The First Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court determined the petitioners were entitled to an accounting for a business, Ocinomled, Ltd., because there was a fiduciary relationship between the parties as partners and co-owners of Ocinomled:
This Court has held “whenever there is a fiduciary relationship between the parties . . . there is an absolute right to an accounting notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law” … . It is undisputed that there is a fiduciary relationship between the parties as partners and co-owners of Ocinomled. An equitable accounting is “designed to require a person in possession of financial records to produce them, demonstrate how money was expended and return pilfered funds in his or her possession” … . While it is clear that respondents produced the full books and records, and the Special Referee went through thousands of documents and reviewed numerous expert reports, this is insufficient …, particularly because respondents’ bookkeeping was described as inadequate, and sometimes nonexistent, and there was evidence respondents intentionally destroyed key financial data during the litigation. Matter of Grgurev v Licul, 2022 NY Slip Op 02088, First Dept 3-29-22
Practice Point: There is a fiduciary relationship between partners and co-owners of a business giving rise to an absolute right to an accounting, despite the existence of an adequate remedy at law.