On October 18, 2016, a Federal Court Judge in Brooklyn dismissed a legal malpractice claim for lost profits on the sale of a multi - million dollar residential home in Sands Point, New York. The homeowners claimed that due to the negligence of their attorney's, they lost the opportunity to sell their house to "back-up buyers" when the deal with the original buyers fell apart. The Court dismissed the lost profits claim stating it was too speculative to allow a jury to decide whether the back up buyers would have paid $200,000 to $500,000 more than the house ultimately sold for after a lengthy delay.
The Court explained that under New York law, a lost profits claim must be demonstrated with reasonable certainty and may not be speculative or merely possible. The Court did allow the plaintiffs to pursue a claim for the additional costs in retaining ownership of the house, interest costs and additional attorneys fees incurred during the delay in finding another buyer.