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May 18, 2015

The Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel will not be applied where the individual had sufficient knowledge to bring a timely action



The Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel will not be applied where the individual had sufficient knowledge to bring a timely action
2015 NY Slip Op 04050, Appellate Division, First Department

Supreme Court dismissed the employee’s petition [Petitioner] seeking to annul the appointing authority’s termination of her employment as untimely.The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s ruling explaining that the appointing authority had made its “final determination” on March 7, 2011 and Petitioner had not made her demand for arbitration until after the expiration of the four-month statute of limitations.

The court cited Joseph Francese, Inc. v Enlarged City School Dist. of Troy, 95 NY2d 59. In Francese the Court of Appeals ruled that where the individual served a demand for arbitration within the applicable statute of limitations, the running of the Statute of Limitations is tolled.

The relevant statute, CPLR 204 (b), provides that “Where it shall have been determined that a party is not obligated to submit a claim to arbitration, the time which elapsed between the demand for arbitration and the final determination that there is no obligation to arbitrate is not a part of the time within which an action upon such claim must be commenced.”  

In addition Petitioner had contended that the doctrine of equitable estoppel should be applied to toll the period between Petitioner's termination and her demand for arbitration.

The Appellate Division disagreed, noting that the record indicated that Petitioner “knew or should have known of the proper mechanisms to challenge the appointing authority’s decision before the expiration of the statute of limitations.” As the Court of Appeals held in Zumpano v Quinn, 6 NY3d 666, “equitable estoppel did not apply where the plaintiff had sufficient knowledge to bring a timely action.”

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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