Commercial Division Blog
Account Stated Claim Prevails Because of Defendant's Failure Timely to Object to Invoices
On January 19, 2021, the First Department issued a decision in Law Off. of Mark S. Helweil v. Karambelas, 2021 NY Slip Op. 00260, holding that an account stated claim prevailed because of the defendant's failure timely to object to the plaintiff's invoices, explaining:
Plaintiffs made a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment on the basis of an account stated. Defendant client's signed retainer agreement, payment of a $35,000 retainer, agreement to pay an hourly rate of $600 for legal services, agreement to pay all bills for legal fees, costs, and disbursements immediately upon receipt, as well as four partial payments toward the bills, constituted an acknowledgment of amounts owed and her assent. Defendant's failure to lodge a timely, specific objection to the billing was insufficient to rebut any inference of an agreement to pay the stated amount. Moreover, evidence in the form of detailed monthly invoices addressed to defendant, together with affidavits indicating that the invoices were regularly and timely forwarded to and received by defendant, established plaintiffs' compliance with the retainer agreement's regular billing requirements.
(Internal citations omitted).
People sometimes are surprised to learn that if they do not complain about a bill they receive, they can be found to have agreed to it. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at email@example.com if you or a client have questions about a claim based on un-objected-to invoices.