COMPLAINT DID NOT STATE A CAUSE OF ACTION FOR PRIMA FACIE TORT, ELEMENTS EXPLAINED (FOURTH DEPT)
The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the complaint did not state a cause of action for prima facie tort:
“Prima facie tort affords a remedy for the infliction of intentional harm, resulting in damage, without excuse or justification, by an act or a series of acts which would otherwise be lawful” … . “The requisite elements of a cause of action for prima facie tort are (1) intentional infliction of harm, (2) which results in special damages, (3) without any excuse or justification, (4) by an act or series of acts which would otherwise be lawful” … .
Here, the prima facie tort cause of action cannot stand because, although the complaint alleged that defendant “acted maliciously” and “with disinterested malice,” it did not allege that defendant’s “sole motivation was disinterested malevolence’ ” … . In addition, the complaint failed to allege special damages as required … . Finally, the complaint is not “sufficiently particular to give the court and parties notice of the transactions, occurrences, or series of transactions or occurrences, intended to be proved and the material elements of each cause of action” (CPLR 3013 …). “[A] cause of action cannot be predicated solely on mere conclusory statements . . . unsupported by factual allegations” … . Here, the complaint is devoid of relevant facts, including the time period at issue, the number of forms that defendant requested plaintiff to resubmit, and the number of claims involved. Greater Buffalo Acc. & Injury Chiropractic, P.C. v Geico Cas. Co., 2019 NY Slip Op 06349, Fourth Dept 8-22-19