In a June 23, 2011 decision by Justice Demarest the court granted part of a motion for partial summary judgment, finding that a decision from a divorce arbitration barred subsequent attempts to litigate ownership in a number of nursing homes. During plaintiff’s marriage with one of the defendants he and his spouse invested in a number of nursing homes through his wife’s sister. Twenty-five percent of that investment was funded by their son. Subsequently the parties separated and divorced. The parties agreed to adjudicate their divorce including equitable distribution in a private arbitration. The panel issued an arbitration award that was confirmed in the Supreme Court. The confirmation of the award was affirmed in an appeal to the Appellate Division, Second Department.

The arbitration decision found that the wife disclaimed any ownership in the nursing homes and therefore awarded to the husband any interest the parties may have had in the nursing homes. The husband then brought an action for, among other things, a declaratory judgment that he owned a 2% interest in one of the nursing homes, naming as parties his wife, her sister, the nursing homes and others (but not their son). The court found that while certain of the wife’s arguments were precluded because of judicial estoppel, the parties’ son was a necessary party. The court directed the husband to join their son as a party before a final decision could be made. The court also rejected the nursing home’s claim that the husband is not entitled to any distributions from the nursing home because he was not approved as an owner by the New York State Department of Health.

Glatzer v Webster et al, Sup Ct, Kings County, June 23, 2011, Demarest, J, Index No. 39025/06.