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New York Appellate Court Discusses CPLR 205(a)

A Bronx Estate Administration Lawyer said that, the decedent was employed by the New York Times from 1976 to 2001 as a mailer and foreman. On July 13, 2003, he died from acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). His wife, died on July 11, 2004. Thereafter, their children, were appointed administratrix and administrator, respectively, of the estates of decedent. On July 12, 2005, acting in their individual capacities and as administratrix and administrator, respectively, of the estates of their parents, the children commenced an action in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York against each of the entities which are defendants at bar (the federal action) by filing their complaint alleging negligence, warranty and strict products liability claims (the federal complaint). At the initial injury conference in the federal action, Federal District Court Judge was informed that International Paper (IP), one of the defendants named in that action (collectively hereinafter the federal action defendants), was a New York corporation, and that, as a consequence, complete diversity of citizenship was lacking. At that time, plaintiffs’ counsel asked for time to investigate IP’s challenge to diversity jurisdiction. The Judge directed that the diversity issue be resolved by October 7, 2005. Thereafter followed an effort by plaintiffs to obtain consent from all of the federal action defendants to a voluntary discontinuance of that personal lawsuit without prejudice.

A Bronx Probate Lawyer said that, also on January 3, 2006, plaintiffs filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the federal complaint as to the three federal action defendants which had answered to the federal complaint (collectively hereinafter the answering federal defendants). Then, on March 7, 2006, plaintiffs, both individually and in their capacities as administratrix and administrator, respectively, of the estates of their parents, commenced the instant lawsuit against each of the federal action defendants. In their complaint (the state complaint), plaintiffs seek to recover damages for decedent’s personal injuries and pain and suffering (the personal injury claim), loss of decedent’s services on behalf of Mrs. Casella (the spousal claim) and wrongful death of decedent on behalf of his distributees (the wrongful death claim), based upon the same negligence, warranty and strict products liability theories that were asserted in the federal action. Significantly, the spousal claim seeks damages for lost services “from on or about 2001 through the time of the wifes’death on July 11, 2004”. All of plaintiffs’ claims are based upon their central allegations that defendants are the manufacturers of ink and newsprint products which “contained benzene and other volatile organic products” and that decedent “was exposed on a daily basis to the products of all Defendants by touch and through inhalation”.

A Bronx Estate Litigation Lawyer said that, although defendants’ motions request relief based upon several grounds, each of them is an attack upon the timeliness of plaintiffs’ assertion of their claims in this action. Whether the state complaint can survive defendants’ challenges turns upon the application of CPLR 205 (a), and its interplay with certain other CPLR and federal provisions. Thus, the court turns first to the purpose of section 205 (a) and the circumstances under which a plaintiff may receive its benefits foe an accident.

If you are having problems regarding the administration of the estate, seek the help of a Bronx Estate Administration Attorney and Bronx Probate Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

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