QUESTION OF FACT WHETHER GENERAL RELEASE PROCURED BY FRAUD OR IN UNFAIR CIRCUMSTANCES.
The Second Department determined questions of fact whether a general release from liability was procured by fraud precluded summary judgment in favor of the defendant in this Labor Law (fall from scaffold) action:
“A release is a contract, and its construction is governed by contract law” … . In general, “a valid release constitutes a complete bar to an action on a claim which is the subject of the release” … . “A release may be invalidated, however, for any of the traditional bases for setting aside written agreements, namely, duress, illegality, fraud, or mutual mistake'” … . Moreover, there is a requirement that a release covering both known and unknown injuries be ” fairly and knowingly made'” … .
“A party may move for judgment dismissing one or more causes of action asserted against him [or her] on the ground that . . . the cause of action may not be maintained because of . . . [a] release” (CPLR 3211[a]). However, a motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(5) to dismiss a complaint on the basis of a release “should be denied where fraud or duress in the procurement of the release is alleged” … .
Here, in support of their motion to dismiss the complaint, the defendants submitted a general release executed by the plaintiff, which, by its terms, barred the instant action against them … . However, the plaintiff’s allegations were nevertheless sufficient to support a possible finding that the defendants procured the release by means of fraud and that the release was signed by the plaintiff ” under circumstances which indicate unfairness'” … . Pacheco v 32-42 55th St. Realty, LLC, 2016 NY Slip Op 03727, 2nd Dept 5-11-16
LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW (QUESTION OF FACT WHETHER GENERAL RELEASED PROCURED BY FRAUD OR IN UNFAIR CIRCUMSTANCES)/CONTRACT LAW (GENERAL RELEASE, QUESTION OF FACT WHETHER GENERAL RELEASED PROCURED BY FRAUD OR IN UNFAIR CIRCUMSTANCES)/RELEASES (GENERAL RELEASE, QUESTION OF FACT WHETHER GENERAL RELEASED PROCURED BY FRAUD OR IN UNFAIR CIRCUMSTANCES)/FRAUD (GENERAL RELEASE, QUESTION OF FACT WHETHER GENERAL RELEASED PROCURED BY FRAUD OR IN UNFAIR CIRCUMSTANCES)