The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined the motion to dismiss the complaint based upon the failure to serve defendant (Bryan) should have been denied and plaintiff’s motion to extend the time to serve defendants (Bryan and Carroll) should have been granted. However the action was properly dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds:
… [T]he plaintiff promptly sought an extension after Bryan challenged the court’s jurisdiction, the respective insurance carriers for Bryan and Carroll had actual notice of this action within 120 days of its commencement, there was evidence of a potentially meritorious cause of action, and there was no demonstrable prejudice to Bryan and Carroll … . Accordingly, that branch of the respondents’ motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(8) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against Bryan must be denied, and the plaintiff’s cross motion pursuant to CPLR 306-b to extend the time to serve both Bryan and Carroll must be granted.
However, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in granting that branch of the respondents’ motion which was pursuant to CPLR 327(a) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them on the ground of forum non conveniens. In granting that branch of the respondents’ motion, the court properly considered all the relevant factors … , including that the plaintiff and the respondents are residents of New Jersey, Carroll was also a resident of New Jersey at the time of the accident, Bryan’s insurance policy was issued in New Jersey, and both vehicles involved in the accident were registered in New Jersey … . The fact that the accident occurred in New York is insufficient by itself to provide the substantial nexus required to warrant the retention of jurisdiction in the State of New York … . Considering all of the relevant factors, including the fact that the plaintiff primarily received medical treatment for her alleged injuries in New Jersey, we find no basis to disturb the court’s determination to dismiss the action insofar as asserted against the respondents on forum non conveniens grounds … . DelGrosso v Carroll, 2020 NY Slip Op 04148, Second Dept 7-22-20