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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts
Posted: September 26, 2015

Limitations Period for Unjust Enrichment as Alternative to Tort is Same As for the Tort

On September 18, 2015, Justice Kornreich of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Vandashield LTD v. Isaccson, 2015 NY Slip Op. 31782(U), analyzing the limitations period for claims of unjust enrichment.

In Vandashield, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on various grounds, including that the plaintiffs’ unjust enrichment claims were untimely. The court denied that portion of the defendants’ motion, explaining:

The statute of limitations for unjust enrichment pleaded as an alternative to a tort is the same as the statute of limitations for the underlying tort. A claim for unjust enrichment accrues upon the occurrence of the wrongful act giving rise to the right of restitution. Here, the underlying tort is breach of fiduciary duty involving fraud. The statute of limitations for such a claim is six years, or two years from inquiry notice.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted) (emphasis added). Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the court went on to dismiss the unjust enrichment claim because “plaintiffs allege the same conduct and damages for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, recognized torts.”

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