CPLR 214(6) governs the statute of limitations in both legal malpractice and accounting malpractice. The onset is similar, but slightly different. Missing in accounting malpractice is the concept of continuing representation. Darby Scott, Ltd. v Michael S. Libock & Co. LLC
CPAs 2020 NY Slip Op 34343(U) Supreme Court, New York County
Docket Number: 653044/2013 Judge: Robert D. Kalish discusses the difference.
“As a threshold matter, it is clear that all of plaintiff’s claims for damages are time-barred. The statute of limitations for nonmedical malpractice, including accounting malpractice, is three years, which applies “regardless of whether the underlying theory is based in contract or tort” (CPLR 214(6); see RGH Liquidating Trust v Deloitte & Touche LLP, 47 AD3d 516, 517 [1st 2008]; Maya NY, LLC v Hagler, 106 AD3d 583, 586 ). The “claim accrues when the malpractice is committed, not when the client discovers it” (Williamson ex rel. Lipper Convertibles, L.P. v PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 9 NY3d 1, 7–8 ). More specifically, the cause of action “accrues upon the client’s receipt of the accountant’s work product since this is the point that a client reasonably relies on the accountant’s skill and advice” (id. at 8, quoting Ackerman v Price Waterhouse, 84 NY2d 535, 541 ).
This action was commenced on August 30, 2013, a date which would render time-barred claims for any act of malpractice committed prior to August 30, 2010. Plaintiff has not identified, and the record does not reflect, any work product produced by defendants after that cut-off date. To the contrary, with respect to the missing handbags and jewelry, Mayo expressly relies on the QuickBooks records maintained by defendants which, at the latest, would have been updated by
Gil on the date of her departure on August 26, 2010. The last invoices analyzed by Alix are even older, dating back to October 2009. Older still is the work product evidencing the alleged overpayments to Finesse, produced between 2004 and 2006. To the extent plaintiff’s claims are based on the accountants’ breach of their professional duty to supervise Gil, the malpractice statute of limitations would extinguish them, and in any event, the limitations for negligent hiring
and supervision is also three years (Kerzhner v G4S Gov’t Sols., Inc., 138 AD3d 564, 565 [1st Dept 2016]). Defendants’ alleged failure to institute internal inventory controls would likewise be encompassed by the malpractice limitations period.”