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Morford v. Sulka & Co – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Morford v. Sulka & Co., 79 AD2d 502, 502, 433 NYS2d 573 [1st Dept 1980], plaintiff sued for breach of his employment contract because he was terminated without cause, allegedly in violation of the terms of the contract (id. at 502).

During discovery, defendant learned that plaintiff misrepresented his qualifications, thereby fraudulently inducing defendant to hire him (id.).

Defendant therein sought a separate trial on the issue of fraudulent inducement, which the court granted (id.).

Plaintiff appealed and in reversing the trial court's decision, the Appellate Division held that a separate trial on fraud necessarily involved the merits of plaintiff's substantive claim, thereby precluding a separate trial on that issue (id. at 503).