In Jadidian v Goldstein, 210 AD3d 969, 969-70 [2d Dept 2022], the court affirmed the dismissal of a claim against an attorney based on the statute of limitations, holding:
Contrary to the plaintiffs’ contention, the Supreme Court properly granted that branch of the defendants’ motion which was to dismiss the cause of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty. There is no single statute of limitations for causes of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty (see IDT Corp. v Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., 12 N.Y.3d 132, 139, 879 N.Y.S.2d 355, 907 N.E.2d 268; Matter of Hersh, 198 A.D.3d 766, 769, 156 N.Y.S.3d 243). “Where the relief sought is equitable in nature, the statute of limitations is six years, and where the relief sought is purely monetary, the statute of limitations is generally three years” (Matter of Hersh, 198 A.D.3d at 769, 156 N.Y.S.3d 243). However, “regardless of the relief sought, ‘where an allegation of fraud is essential to a breach of fiduciary duty claim, courts have applied a six-year statute of limitations under CPLR 213(8)’ ” (id., quoting IDT Corp. v Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., 12 N.Y.3d at 139, 879 N.Y.S.2d 355, 907 N.E.2d 268; see McDonnell v. Bradley, 109 A.D.3d 592, 594, 970 N.Y.S.2d 612). A cause of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty “accrues at the time of the [alleged] breach, even though the injured party may not know of the existence of the wrong or injury” (Matter of Hersh, 198 A.D.3d at 769, 156 N.Y.S.3d 243 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Sternberg v Continuum Health Partners, Inc., 186 A.D.3d 1554, 1557, 131 N.Y.S.3d 356).
Here, the cause of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty was subject to a three-year statute of limitations since the relief sought was monetary in nature and the complaint failed to allege all the requisite elements of fraud, including justifiable reliance (see Eurycleia Partners, LP v. Seward & Kissel, LLP, 12 N.Y.3d 553, 562, 883 N.Y.S.2d 147, 910 N.E.2d 976; IDT Corp. v Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., 12 N.Y.3d at 140, 879 N.Y.S.2d 355, 907 N.E.2d 268; Oppedisano v. D’Agostino, 196 A.D.3d 497, 499, 151 N.Y.S.3d 150). As the plaintiffs maintain, the cause of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty began to run, at the latest, on January 11, 2016, when the defendants allegedly commenced the prior legal malpractice action “to cover up their … negligence.” Thus, since the plaintiffs did not commence the instant action until March 24, 2021, more than three years later, the cause of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty was time-barred.
Richard A. Klass, Esq.
Your Court Street Lawyer
#CourtStreetLawyer #statuteoflimitations #breach
Richard A. Klass, Esq., maintains a law firm engaged in civil litigation at 16 Court Street, 28th Floor, Brooklyn, New York. He may be reached at (718) COURT●ST or RichKlass@courtstreetlaw.comcreate new email with any questions.
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
© 2023 Richard A. Klass