Architects, similar to attorneys, can be liable for general torts as well as breach of contract. For the most part, it’s one or the other. In Junger v John V. Dinan Assoc., Inc. 2018 NY Slip Op 06232 [164 AD3d 1428] September 26, 2018 Appellate Division, Second Department we see how the claims are evaluated.
” The plaintiffs commenced this action alleging breach of contract, breach of duty, rofessional negligence, and fraud against the architects who prepared plans in connection with the construction of the plaintiff Mark Junger’s personal residence located in Monsey. The defendants John V. Dinan Associates, Inc. (hereinafter Dinan), and Stephen C. Leventis Architect (hereinafter [*2]Leventis; hereinafter together the Dinan defendants), moved, and the defendants Jada Construction & Development, Inc., and Jada Construction, Inc. hereinafter together the Jada defendants), separately moved, inter alia, for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against them.
A party moving for summary judgment must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, offering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of any triable issue of fact (see Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324 ; Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562 ). Failure to make that initial showing requires denial of the motion, regardless of the sufficiency of the opposition papers (see Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851 ; St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hosp. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 274 AD2d 511 ; Greenberg v Manlon Realty, 43 AD2d 968 ).
We disagree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting that branch of the Dinan defendants’ motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the cause of action alleging professional negligence insofar as asserted against them. The Dinan defendants failed to demonstrate their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law because they did not submit evidence that the architectural plans and designs were proper, conformed to applicable professional standards, and did not deviate from the design as intended (see Kung v Zheng, 73 AD3d 862, 863 ). The Dinan defendants also failed to offer evidence demonstrating that their plans and designs were not used to construct the residence. Since the Dinan defendants failed to meet their prima facie burden, we need not consider the sufficiency of the plaintiffs’ papers in opposition to this branch of their motion (see Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d at 853).
However, we agree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting those branches of the Dinan defendants’ motion which were for summary judgment dismissing the causes of action alleging breach of duty and fraud insofar as asserted against them. The cause of action alleging breach of duty was duplicative of the cause of action alleging professional negligence. Moreover, the plaintiffs’ allegations supporting the cause of action to recover damages for fraud lacked the requisite specificity (see Orchid Constr. Corp. v Gonzalez, 89 AD3d 705, 707-708 ; Morales v AMS Mtge. Servs., Inc., 69 AD3d 691, 692 ). “Generally, a cause of action alleging breach of contract may not be converted to one for fraud merely with an allegation that the contracting party did not intend to meet its contractual obligations” (Refreshment Mgt. Servs., Corp. v Complete Off. Supply Warehouse Corp., 89 AD3d 913, 914 ; see New York Univ. v Continental Ins. Co., 87 NY2d 308, 318 ).”