Monroe County L.A. Fitness and Property Owner Win Real Estate Title Decision in New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division
Case Study

Monroe County L.A. Fitness and Property Owner Win Real Estate Title Decision in New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division

November 12, 2019

The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Fourth Department unanimously affirmed a previous decision in favor of Agree Rochester NY, LLC, its lessee L.A. Fitness, and other defendants in a real estate title suit alleging breach of contract and fraud, and involving a disputed easement over the L.A. Fitness site off Ridge Road in Irondequoit, north of Rochester. Marc W. Brown, a partner at the law firm Goldberg Segalla, argued the appeal on behalf of the property owner, with assistance from associate James D. Macri.

This decision prevents an undesired road from passing at or near the entrance of an L.A. Fitness in Rochester, which would have caused a significant inconvenience for the numerous patrons who use the facility to work out on a daily basis,” Marc said. “This decision protects our bona fide purchaser client, who now has clear title to the property it purchased and is leasing to L.A. Fitness. In addition, this decision impacts an insurer, another client, who did not have to settle with the plaintiff for an exorbitant amount during the litigation.”

In this case, plaintiffs sought damages and declaratory relief associated with an agreement in 2007 involving the decedent Daniel P. Cappa, Sr., as the sole member of plaintiff Beacon Estates, LLC, and defendant Angelo Ingrassia, as the sole member of defendant 1612 Ridge Road, LLC. The plaintiffs alleged that Ingrassia misrepresented the contents of the agreement and exploited a personal relationship with Cappa to induce him into signing it. In 2013, 1612 Ridge Road, LLC sold its property to defendant Agree Rochester NY, LLC, lessor to L.A. Fitness. In 2017, plaintiffs amended their complaint to assert actions of breach of contract and fraud based on the 2007 agreement.

Marc moved to dismiss the amended complaint, contending that it was time-barred. Notably, in a November 7, 2018, order and judgment, New York State Supreme Court, Monroe County dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint in its entirety, agreeing that the plaintiffs’ breach of contract cause of action was time-barred because it occurred more than six years before the plaintiffs commenced the action—regardless of whether the damage to the plaintiffs occurred later and whether plaintiffs were unaware of the breach when it occurred.

On November 8, 2019, the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Fourth Department, affirmed the lower court’s decision, holding that the Supreme Court properly granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss the fraud and breach of contract causes of action.

 

More about Goldberg Segalla’s Marc W. Brown:

Marc W. Brown, a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Arbitration practice based out of the firm’s Buffalo and Manhattan offices, concentrates on business and commercial litigation, with a focus on matters involving real estate and title law. Recognized nationally for his prominence in the field of real estate and title law, Marc is immediate-past chair of the Title Insurance Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, and was recognized in 2019 with Business Journals’ Influencers: Law distinction, reserved for the top 100 most influential lawyers in the country.