Siegelv.Ocean Park Housing Company, Inc.

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second DepartmentMar 9, 1998
248 A.D.2d 459 (N.Y. App. Div. 1998)
248 A.D.2d 459668 N.Y.S.2d 932

March 9, 1998

Appeal from the Supreme Court, Queens County (Lerner, J.).

Ordered that the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs.

Stipulations of settlement may be set aside "[o]nly where there is cause sufficient to invalidate a contract, such as fraud, collusion, mistake or accident" ( Hallock v. State of New York, 64 N.Y.2d 224, 230; see, Matter of Frutiger, 29 N.Y.2d 143, 149-150; Wilutis v. Wilutis, 184 A.D.2d 639). In the absence of such a showing, the plaintiff must demonstrate that her agent was without authority to enter into the settlement, and therefore no contract ever came into being ( see, Hallock v. State of New York, 64 N.Y.2d 224, 231, supra; Matter of Kanter, 209 A.D.2d 365).

The plaintiff's law firm of record had the authority to enter into the stipulation of settlement which provided for the division of legal fees between it and the respondent ( see, Hallock v. State of New York, supra; Ford v. Unity Hosp., 32 N.Y.2d 464, 473). Any reliance upon the stipulation of settlement by the court or the respondent was reasonable in light of the parties' past dealings ( see, Nash v. Y T Distribs., 207 A.D.2d 779, 780-781). Therefore, the plaintiff's motion to vacate the stipulation of settlement was properly denied.

The plaintiff's remaining contentions are without merit.

O'Brien, J. P., Sullivan, Friedmann and Goldstein, JJ., concur.