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George Bundy Smith and Thomas J. HallGeorge Bundy Smith and Thomas J. Hall ()

New York courts are frequently called upon to resolve disputes over the application of the doctrine of continuing breach to contractual statutes of limitations. Under New York law, the general statute of limitations applicable to contractual dispute is six years. C.P.L.R. §3211(a)(5). The cause of action accrues, and the statute of limitations begins to run, “at the time of the breach.” Ely-Cruikshank Co. v. Bank of Montreal, 81 N.Y.2d 399, 402 (1993). An exception to this rule exists, however, where a contract imposes a duty of “continuing performance over a period of time.” Where such a continuing duty is imposed, “each successive breach may begin the statute of limitations running anew.” Guilbert v. Gardner, 480 F.3d 140, 150 (2d Cir. 2007) (applying Bulova Watch v. Celotex, 46 N.Y.2d 606 (1979)).

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