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Suntek Pools & Spas v. Jae Soog Lee

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK


March 15, 2011

SUNTEK POOLS & SPAS,
RESPONDENT,
v.
JAE SOOG LEE,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Nassau County, Fourth District (Robert A. Bruno, J.), entered December 12, 2008.

Suntek Pools & Spas v Jae Soog Lee

Appellate Term, Second Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on March 15, 2011

APPELLATE TERM: 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS

PRESENT: NICOLAI, P.J., LaCAVA and IANNACCI, JJ

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,095 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this commercial claims action to recover the sum of $1,175, representing the balances due, pursuant to a written agreement, for its installation of a swimming pool liner, and, pursuant to an oral agreement, for its replacement of a pool light at defendant's premises. Defendant counterclaimed to recover the sum of $4,913, alleging, among other things, that he had sustained damages due to a delay in completing the work. After a non-jury trial, the District Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,095 and dismissed defendant's counterclaim. Upon a review of the record, we find that the judgment rendered substantial justice according to the rules andprinciples of substantive law (UDCA 1804-A, 1807-A; see Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]).

The decision of a fact-finding court should not be disturbed upon appeal unless it is obvious that the court's conclusions could not be reached under any fair interpretation of the evidence (see Claridge Gardens v Menotti, 160 AD2d 544 [1990]). Furthermore, the determination of the trier of fact as to issues of credibility is given substantial deference as the court's opportunity to observe and evaluate the testimony and demeanor of the witnesses affords it a better perspective from which to assess the credibility of the witnesses (see Vizzari v State of New York, 184 AD2d 564 [1992]; Kincade v Kincade, 178 AD2d 510, 511 [1991]). The deference accorded to a trial court's credibility determinations applies with even greater force to judgments rendered in the Commercial Claims Part of the court, given the limited standard of review (see UDCA 1807-A; Williams, 269 AD2d at 126). We find that the record amply supports the trial court's conclusions and, accordingly, find no reason to disturb the judgment.

Nicolai, P.J., LaCava and Iannacci, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: March 15, 2011

20110315

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