While a party may negotiate for a general release when settling a party’s claim, it does not necessarily mean that the release covered all matters which were not envisioned when the release was given. As stated in Gorunkati v Baker Sanders, LLC, 179 AD3d 904, 906 [2d Dept 2020]:
Generally, “a valid release constitutes a complete bar to an action on a claim which is the subject of the release” (Centro Empresarial Cempresa S.A. v América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V., 17 NY3d 269, 276  [internal quotation marks omitted]). However, “ ‘[t]he meaning and coverage of a general release depends on the controversy being settled and upon the purpose for which the release was actually given . . . . A release may not be read to cover matters which the parties did not desire or intend to dispose of’ ” (Wechsler v Diamond Sugar Co., Inc., 29 AD3d 681, 682 , quoting Lefrak SBN Assoc. v Kennedy Galleries, 203 AD2d 256, 257 ; see Demaria v Brenhouse, 277 AD2d 344 ). A defendant bears the initial burden of establishing that it has been released from any claims (see Burgos v New York Presbyt. Hosp., 155 AD3d 598, 600 ).
R. A. Klass
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