CPLR 205a is a not well known, but very important statute which allows a plaintiff to re-file a complaint which is dismissed, if it was timely when filed, where jurisdiction was obtained over the defendants, and it was not dismissed on the merits or for failure to prosecute. It may come into play when cases are dismissed for failure to state a cause of action under CPLR 3211(a)(7)
"The New York Court of Appeals has been asked to clarify the law on a statute that allows parties to save an action that has been terminated if they commence a new action within six months.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit yesterday certified a question to the state’s highest court on New York’s "savings" statute, CPLR §205(a).
The question presented to the circuit was whether a corporation can refile an action within six months when a previous action had mistakenly been commenced in the name of a different, related corporate entity and has been dismissed for naming the wrong plaintiff.
The purpose of the statute, the New York Court of Appeals said in George v. Mt. Sinai Hosp., 390 N.E. 2d 1156 (1979), was "to ameliorate the potentially harsh effect of the statute of limitations in certain cases in which at least one of the fundamental purposes of the statute of limitations has in fact been served, and the defendant has been given timely notice." "