Defendant’s Failure to Answer Plaintiff’s Notice to Admit Results in Adverse Summary Judgment

In Spin Capital v. Texas Medical Center Supply, LLC, Index. No. 130439-2021, 2022 N.Y. Slip Op. 32914 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Monroe Cnty. Aug. 29, 2022), the court granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment after defendant failed to engage the discovery process.

The case arose from the defendant’s alleged breach of a revenue purchase agreement and related personal guarantee. Spin Capital, 2022 N.Y. Slip Op. 32914 at *1. Plaintiff sued for breach of contract, among other things, and served defendant with a notice to admit certain facts material to the claims. Id. Defendant did not answer the notice to admit, and plaintiff subsequently moved for summary judgment. Id.

In response, defendant served its own discovery requests and then opposed plaintiff’s summary judgment on the grounds that the motion was premature and should not even be heard until defendant could obtain discovery. Id. at *3. The court rejected this approach, emphasizing that Defendant had waited seven months to seek discovery, serving its own discovery requests only after plaintiff moved for summary judgment. Id. at *4. The court was unconvinced that the defendant lacked access to the information it needed to defend the action, but even if it did, the court held that it had forfeited the right to seek that information in discovery. Id.

To make matters worse for defendant, the court deemed defendant to have admitted the unanswered notice to admit. Id. at *7. And those admissions, in turn, established plaintiff’s entitlement to summary judgment. Id.

Spin Capital is an important reminder of the critical importance to both plaintiffs and defendants of engaging diligently in the discovery process. If you have questions about discovery strategy, contact Michael Rakower or Travis Mock.

Spin Capital v. Tex. Med. Ctr. Supply (USE THIS)

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