CIVIL PROCEDURE, MUNICIPAL LAW.
The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendants’ motion for summary judgment in this rear-end collision case was premature. The truck which struck plaintiff’s vehicle was registered to Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) but the driver was an employee of National Grid, which was under contract with LIPA. Plaintiff never served a notice of claim on LIPA, as required by the Public Authorities Law and the General Municipal Law. The Second Department held that plaintiff was entitled to discovery concerning the relationship between LIPA and National Grid, and further held that the relation-back doctrine allowed the amendment of the complaint to add National Grid as a defendant:
A party who contends that a motion for summary judgment is premature must “demonstrate that discovery might lead to relevant evidence or that the facts essential to justify opposition to the motion were exclusively within the knowledge and control of the movant” … . In opposition to the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff demonstrated that the defendants had not revealed that, at the time of the subject accident, the defendant driver was actually employed by National Grid LLC, and not LIPA, until the defendants filed their summary judgment motion. The award of summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against the defendant driver was therefore premature, inasmuch as substantial discovery with respect to the relationship between the National Grid LLC and the defendant driver, as well as the nature of the business the defendant driver was conducting at the time of the subject accident, remains outstanding … . Marrone v Miloscio, 2016 NY Slip Op 08856, 2nd Dept 12-28-16
CIVIL PROCEDURE (DEFENDANTS’ SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION WAS PREMATURE, PLAINTIFF ENTITLED TO DISCOVERY TO FLESH OUT RELATIONSHIP AMONG PARTIES, RELATION-BACK DOCTRINE ALLOWED AMENDMENT OF COMPLAINT TO ADD PARTY)/CIVIL PROCEDURE (RELATION-BACK DOCTRINE ALLOWED AMENDMENT OF COMPLAINT TO ADD PARTY)/SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DEFENDANTS’ SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION WAS PREMATURE, PLAINTIFF ENTITLED TO DISCOVERY TO FLESH OUT RELATIONSHIP AMONG PARTIES)/MUNICIPAL LAW (NOTICE OF CLAIM REQUIRED FOR SUIT AGAINST LONG ISLAN POWER AUTHORITY)/NOTICE OF CLAIM (SUIT AGAINS LONG ISLAND POWER AUTHORITY)