The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court in this Labor Law 240(1) and 241(6) action, determined Supreme Court properly found plaintiff offered a sufficient reason for making a late motion for summary judgment, i.e., discovery was incomplete at the time the motion was due, but should not have denied the motion on the ground the discovery was not essential to the motion. The discovery dealt with whether plaintiff was engaged in unauthorized work at the time of the accident, which is a defense to Labor Law 240(1) and 241(6) actions:
A party may not move for summary judgment after the deadline to do so has expired, “except with leave of court on good cause shown” (CPLR 3212[a]). As a result, a court may not consider a late motion for summary judgment unless the moving party offers “a satisfactory explanation for the untimeliness—rather than simply permitting meritorious, nonprejudicial filings, however tardy” … . “While significant outstanding discovery may, in certain circumstances, constitute good cause for a delay in making a motion for summary judgment,” the movant must establish that the discovery was “essential to its motion” … . This standard generally requires that the discovery be relevant to resolving disputed issues of fact … . Even if the discovery is essential, good cause for the delay will only exist if the party promptly moves for summary judgment after securing such discovery … . Fuczynski v 144 Div., LLC, 2022 NY Slip Op 05151, Second Dept 9-14-22
Practice Point: Good cause for filing a late motion for summary judgment is demonstrated where, as here, the motion was due before discovery was complete and the discovery is essential to the motion.