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Tort Claims Dismissed in Dispute Over Distribution Agreement

On April 8, 2021, Judge David T. Reilly of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Suffolk granted Kane Kessler’s motion to dismiss tort claims brought by an independent contractor claiming that the client food distributor breached a distribution agreement by failing to assist in the sale of the distribution route. The Court found that plaintiff’s only potential claim was for breach of contract, thereby narrowing the scope of discovery and limiting the plaintiff’s potential damages. In dismissing the claim for breach of fiduciary duty, Judge Reilly held that the plaintiff alleged no facts from which it could be concluded that a fiduciary relationship existed between the plaintiff (an independent contractor) and the client. The claim for tortious interference with contract was also dismissed because there was no allegation that a contract existed between the plaintiff and a third party or that the client knew about such a contract.

 The attorneys for the Firm who represented the distributor were S. Reid Kahn and Jonathan M. Sabin of the firm’s Litigation Department. See Singing Wolf Enters., Ltd. v. SS Snacks, Inc., No. 617823-2016 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk Cnty.) (Reilly, J.) (NYSCEF No. 61).

This memo is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice and readers should consult counsel to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances.