The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined that the landlord’s (Huntress’s) motion for summary judgment dismissing the tenant’s (Kingsbury’s) action for wrongful eviction (RPAPL 853) should not have been granted:
The sole contention raised by Huntress in support of his motion with respect to the first cross claim was that he could not be personally liable inasmuch as he was acting as an agent of a disclosed principal. We conclude that Huntress failed to establish his entitlement to judgment as a matter of law with respect to that cross claim and, as a result, the burden never shifted to Kingsbury to raise a triable issue of fact … .
“It is well established that [a] corporate officer may be held personally liable for a tort of the corporation if he or she committed or participated in its commission, whether or not his or her acts are also by or for the corporation’ ” … . A cause of action under RPAPL 853 sounds in tort … . Here, Huntress failed to establish that he did not participate in the eviction of Kingsbury, and he therefore failed to establish as a matter of law that he cannot be held personally liable if the eviction violated RPAPL 853 … . Canandaigua Natl. Bank & Trust Co. v Acquest S. Park, LLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 09130, Fourth Dept 12-20-19