Friday, September 14, 2012

Supplemental Vs. Amended Bill of Particulars

           A recent Appellate Division, Second Department decision highlights the difference between an amended and supplemental bill of particulars in a personal injury case.  (A bill of particulars is a written statement that amplifies the allegations or defenses in a lawsuit.)  In Erickson v. Cross Ready Mix, Inc., et al. (2nd Dept. 2012, Index No. 11947/05), the plaintiff allegedly was injured on a construction site when he was struck by a swinging chute on the back of a cement truck.  In his initial response to a demand for a bill of particulars, the plaintiff claimed that his medical treatment would include “lumbar spinal fusion surgery.”  After the surgery was performed, the plaintiff made a motion to amend his bill of particulars to include, among other things, further injuries which he allegedly sustained during the surgery.

            The Court dismissed plaintiff’s motion as it was unnecessary, holding the following: “pursuant to CPLR 3043(b), a plaintiff in a personal injury action may serve a supplemental bill of particulars containing ‘continuing special damages and disabilities,’ without leave of the court, if it alleges ‘no new cause of action . . . or new injury.’  Where, as here, the plaintiff seeks to allege continuing consequences of the injuries suffered and described in previous bills of particulars, rather than new and unrelated injuries, the contested bill of particulars is a supplemental bill of particulars rather than an amended bill of particulars.  Since the document entitled 'Amended Response To Defendant’s Demand For A Verified Bill Of Particulars,' which we deem to be a supplemental bill of particulars, was served more than 30 days prior to trial, leave of court was not required (see CPLR 3043[b]).  Accordingly, the plaintiff’s motion must be denied as unnecessary."

Salvatore R. Marino, Esq.

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