Calabrese and Sanchez Defeat Motion to Dismiss Complaint

January 19, 2018 | Commercial Litigation

Justin Calabrese and Johanna Sanchez successfully defeated a Defendant’s pre-answer motion to dismiss their clients’ complaint.

The complaint asserted causes of action for fraud in the inducement, breach of fiduciary duties, unjust enrichment and a constructive trust. The central issues involved:

  1. Whether a party can assert independent torts claims and damages claims when the parties’ rights and obligations were already outlined in a contract between the parties and
  2. Whether the failure to plead a breach of contract claim precludes any claims related to contractual duties and obligations.

After briefing the issues and presenting oral argument before Judge Joseph Bianco (E.D.N.Y), the Court ruled that a properly pleaded fraudulent inducement claim that caused a party to enter into a contract can be considered an independent tort that is collateral to a contract and a basis for extra-contractual damages. The Court also ruled that although some misrepresentations referred to future events, the apparent intention to never perform certain obligations or fulfill certain promises can be considered fraud at the time the parties signed the contract.

The Court denied the motion in its entirety, concluding that the other claims were cognizable claims pleaded with enough sufficiency to survive the pre-answer motion to dismiss.

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