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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts
Posted: March 28, 2017

Defendant Who Was Party to Contract Liable Even Though His Employer Also Had Contract With Plaintiff

On March 20, 2017, Justice Oing of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Lord Securities Corp. v. Abedine, 2017 NY Slip Op. 30522(U), holding that a defendant could be liable for a breach of a contract he had signed in his individual capacity even though his employer also was alleged to have breach its contract with the plaintiff, explaining:

Defendant claims that he was merely acting as an agent for Broad Street, and therefore plaintiff’s claim lies with Broad Street. Defendant relies on Cruz v NYNEX Info. Resources, to support this proposition. His reliance is misplaced because Cruz is factually distinguishable. There, the Appellate Division, First Department, held that an agent was not liable for a contractual breach because he was not personally liable under the contract. Here, by contrast, defendant is alleged to have breached his own contract with plaintiff, under which he could be held personally liable.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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