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Bostany v. Trump Org. LLC – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Bostany v. Trump Org. LLC (73 AD3d 479, 901 NYS2d 207 [1st Dept 2010]), the record demonstrated that the plaintiff was induced to sign a lease for the subject premises, "The Trump Building," by the executive vice-president of the defendant Trump Organization; that the lease was signed by Donald Trump, although for the other defendant 40 Wall Street, at defendants' executive offices at Trump Tower; that the plaintiff and its contractors had dealt directly with employees of the defendant Trump Organization; and that the executive vice-president of the defendant Trump Organization had authorized, on the letterhead of the defendant Trump Organization, a summary eviction proceeding.

The First Department held that, where circumstances showed the possibility of an agency relationship without written authority, "questions of agency and of its nature and scope . . . are questions of fact." (Id. at 480.)

The Court stated that, if apparent or ostensible agency between the defendants Trump Organization and 40 Wall Street would be found, then a basis for vicarious liability could be established under certain circumstances.

Although the fraud cause of action and parts of other claims were dismissed based on a settlement agreement, parts of those other claims for actions that occurred after the date of the settlement agreement were not.