Relation Back Doctrine Did Not Apply to Causes of Action in Amended Complaint—Amendment Should Not Have Been Allowed

The Second Department determined Supreme Court should not have allowed the amendment of a medical malpractice complaint to add causes of action for negligent hiring and supervision. The negligent hiring and supervision allegations were time barred and were different from the medical malpractice allegations such that the relation back doctrine did not apply:

Pursuant to CPLR 203(f), claims asserted in an amended complaint are “deemed to have been interposed at the time the claims in the original pleading were interposed, unless the original pleading does not give notice of the transactions, occurrences, or series of transactions or occurrences, to be proved pursuant to the amended pleading” (CPLR 203[f]). Thus, when the nature of a newly asserted cause of action is distinct from the causes of action asserted in the original complaint, and requires different factual allegations as to the underlying conduct than were contained in the original complaint, the new claims will not “relate back” in time to the interposition of the causes of action in the original complaint … . Here, the Supreme Court erred in determining that the allegations in the original complaint in support of the causes of action alleging medical malpractice and lack of informed consent gave [defendant] notice of the “transactions, occurrences, or series of transactions or occurrences, to be proved” with respect to the claims of negligent hiring and supervision … . The causes of action alleging medical malpractice and lack of informed consent are distinct not only as to the conduct alleged, but also as to the dates on which the conduct occurred and who engaged in it … . The mere reference to “negligence” in the original complaint did not give [defendant] notice of the transactions, occurrences, or series of transactions or occurrences, to be proved with respect to the proposed causes of action alleging negligent hiring and negligent supervision. Thus, those proposed causes of action could not be deemed to relate back to the interposition of the causes of action in the original complaint … . Calamari v Panos, 2015 NY Slip Op 06875, 2nd Dept 9-23-15

 

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