The First Department determined questions about the incapacitated person’s (IP’s) sanity should be part of the legal malpractice trial. If the IP is determined to have been “insane” at the time he was represented by defendant attorney, the statute of limitations for the legal malpractice action would have been tolled, if not, the action was not timely:
The parties do not dispute that [defendant attorney] established prima facie that this action asserting breach of fiduciary duty and related causes of action (the malpractice action) was commenced after the applicable statutes of limitations had expired. However, plaintiff raised an issue of fact whether the statutes of limitations were tolled for “insanity” (… CPLR 208[a]). Viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the record presents issues of fact as to the IP’s ability to protect his legal rights and his overall ability to function in society at the time his claims against [defendant attorney] accrued … . Matter of Verdugo v Smiley & Smiley, LLP, 2022 NY Slip Op 04138, First Dept 6-28-22
Practice Point: There is an “insanity” statute-of -imitations toll in the CPLR. Here there a question of fact whether an incapacitated person was insane when he was represented by defendant attorney such that the legal malpractice statute of limitations was tolled.