A unanimous state appeals panel on Thursday affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the longtime assistant of abstract expressionist Robert Motherwell in an effort to reclaim her place on the board of the artist’s foundation.

The Appellate Division, First Department, ruled in Banach v. Dedalus Foundation, 600918/09, that Joan Banach, Mr. Motherwell’s assistant, curator and close personal friend, could not bring a claim based on the artist’s alleged promise that she would be employed for life because New York and Connecticut law do not recognize lifetime employment contracts.

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