Consolidation of Actions

Consolidation is generally favored in the interested of judicial economy and ease of decision-making where cases present common questions of law and facts, unless the opposing party demonstrates that consolidation will prejudice a substantial right. See, Rist v. Comi, 260 AD2d 890 (3d Dept. 1999); Progressive Insurance Co. v. Vasquez, 10 AD3d 518 (1st Dept. 2004); Eagle Pet Service Co., Inc. v. Pacific Employers Insurance Co., 102 AD2d 814 (2d Dept. 1984).

It is not necessary, for purposes of consolidation, that all parties or all issues be common to both actions. See, Fourteen Sharot Place Realty Corp. v. Miceli, 125 AD2d 634 (2d Dept. 1986). The commonalities of the actions and the pressing need for judicial relief may constitute sufficient bases for consolidation of actions.

– R. A. Klass
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Plaintiff Has Stated Valid Causes of Action Sufficient to Withstand Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Action

In an action, Defendants may move to dismiss a Plaintiff’s Complaint based upon the allegation that the Complaint fails to state a cause of action, pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(3) and (7). In deciding such a motion, the court must accept the facts as alleged in the Complaint as true, according the plaintiff the benefit of every possible favorable inference, and determine only whether the facts as alleged fit within any cognizable legal theory. Goldman v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 5 NY3d 561 [2005]. Essentially, the court should impose a “four corners” test in liberally construing the four corners of the pleading to see whether they establish valid causes of action. Schwaner v. Collins, 17 AD3d 1068 [4 Dept. 2005].

As the Court of Appeals enunciated in Guggenheimer v. Ginzburg, 43 NY2d 268 [1977], on a motion to dismiss made pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), “the sole criterion is whether the pleading states a cause of action, and if from its four corners factual allegations are discerned which taken together manifest any cause of action cognizable at law.” Further, “when evidentiary material is considered, the criterion is whether the proponent of the pleading has a cause of action, not whether he has stated one, and unless it has been shown that a material fact as claimed by the pleader to be one is not a fact at all and unless it can be said that no significant dispute exists regarding it, again dismissal should not eventuate.” Guggenheimer, supra at 275.

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