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January 2018

New York Team Obtains Pre-Answer Dismissal in State Court Commercial Matter

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani partner Robert Modica, and associate Adam Hiller, obtained a pre-answer dismissal on behalf of their clients, a Long Island law firm and its partner.  In the suit, the plaintiffs alleged several causes of action including: (1) malicious prosecution; (2) prima facie tort; (3) abuse of process; (4) slander of title; (5) violation of New York Judiciary Law §487; (6) frivolous conduct; (7) tortious interference with contract and (8) tortious interference with prospective economic relations.

The plaintiffs, a construction company and various property ownership entities, alleged that two prior lawsuits instituted by Gordon & Rees's clients on behalf of their clients, buyers of a parcel of land, were malicious and commenced for no other reason than to prevent the sale of an adjacent property owned by the plaintiffs.  Gordon & Rees's clients originally represented the buyers in an action alleging fraud, breach of the covenant of good faith and equitable rescission arising out of the purchase of a home located on Long Island. Subsequently, in an effort to ensure the existence of proceeds to satisfy any judgment secured, Gordon & Rees's clients commenced a second action on behalf of the buyers alleging Debtor-Creditor violations and an Easement of Lateral Support arising out of the transfer of the adjacent property between two plaintiffs, which occurred approximately two months after the first action was commenced. 

In their motion for dismissal, Modica and Hiller systematically argued that the plaintiffs failed to state a cause of action for each of the alleged claims and that the sole purpose of the instant action was to drive a wedge between Gordon & Rees's clients and their clients, the home buyers, in the two underlying actions which are still pending. 

In its order, the court dismissed the complaint in its entirety, repeatedly stating that, even taking all facts as true, the plaintiffs failed to make out any claims against Gordon & Rees's clients.


Adam J. Hiller