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DirecTV Latin Am., LLC v Pratola, 2012 NY Slip Op 03098 (1st Dept., 2012)

The issue whether New York courts have personal jurisdiction over defendants Pratola and Clemente pursuant to CPLR 301 and 302 was determined in the prior federal action and, pursuant to the doctrine of collateral estoppel, may not be relitigated (see Keeler v West Mtn. Corp., 105 AD2d 953, 955 [1984]). Although plaintiff Latin American Sports, LLC was not a party to the federal action, it may be collaterally estopped because it is a
limited liability company wholly owned by DirecTV, and its interests with respect to the claims against defendants are identical to those of DirecTV (see D'Arata v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 76 NY2d 659, 664 [1990]).

No determination was made in the federal action as to personal jurisdiction over defendant Zunda, allegedly a citizen of the United States with a domicile in Argentina, who, until his termination, was employed as a senior officer at DirecTV Argentina, a subsidiary of DirecTV. Plaintiffs' sole allegation in support of their position is that defendants deposited funds into a New York bank account owned by Clemente, from which they funneled money to Pratola and Zunda. This is insufficient to invoke personal jurisdiction over Zunda pursuant to CPLR 302(a)(l), which authorizes exercise of personal jurisdiction over a non-domiciliary who "transacts any business within the state" (see Pramer S.C.A. v Abaplus Intl. Corp., 76 AD3d 89, 96 [2010]).

Gonzalez v City of New York, 2012 NY Slip Op 02791 (1st Dept., 2012)

Contrary to plaintiff's argument, the City is not equitably estopped from claiming that it is not a proper party. In its answer, the City specifically denied plaintiff's allegations that it controlled, maintained, or managed the school premises, or had any duty to remove snow and ice from the grounds (see Flores v City of New York, 62 AD3d 506 [2009]). That denial should have alerted plaintiff that she had sued the wrong party, and, when the City served the answer, plaintiff had adequate time to seek leave to file a late notice of claim naming the correct defendant.

The circumstances of this case can be readily distinguished from those of Padilla v Department of Educ. of the City of N.Y. (90 AD3d 458 [2011]), which concerned another injury on the grounds of a City public school. In Padilla, we held that the doctrine of equitable estoppel barred the City from denying that it was a proper party because its answer did not alert the plaintiff that it lacked control over the school premises, but instead merely objected that the attempted service of the notice of claim was improper (90 AD3d at 458). We also found that, [*2]after the notice of claim was filed, the City's wrongful or negligent actions discouraged the plaintiff from serving a timely amended notice of claim (id. at 459).

Truong v Litman, 2012 NY Slip Op 02172 (1st Dept., 2012)

Dismissal of this action was proper as it is barred by the doctrine of res judicata (see generally O'Brien v City of Syracuse, 54 NY2d 353 [1981]). The transactions upon which this action is premised were the subject of prior claims brought by and concluded against plaintiffs in both state and federal court (see id. at 357; Elias v Rothschild, 29 AD3d 448 [2006]). Contrary to plaintiffs' argument, the claims alleging violations of plaintiffs' civil rights under 42 USC § 1983 and § 1985 were decided against plaintiffs on the merits and the breach of contract claim was fully litigated and decided against plaintiffs in Civil Court, New York County.

Pierre v Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home Co., Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op 02060 (1st Dept., 2012)

Defendants' federal preemption claim is unavailing, as the Labor Management Relations Act (29 USCS § 185) has preclusive effect only when resolution of a state law claim is substantially dependent upon the analysis of a CBA (Allis-Chalmers Corp. v Lueck, 471 US 202, 220 [1985]). Here, as explained, the CBA relied upon by defendants when seeking to compel arbitration is not applicable to plaintiffs. Contrary to defendants' urging, plaintiffs' subsequent action to compel arbitration, which was unsuccessful, does not compel invocation of the doctrine of judicial estoppel, as they have not "secured a judgment in [their] favor" by assuming "a certain position in a prior legal proceeding," and then assumed "a contrary position in another action simply because [their] interests have changed" (Jones Lang Wootton USA v LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, 243 AD2d 168, 176 [1998], lv dismissed 92 NY2d 962 [1998]).

Zurich Am. Ins. Co. v Illinois Natl. Ins. Co., 2012 NY Slip Op 02065 (1st, 2012)

Plaintiffs' argument that Illinois National is equitably estopped to deny coverage to Moretrench is unsupported by the record (see River Seafoods, Inc. v JPMorgan Chase Bank, 19 AD3d 120, 122 [2005]). The documentary evidence does not establish that Illinois National (through its agents) ever conceded that Moretrench was covered during the relevant period (2006). Nor could Moretrench have relied on any such concession years after the underlying complaint was filed and Illinois National disclaimed coverage. Moreover, Moretrench cannot invoke equitable estoppel against Illinois National on the basis of promises made by defendant [*2]Urban Foundation Engineering, LLC (the contractor that subcontracted with Moretrench).

Anderson v New York City Dept. of Educ., 2012 NY Slip Op 02056 (1st Dept., 2012)

The complaint was properly dismissed as barred by the doctrine of res judicata. Plaintiff's action arose out of the same set of circumstances as his prior article 78 proceeding, which was dismissed. "[O]nce a claim is brought to a final conclusion, all other claims arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions are barred, even if based upon different theories or if seeking a different remedy" (O'Brien v City of Syracuse, 54 NY2d 353, 357 [1981]; see Daved Fire Sys. Inc. v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 46 AD3d 364 [2007]).

Gomez v Brill Sec., Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op 01877 (1st Dept., 2012)

Hough v USAA Cas. Ins. Co., 2012 NY Slip Op 01549 (1st Dept., 2012)

Defendant's disclaimer of its duty to defend its insured in the underlying action does not bar it from asserting that its insured injured plaintiff intentionally, because that assertion is not a defense extending to the merits of plaintiff's personal injury claims against the insured (see Robbins v Michigan Millers Mut. Ins. Co., 236 AD2d 769, 771 [1997]). Since the underlying action culminated in a default judgment and the issue whether the insured's acts were intentional or negligent was not litigated, defendant is not collaterally estopped to assert in this action that its insured caused plaintiff's injuries intentionally (see id.). There is support for this assertion in the record (compare Rucaj v Progressive Ins. Co., 19 AD3d 270, 273 [2005] [insurer's defenses rejected as a matter of law]).

Since issues of fact exist whether the underlying incident was an "occurrence" within the meaning of the policy, i.e., an accident, or an intentional act outside the scope of coverage, which would render a disclaimer pursuant to Insurance Law § 3420(d) unnecessary, it cannot yet be determined whether defendant's noncompliance with the statute precludes it from disclaiming coverage (see Matter of Worcester Ins. Co. v Bettenhauser, 95 NY2d 185, 188-189 [2000]; Seneca Ins. Co. v Naprawa, 294 AD2d 183 [2002]).

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