Summary Judgment on Good Guy Guaranty



International Plaza Associates v. Lacher
(Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County 5/21/2012)
Plaintiff Landlord sued a Tenant law firm, Lacher Lovell and Taylor, for unpaid rent under a commercial lease, and also sued Michael Lacher, personally, on a good guy guaranty. The defendants thereafter asserted numerous defenses to liability. Following the completion of depositions, Landlord moved for partial summary judgment against Michael Lacher, personally, on the guaranty, arguing that he had waived any defenses to liability. Lacher opposed, arguing that liability on the underlying debt had not been established, nor had a judgment yet been obtained against the Tenant at trial. Landlord successfully argued that under the absolute and unconditional language of the Guaranty, the unpaid rent, which was proven by Landlord in moving papers, was ground alone for judgment against Lacher personally regardless of any defenses the Tenant may have and whether or not a judgment was yet obtained against the Tenant. Summary judgment was granted in favor of Landlord against Lacher, with damages to be assessed against him personally at the trial.  Link to Full Text of Decision
International Plaza Associates, L.P. v. Michael Lacher
(Supreme Court, New York County, 4/14/08)
Corporate veil not allowed to be pierced. Claim of fraud does not contain the essential element of reasonable reliance in the face of written lease that contains a provision requiring any modification to be in writing signed by the landlord. Claim of fraudulent inducement is insufficient as it merely states a claim for breach of contract. Punitive damages are improperly pled in defendant’s counterclaim and third party action.  Link to Full Text of Decision