In Guo Giang Cai v. First Gardens Corporation, MMP&S obtained dismissal of Plaintiffs’ complaint based upon Plaintiffs’ failure to state a cause of action against our client, an architectural firm.
Plaintiffs alleged that they suffered property damage in their apartment as the result of alteration work performed on their cooperative unit. Plaintiffs asserted a cause of action for negligence against multiple defendants, including the architectural firm, relying on the legal theory of res ipsa loquitor in lieu of allegations that the architectural firm failed to comply with the standard of care. However, a departure from the standard of care is a necessary element of a claim for professional negligence.
In moving to dismiss, we argued that res ipsa loquitor relates to sufficiency of proof of a cause of action but does not modify the elements required to plead a cause of action. The Court agreed, holding that because Plaintiffs could not rely upon res ipsa loquitor to avoid pleading the elements of a cause of action and failed to plead that the architectural firm’s services deviated from the accepted standard of care, Plaintiffs failed to state a cause of action for negligence against the architectural firm.