February 27, 2023

Fishkin Lucks Wins Motion to Dismiss in Southern District of New York

Fishkin Lucks obtained dismissal of claims against its clients, several affiliated insurance companies, brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff, an insurance agency, asserted claims seeking more than $2 million in connection with our clients' alleged breach of the parties' agreement, which had required the insurance agency to perform certain administrative services in exchange for commission payments. The Firm moved to dismiss the plaintiff's claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of New York's General Business Law § 349, and for a declaration under the Declaratory Judgment Act related to certain intellectual property generated during the parties' relationship.  In a comprehensive opinion, the District Court (Vyskocil, J.) dismissed all three claims, adopting in full the Firm's arguments. The Court agreed that the claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing was duplicative of the plaintiff's breach of contract claim, as it arose from the same operative alleged facts and sought the same damages. The Court dismissed the General Business Law § 349claim because the plaintiff failed to allege that the purported misconduct was directed to the public at large.  As for the claim for a declaratory judgment, the Court echoed the Firm's argument that a declaration would serve no useful purpose because resolution of the plaintiff's breach of contract claim necessarily would settle the issues for declaration was sought.