The Court of Appeals, dismissing the appeal, in a brief memorandum decision, held that the two-justice dissent (which would normally require review by the Court of Appeals) did not present a reviewable question of law:
… [A]ppeal dismissed, with costs, upon the ground that the two-Justice dissent at the Appellate Division is not on a question of law which would be reviewable by the Court of Appeals (see CPLR 5601 [a]; 5501 [a] ). The dissent was predicated on an order denying partial summary judgment that did not necessarily affect the judgment from which the appeal was taken (see Bonczar v American Multi-Cinema, Inc., 38 NY3d 1023 ). Shaw v City of Rochester, 2022 NY Slip Op 05197, Ct App 9-15-22
Below is the summary of Bonczar v American Multi-Cinema, Ins. (cited by the Court of Appeals in Shaw, supra):
The Court of Appeals determined the Appellate Division order denying summary judgment in this Labor Law 240(1) ladder-fall case did not “affect the final judgment” after trial. Therefore the order was not appealable to the Court of Appeals:
The 2018 Appellate Division order may be reviewed on appeal from a final paper only if, pursuant to CPLR 5501 (a), the nonfinal order “necessarily affects” the final judgment. “It is difficult to distill a rule of general applicability regarding the ‘necessarily affects’ requirement” … and “[w]e have never attempted, and we do not now attempt, a generally applicable definition” … . That said, to determine whether a nonfinal order “necessarily affects” the final judgment, in cases where the prior order “str[uck] at the foundation on which the final judgment was predicated” we have inquired whether “reversal would inescapably have led to a vacatur of the judgment” … . This is not such a case. In other cases, we have asked whether the nonfinal order “necessarily removed [a] legal issue from the case” so that “there was no further opportunity during the litigation to raise the question decided by the prior non-final order” … .
In resolving plaintiff’s summary judgment motion, the Appellate Division held that factual questions existed as to whether a statutory violation occurred and as to proximate cause, or more specifically as to whether plaintiff’s own acts or omissions were the sole proximate cause of the accident … . That nonfinal order did not remove any issues from the case. Rather, the question of proximate cause and liability was left undecided. The parties had further opportunity to litigate those issues and in fact did so during the jury trial. Bonczar v American Multi-Cinema, Inc., 2022 NY Slip Op 02835, CtApp 4-28-22
Practice Point: A nonfinal order is not appealable to the Court of Appeals unless it “affects the final judgment.” If questions of fact remain after the nonfinal order is issued, the order does not “affect the final judgment” and is not appealable. Here the nonfinal order was the Appellate Division’s denial of plaintiff’s summary judgment motion. The order left open factual questions resolved at trial. Therefore the order did not “affect the final judgment.”