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Hope And Speculation Is Insufficient To Defeat Pre-Discovery Summary Judgment Motion (NY)

April 22, 2022

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<p style="text-align: justify;">In <em><a href="">Mauro v. City of New York</a>,</em> the Second Department recently addressed whether the defendants’ pre-discovery motions for summary judgment were premature. Plaintiffs in that case were involved in a motor vehicle accident when they came in contact with “an opening in the roadway caused by a missing manhole cover.” Defendants Keyspan Corporation and National Grid USA moved for summary judgment, introducing evidence to show that they were not the proper parties.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In reversing the Supreme Court’s denial of the motions, the Appellate Division held that plaintiffs' contention that the motion was premature is without merit. "A party contending that a motion for summary judgment is premature is required to demonstrate that additional discovery might lead to relevant evidence or that the facts essential to oppose the motion are exclusively within the knowledge and control of the movant." The court further held that "the mere hope or speculation that evidence sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment <strong><em>may be uncovered during the discovery</em></strong> process is insufficient to deny the motion."</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The <em>Mauro</em> case serves as a reminder that mere “hope or speculation” will not be enough to defeat a pre-discovery summary judgment motion, and that defendants should consider making such motions in appropriate cases.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thank you to Corey Morgenstern for his contribution to this post. Please contact <a href="">Andrew Gibbs</a> with any questions.</p>


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