Statute of Limitations for Breach of Fiduciary Duty Tolled Until Fiduciary’s Roles Terminated
In an action against a fiduciary stemming from the distribution of an estate, Supreme Court determined the six-year statute of limitations applied to the breach of fiduciary duty cause of action and precluded any evidence from prior to 2007. The Third Department agreed that the six-year statute was the correct one, but held that the statute never started running because the fiduciary’s roles were never terminated. Therefore pre-2007 evidence was not precluded:
Although “New York law does not provide a single statute of limitations for breach of fiduciary duty claims [and] the choice of the applicable limitations period depends on the substantive remedy that the plaintiff seeks” …, the parties do not dispute that a six-year period applies to these two remaining causes of action. However, the statute of limitations for a claim alleging a breach of fiduciary duty is tolled until there has been an open repudiation by the fiduciary or the relationship has otherwise been clearly terminated … .
There is nothing in this record indicating that respondents’ relevant fiduciary roles have terminated. Although many of the actions about which petitioners complain were done openly, petitioners also allege that they were repeatedly assured that such actions were ultimately in their best interests. The amended petition alleges that respondents have not to date repudiated their positions as fiduciaries. That allegation is not denied in this pre-answer motion, which was supported only by an attorney’s affirmation and memorandum of law. Matter of Therm, Inc., 2015 NY Slip Op 07732, 3rd Dept 10-22-15