In Gopstein v. Bellinson Law, LLC, 2023 NY Slip Op 33476, the plaintiff alleged that he retained the law firm to handle a personal injury action, which later settled. Plaintiff claimed that the lawyers were negligent and that their negligence caused him to settle for a reduced amount. The law firm argued that it was not retained to represent plaintiff in the malpractice action. The court rejected that argument, but dismissed the lawsuit because the allegations that the lawyers were negligent and that their alleged negligence caused damage were conclusory. The court’s reasoning is succinct: . “Conclusory damages … or injuries predicated on speculation cannot suffice” for a legal malpractice claim (Pellegrino at 64). “[A] failure to establish proximate cause required dismissal … regardless [of] whether negligence is established (Pellegrino v File, 291 AD2d 60[1st Dept 2002]) (Id. at 63).” The complaint did not explain what the breach of duty was or how it might have caused the plaintiff an injury.
If you have a question about a legal malpractice case, do not hesitate to contact us.
Ed Clinton, Jr.