The Appellate Division’s Second Department has upheld the decision of Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Dana Winslow which held that the plaintiff could not  bring an action against a decedent’s estate. In Grosso v. Estate of Gershenson 822 NYS 2d 150, the court stated that an estate is not a legal entity and therefore cannot be sued.

In this action, plaintiff’s breach of contract lawsuit was summarily dismissed because no executor or administrator had been appointed to serve as the decedent’s legal representative. In what seems to be a case of "what in the world were they thinking??" plaintiff’ learned that an administrator or executor is the proper party to a lawsuit but has no authority to sue or be sued unless and until they receive letters appointing them from the Surrogate’s Court.