The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined causes of action alleging defendant Filardo, plaintiff car dealership’s employee, used fraudulent schemes to steal funds from plaintiff over a period of years, should not have been dismissed on statute of limitations grounds, and/or on the ground the causes of action were not adequately pled:
The plaintiff asserted causes of action against Filardo for breach of fiduciary duty (first cause of action), breach of the duty of loyalty (second cause of action), faithless servant doctrine (third cause of action), conversion (fifth cause of action), fraudulent concealment by fiduciary (sixth cause of action), and promissory estoppel (ninth cause of action), and causes of action against both defendants for aiding and abetting fraud (fourth cause of action), civil conspiracy (seventh cause of action), fraud and deceit (eighth cause of action), unjust enrichment (tenth cause of action), money had and received (eleventh cause of action), and fraud by non-disclosure (twelfth cause of action). …
“The statute of limitations for a cause of action alleging a breach of fiduciary duty does not begin to run until the fiduciary has openly repudiated his or her obligation or the relationship has been otherwise terminated” … Here, the plaintiff alleged that its relationship with Filardo was not terminated until November 2017, and there is no allegation that Filardo openly repudiated his employment obligations prior to that time … .
… [W]hen the allegations of fraud are essential to a cause of action alleging conversion based upon actual fraud, the cause of action is governed by the limitations period for fraud set forth in CPLR 213(8). That statute provides that, in an action based upon fraud, “the time within which the action must be commenced shall be the greater of six years from the date the cause of action accrued or two years from the time the plaintiff or the person under whom the plaintiff claims discovered the fraud, or could with reasonable diligence have discovered it” … .Star Auto Sales of Queens, LLC v Filardo, 2022 NY Slip Op 01476, Second Dept 3-9-22
Practice Point: The statute of limitations for breach of fiduciary duty does not start running until the fiduciary openly repudiates the duty.
Practice Point: The statute of limitations for conversion based upon fraud is six years from the conversion or two years from discovery of the conversion.