failed to demonstrate the applicability of the relation-back doctrine (see Buran v Coupal, 87 NY2d 173, 177-178; Mondello v New York Blood Ctr.-Greater N.Y. Blood Program, 80 NY2d 219, 226; Duffy v Horton Mem. Hosp., 66 NY2d 473, 476-478; Caffaro v Trayna, 35 NY2d 245, 249-250; CPLR 203[b], [f]). Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted the defendant’s cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint as time-barred.”
This is how you save an action that is barred by the statute of limitations. Find a pending case that was timely commenced, and piggyback off of it.
Chester Med. Diagnostic, P.C. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2009 NY Slip Op 52598(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2009)
“On November 21, 2006, plaintiff, a provider, commenced the instant action to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits for a claim which was submitted to defendant on April 28, 2000. Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it was time-barred by the six-year statute of limitations. Plaintiff opposed defendant’s motion arguing that since this was defendant’s second pre-answer motion to dismiss, it was procedurally defective. The Civil Court granted defendant’s motion and dismissed the complaint. The instant appeal by plaintiff ensued.
A motion to dismiss a complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) may be made at any time before service of the responsive pleading is required but no more than one such motion shall be permitted (see CPLR 3211 [e]). Where, as here, the original motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) is not decided on the merits, a subsequent motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) does not violate the single motion rule set forth in CPLR 3211 (e)”
By the way, I was Respondent on this case.
Spring World Acupuncture, P.C. v NYC Tr. Auth.
2009 NY Slip Op 29229 (App. Term 2d Dept. 2009)
Finally, someone convinced the Appellate Term that no-fault actions created by statute have a six year SOL. The lead case on this one, Elrac v. Suero, clearly held that a first-party action, created by statute but contractual in nature from the eyes of the injured person should trigger the 6 year SOL that pertains to contractual actions.
Whether or not one agrees with Suero, it is binding precedent. But until the Appellate Division or the Court of Appeals says otherwise, this is the law.
What seemed bizarre in the three years since Suero was that the Appellate Term, in actions against MVAIC, routinely held that the SOL was three years, based upon the portion of the CPLR which states that actions pursuant to a statute have a 3-year SOL. Yet, if a self-insured entity that is forced to provide first-party benefits by statute is bound by the contractual 6-year SOL, why should MVAIC be any different?
Good job to the Plaintiff’s attorneys on this one.