The Second Department determined Supreme Court should not have granted defendant’s motion for leave to amend his answer, which was made long after the action had been certified for trial:
While leave to amend a pleading shall be freely granted (see CPLR 3025[b]), a motion for leave to amend is committed to the broad discretion of the court … . “In exercising its discretion, the court should consider how long the party seeking the amendment was aware of the facts upon which the motion was predicated [and] whether a reasonable excuse for the delay was offered” … . Generally, in the absence of prejudice or surprise to the opposing party, leave to amend pleadings should be freely granted unless the proposed amendment is palpably insufficient or patently devoid of merit … .
“However, where the application for leave to amend is made long after the action has been certified for trial, judicial discretion in allowing such amendments should be discrete, circumspect, prudent, and cautious'” … . “Moreover, when . . . leave is sought on the eve of trial, judicial discretion should be exercised sparingly” … . Yong Soon Oh v Hua Jin, 2015 NY Slip Op 00362, 2nd Dept 1-14-15