The formulaic decision in Kahlon v DeSantis 2020 NY Slip Op 02464 Decided on April 29, 2020 Appellate Division, Second Department comes with a recitation of the standard of a CPLR 3211(a)(7) motion, and a theoretical discussion of the requirement of “but for” causation. There is no guidance to the bar in how the alleged facts fell short of “but for” causation.
“Here, we agree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting that branch of the defendants’ motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) to dismiss the cause of action alleging legal malpractice. Accepting as true the facts alleged in the complaint, and according the plaintiffs the benefit of every favorable inference (see Leon v Martinez, 84 NY2d at 87-88), the conclusory allegations of the complaint failed to adequately plead specific facts to establish that, but for the defendants’ alleged negligent conduct, the outcome in the underlying action would have been any more favorable to the plaintiffs, or that the plaintiffs would not have incurred any damages (see Benishai v Epstein, 116 AD3d at 728; Keness v Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C., 105 AD3d at 813; Tortura v Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo, P.C., 21 AD3d 1082, 1083). Accordingly, the complaint failed to state a cause of action to recover damages for legal malpractice.
Additionally, the plaintiffs’ remaining causes of action are duplicative of the legal malpractice cause of action, since they arise from the same facts as those underlying the legal malpractice cause of action and do not allege distinct damages; hence, they are similarly subject to dismissal (see Mackey Reed Elec., Inc. v Morrone & Assoc., P.C., 125 AD3d 822, 823; Keness v Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C., 105 AD3d at 813). Accordingly, we agree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting those branches of the defendants’ motion which were to dismiss those causes of action.”