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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: January 16, 2021

Res Judicata Bars Plaintiff From Relitigating Previously-Litigated Claims

On January 5, 2021, the First Department issued a decision in Bauhouse Group I, Inc. v. Kalikow, 2021 NY Slip Op. 00001, holding that res judicata barred a plaintiff from relitigating previously-litigated claims, explaining:

The second order is subject to dismissal for many of the same reasons as the first order. Most fundamentally, however, the court there properly applied the doctrine of res judicata to preclude plaintiffs from re-litigating the same exact claims in the second action that were raised and dismissed, with prejudice, in the first action. The doctrine of res judicata dictates that once a claim is brought to a final conclusion, all other claims arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions are barred, even if based upon different theories or if seeking a different remedy. The requirements of res judicata are plainly met here. The first action — which involved the exact same parties, transactions, and claims — was brought to a final conclusion by the first order, wherein the complaint was dismissed with prejudice. It is indisputable that plaintiffs’ claims in the second action arise out of the same facts and are, in fact, identical to those alleged in the first action. Considering the allegations of the bankruptcy proceeding, the second action was in fact plaintiffs’ third attempt to recover based upon the same set of facts arising from the same transaction.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

Doctrines such as collateral estoppel, res judicata and the law of the case and entire controversy doctrines, limit a party’s ability to litigate an issue more than once. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client have questions regarding whether a claim is barred by an earlier decision or action.

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