In this Superstorm Sandy case filed in the Supreme Court of New York, Queens County, the Court denied plaintiff’s motion to file an amended complaint against MCWG client New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association (“NYPIUA”). In this case, in November 2013 plaintiff-homeowner filed an Amended Complaint against NYPIUA for breach of contract, bad faith and breach of the implied warranty of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of N.Y. General Business Law §349 (deceptive acts). MCWG moved to dismiss the bad faith and GBL claims and all claims for attorneys’ fees. The parties subsequently stipulated to their dismissal.

In August 2016, plaintiff moved the court for permission to file a Second Amended Complaint seeking to reinstate the two dismissed causes of action after NYPIUA brought a subrogation action against Long Island Power Authority and National Grid for reimbursement of sums paid to plaintiff. In the subrogation complaint, NYPIUAt stated that it was responsible to plaintiff for $500,000 even though it paid her only $20,000. NYPIUA sent plaintiff a letter explaining that this was a mistake and that it would be amending its subrogation complaint to correct the amount. Nevertheless, plaintiff sought to amend her complaint.

The Court denied plaintiff’s motion and agreed with MCWG’s client that there is no separate cause of action for tort for an insurer’s alleged bad faith failure to perform under an insurance policy and since the bad faith claims arise from the same core facts as the breach of contract claim, it is duplicative and lacks merit. The Court also denied plaintiff’s motion to add the claim for violation of the GBL because private contract disputes unique to the parties do not fall within the ambit of the GBL, which focuses on deceptive conduct aimed at the public at large. Finally, the Court agreed with MCWG that plaintiff’s motion should be denied because she waited until the eve of trial and NYPIUA would be prejudiced by any amendment at such a late stage of the litigation.

For inquiries about this case, please contact partners Costantino Suriano or Robert Goodman.


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