Cruz v. McAneney

31 A.D.3d 54, 816 N.Y.S.2d 486 (2006)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Cruz v. McAneney

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
31 A.D.3d 54, 816 N.Y.S.2d 486 (2006)

Facts

Margaret Cruz (plaintiff) sued James P. McAneney (defendant) to recover compensation McAneney received from the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (fund) on behalf of McAneney’s deceased sister, Patricia McAneney (Patricia). Patricia and Cruz had been domestic partners for 15 years when Patricia died intestate in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City. After Patricia’s death, McAneney filed a claim for compensation from the fund, which Congress established via the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act to compensate families of victims who were injured or killed on September 11. While McAneney’s claim was pending, Cruz filed a statement of financial interest with the fund as Patricia’s domestic partner. Cruz was informed by the special master who administered the fund that an award amount had already been calculated based on Patricia as a single person. In light of the new information that Patricia had been one-half of a cohabitating couple, the special master recalculated the claim and nearly doubled the award amount. However, the special master initially refused to distribute the amount until Cruz and McAneney reached an agreement about dividing the funds. Negotiations were unsuccessful, and ultimately the special master distributed the entire award to McAneney as Patricia’s personal representative. McAneney distributed the entire amount to himself, and Cruz sued to compel McAneney to disburse all or part of the award to her on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty, constructive trust, and unjust enrichment. McAneney moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, but the trial court denied the motion, and McAneney appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Florio, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 735,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership