The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined emotional and psychological damages, as opposed to pecuniary damages, will not support an action for breach of fiduciary duty:
… [P]laintiffs proffered no evidence showing that Atesa [plaintiff] sustained pecuniary damages, and adduced proof identifying only emotional and psychological injuries. Contrary to plaintiffs’ contention, the allegations in the complaint that Atesa incurred financial expenses as a result of having to seek medical treatment and retain new counsel due to defendants’ alleged misconduct are insufficient to defeat summary judgment, absent any supporting evidentiary proof (see CPLR 3212[b] …). Plaintiffs’ contention that they could present such proof at trial is unavailing … . Because plaintiffs failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether recoverable damages were incurred, summary judgment dismissing the claim should have been granted … . Pacelli v Peter L. Cedeno & Assoc., PC, 2023 NY Slip Op 05448, First Dept 10-26-23
Practice Point: Emotional and psychological damages, as opposed to pecuniary damages, will not support an action for breach of fiduciary duty.