The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the Queens County action did not involve the same parties as the Nassau County action and therefore should not have been dismissed pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(4). A corporation is not the same party as an individual principal of the corporation and should not be so considered in the absence of a demonstration the corporate veil should be pierced:
” Pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(4), a court has broad discretion in determining whether an action should be dismissed based upon another pending action where there is a substantial identity of the parties, the two actions are sufficiently similar, and the relief sought is substantially the same'” … . “[W]hile a complete identity of parties is not a necessity for dismissal under CPLR 3211(a)(4), there must be a substantial’ identity of parties, which generally is present when at least one plaintiff and one defendant is common in each action'” … .
Here, there is no common plaintiff in the Nassau County action and the instant action. Although Queens NY Realty and the plaintiff share the same owner, who was added as a third-party plaintiff in the Nassau County action, ” [i]ndividual principals of a corporation are legally distinguishable from the corporation itself’ and a court may not find an identity of parties by, in effect, piercing the corporate veil without a request that this be done and, even more importantly, any demonstration by defendant that such a result is warranted'” … . Furthermore, the relief sought by the plaintiff in this action is not substantially the same as the relief sought by Queens NY Realty in the Nassau County action … . Mason ESC, LLC v Michael Anthony Contr. Corp., 2019 NY Slip Op 03962, Second Dept 5-22-19