The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined: (1) defendant security company’s (Kent’s) motion to dismiss the negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention cause of action pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a)(1) was untimely because the defendant did not assert a defense based on documentary evidence in its answers; and (2) the defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim because the affidavit submitted by defendant’s director of operations was not sworn to have been made on his personal knowledge and did not lay a proper foundation for the admissibility of the documents referred to in the affidavit as business records. Plaintiff, Erin, alleged a security guard employed by defendant (Kent) sexually assaulted her at a hotel where Kent provided security services:
… [T]he affidavit of Kent’s director of operations was not sworn to have been made on his own personal knowledge, and therefore was of no probative value as to the issues of fact that he addressed … . Moreover, although “an affidavit from an individual, even if the person has no personal knowledge of the facts, may properly serve as the vehicle for the submission of acceptable attachments which provide evidentiary proof in admissible form, like documentary evidence” … , the affidavit must nevertheless “constitute a proper foundation for the admission of the records”… . Because Kent’s director of operations did not establish that the documents annexed to his affidavit fell within the business records exception to the hearsay rule (CPLR 4518[a]), those documents were inadmissible … .
Contrary to defendant’s argument, plaintiffs do have a well-pled negligent hiring claim cognizable at law. Plaintiffs’ allegations are sufficient to put Kent on notice of their claim that Kent negligently hired, trained, supervised, and retained the guard who, plaintiffs allege, sexually assaulted Erin, and that Kent knew or should have known of the guard’s propensity to commit sexual assault. Moreover, plaintiffs can amplify these allegations in their bill of particulars … . Doe v Intercontinental Hotels Group, PLC, 2021 NY Slip Op 02063, First Dept 4-1-21