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Cusimano v. Berita Realty, LLC

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
Feb 13, 2013
103 A.D.3d 720 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)

Opinion

2013-02-13

In the Matter of Rita CUSIMANO, appellant, v. BERITA REALTY, LLC, respondent, Bernadette Strianese, respondent-respondent.

Rosenberg Calica & Birney LLP, Garden City, N.Y. (Robert M. Calica and Judah Serfaty of counsel), for appellant. Joseph & Terracciano, LLP, Syosset, N.Y. (Peter J. Terracciano and Janine T. Lynam of counsel), for respondent-respondent.



Rosenberg Calica & Birney LLP, Garden City, N.Y. (Robert M. Calica and Judah Serfaty of counsel), for appellant. Joseph & Terracciano, LLP, Syosset, N.Y. (Peter J. Terracciano and Janine T. Lynam of counsel), for respondent-respondent.
REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., PLUMMER E. LOTT, SHERI S. ROMAN, and SANDRA L. SGROI, JJ.

In a proceeding pursuant to Limited Liability Company Law § 702 for the judicial dissolution of Berita Realty, LLC, and for an accounting, the petitioner appeals, as limited by her brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (Bucaria, J.), entered April 25, 2012, as, upon renewal, adhered to a prior determination in an order of the same court (Warshawsky, J.), entered March 8, 2011, granting the motion of Bernadette Strianese to stay the proceeding and compel arbitration.

ORDERED that the order entered April 25, 2012, is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs.

“[I]n the commercial context generally, the rule is clear that unless the agreement to arbitrate expressly and unequivocally encompasses the subject matter of the particular dispute, a party cannot be compelled to forego the right to seek judicial relief and instead submit to arbitration” ( Bowmer v. Bowmer, 50 N.Y.2d 288, 293–294, 428 N.Y.S.2d 902, 406 N.E.2d 760;see Sammarco v. Pepsi–Cola Bottling Co. of N.Y., 1 A.D.3d 341, 342, 767 N.Y.S.2d 59;Computer Assoc. Intl. v. Com–Tech Assoc., 239 A.D.2d 379, 380–381, 658 N.Y.S.2d 322). The burden of proof is on the party seeking arbitration ( see Matter of Allstate Ins. Co. v. Roseboro, 247 A.D.2d 379, 380, 667 N.Y.S.2d 914;Matter of American Centennial Ins. Co. v. Williams, 233 A.D.2d 320, 649 N.Y.S.2d 190). The right to arbitrate, like any other contractual right, may be modified, waived, or abandoned ( see Sherrill v. Grayco Bldrs., 64 N.Y.2d 261, 272, 486 N.Y.S.2d 159, 475 N.E.2d 772). A determination that a party has waived the right to arbitrate requires a finding that the party engaged in litigation to such an extent as to “manifest[ ] a preference ‘clearly inconsistent with [its] later claim that the parties were obligated to settle their differences by arbitration’ ... and thereby elected to litigate rather than arbitrate” ( id. at 272, 486 N.Y.S.2d 159, 475 N.E.2d 772, quoting Matter of Zimmerman v. Cohen, 236 N.Y. 15, 19, 139 N.E. 764).

Here, the Supreme Court, upon renewal, properly adhered to the prior determination granting the motion of the respondent Bernadette Strianese to stay the proceeding and compel arbitration. Strianese satisfied her burden of establishing the existence of a valid agreement to arbitrate that expressly and unequivocally encompassed the subject matter of the petitioner's claims ( see Bowmer v. Bowmer, 50 N.Y.2d at 293–294, 428 N.Y.S.2d 902, 406 N.E.2d 760;Matter of Allstate Ins. Co. v. Roseboro, 247 A.D.2d at 380, 667 N.Y.S.2d 914;Matter of Ehrlich v. Stein, 143 A.D.2d 908, 910, 533 N.Y.S.2d 517). Furthermore, Strianese did not waive her right to arbitrate ( see Byrnes v. Castaldi, 72 A.D.3d 718, 719, 898 N.Y.S.2d 640;Estate of Castellone v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 60 A.D.3d 621, 622, 875 N.Y.S.2d 130).

The petitioner's remaining contentions are without merit.


Summaries of

Cusimano v. Berita Realty, LLC

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
Feb 13, 2013
103 A.D.3d 720 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)
Case details for

Cusimano v. Berita Realty, LLC

Case Details

Full title:In the Matter of Rita CUSIMANO, appellant, v. BERITA REALTY, LLC…

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Date published: Feb 13, 2013

Citations

103 A.D.3d 720 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)
959 N.Y.S.2d 711
2013 N.Y. Slip Op. 913

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