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Long Island Lighting Co. v. Century Indem. Co.

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department
Jun 19, 2008
861 N.Y.S.2d 616 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008)

Opinion


52 A.D.3d 383 861 N.Y.S.2d 616 Long Island Lighting Company, Plaintiff, and KeySpan Corporation, Appellant, v. Century Indemnity Company et al., Respondents, et al., Defendants. 2008-05574 Supreme Court of New York, First Department June 19, 2008

         COUNSEL

         Dickstein Shapiro LLP, New York (Edward Tessler of counsel), for appellant.

         Whites&s Williams LLP, New York (Robert F. Walsh of counsel), for respondents.

         Mazzarelli, J.P., Andrias, Williams, Renwick, JJ.

         Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Helen E. Freedman, J.), entered October 4, 2007, which denied plaintiff KeySpan's motion to vacate a prior judgment dismissing its claim relating to the Syosset Landfill Superfund site, and for leave to amend its complaint to separately restate the claims for each of the damage sites at issue, unanimously affirmed, with costs.          We reject KeySpan's argument that the IAS court had the authority, pursuant to CPLR 5015(a)(5) or inherently, to vacate the final order of dismissal and judgment previously entered in connection with the Syosset Landfill claim. In order to vacate an order of dismissal under CPLR 5015(a)(5), that prior disposition must have been reversed, modified or vacated. Here, the IAS court's final order and judgment of dismissal was based on its December 2003 prior order granting the motions of defendants Century and General Reinsurance for summary judgment on the Syosset Landfill claims based on late notice, which was affirmed on appeal; thus, KeySpan cannot point to a prior order that has been reversed, modified or vacated.

         In addition, a "court's inherent power to exercise control over its judgment is not plenary, and should be resorted to only to relieve a party from judgments taken through [fraud,] "mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect" ' " (Matter of McKenna v County of Nassau, 61 N.Y.2d 739, 742 [1984]). KeySpan's mistaken belief that the November 2006 order and the January 2007 judgment expressly severing the Syosset Landfill claims from the remainder of the claims would be a proper final judgment that would be accepted for review by the Court of Appeals cannot be the basis for vacating a final judgment and order (see e.g. Matter of Parkchester Apts. Co. v Lefkowitz, 41 N.Y.2d 987, 991 [1977]).

         We further reject KeySpan's contention that the IAS court abused its discretion when it denied leave to amend the complaint, as the lengthy procedural history of this case indicates that the parties would be prejudiced by further delay in the proceedings, and because the motion lacked merit (see Peach Parking Corp. v 346 W. 40th St., LLC, 42 A.D.3d 82 [2007]).

         We have considered appellant's remaining arguments and find them unavailing.

         Concur--Mazzarelli, J.P., Andrias, Williams and Renwick, JJ.

Summaries of

Long Island Lighting Co. v. Century Indem. Co.

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department
Jun 19, 2008
861 N.Y.S.2d 616 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008)
Case details for

Long Island Lighting Co. v. Century Indem. Co.

Case Details

Full title:Long Island Lighting Co. v. Century Indem. Co.

Court:Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Date published: Jun 19, 2008

Citations

861 N.Y.S.2d 616 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008)
861 N.Y.S.2d 616