The Second Department determined the bankruptcy trustee could take advantage of CPLR 205 (a) to recommence a lawsuit within six months of the dismissal. The timely filed action was dismissed because the debtor did not list the suit as an asset in the bankruptcy filings:
… [D]ismissal of the 2013 action was not based upon a voluntary discontinuance, lack of personal jurisdiction, neglect to prosecute the action, or a final judgment on the merits (see CPLR 205[a]). … CPLR 205(a) is applicable even though the 2013 action was dismissed based on the debtor’s incapacity to sue. The extension provisions of CPLR 205(a) are available to a plaintiff who seeks to recommence an action, notwithstanding that the prior action upon which the plaintiff relies was “invalid” in the sense that it contained a fatal defect … .
Although, as a general matter, only the plaintiff in the original action is entitled to the benefits of CPLR 205(a), the Court of Appeals has nevertheless recognized an exception to this general rule under certain circumstances where the plaintiff in the new action is seeking to enforce “the rights of the plaintiff in the original action” … . The Court of Appeals also has stated that the statute’s ” broad and liberal purpose is not to be frittered away by any narrow construction'” … . In this case, the plaintiff, the debtor’s bankruptcy trustee, seeks to recommence a personal injury action as the debtor’s successor-in-interest. As the debtor’s successor-in-interest, the plaintiff has the capacity to commence this action to recover damages for the debtor’s alleged personal injuries … . Consequently, the plaintiff is not seeking to enforce any rights separate and independent from those asserted by the debtor in the prior action … . Goodman v Skanska USA Civ., Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op 01394, Second Dept 2-27-19