Dec 12, 2011

Court Denies State’s Motion to Dismiss

Long Island Conservatory, Ltd. v. The State of New York, Claim No. 119380 (N.Y. Ct. Cl.).

Although New York courts generally give wide discretion to the State in making education-related decisions, Ford Marrin recently defeated a motion to dismiss in connection with various claims for breach of contract and fraud relating to a proposed joint program between our client, a renowned music school, and the State University of New York. In rejecting the State’s motion, the Court found, among other things, that qualified immunity did not apply to the claims of fraud in misrepresenting the approval status of the joint program. Additionally, the Court agreed with our argument that there existed a cognizable cause of action for breach of an implied contract even though there may not have been a written agreement between the parties. Finally, and most significantly, although a claim for promissory estoppel is only recognized against the State in very limited circumstances, the Court denied the motion to dismiss given the allegations of manifest injustice caused by the State’s representations.

Partner John J. Witmeyer III and Associate Jon Ryan Grabowski represent the client in this action.

By, Jon Ryan Grabowski