Ordered that the order is affirmed, with costs.
The defendant made a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, and the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact (see Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 N.Y.2d 320 ). The plaintiff's sole contention on appeal is that the defendant waived its statute of limitations defense by failing to make a preanswer motion to dismiss the complaint on that ground and by failing to assert it in the answer (see CPLR 3211 [a] ; [e]). We disagree. Pleadings are to be liberally construed, and if there is any doubt regarding the availability of a defense, the pleader "`is entitled to the benefit of every reasonable intendment of the pleading'" (Brodeur v Hayes, 305 A.D.2d 754, 755 , quoting Warwick v Cruz, 270 A.D.2d 255, 255 ). Fairly read, the answer clearly placed the plaintiff on notice that the timeliness of this action was in controversy.