I backtraced it!

Astoria Wellness Med., P.C. v Progressive Northeastern Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51333(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

In this action by a provider to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits, defendant, insofar as is relevant to this appeal, moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground that the acupuncture services at issue were rendered by plaintiff, a professional service corporation, which is owned solely by a doctor who is neither licensed nor certified to perform acupuncture. Plaintiff cross-moved for summary judgment, arguing that it is eligible for reimbursement of such no-fault benefits because the acupuncture services were rendered by a licensed acupuncturist employed by plaintiff. The court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment and denied plaintiff’s cross motion as moot. This appeal ensued.

As the pertinent facts of this case are the same as those in Quality Med. Care, P.C. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co. (26 Misc 3d 139[A], 2010 NY Slip Op 50262[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2010]), for the reasons stated in that case, the order, insofar as appealed from, is affirmed.

Infinity Health Prods., Ltd. v Progressive Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51334(U) (App. Term, 2nd 11rh & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

To raise a triable issue of fact based on the assignor’s failure to appear at scheduled EUOs, defendant was required to demonstrate that its initial and follow-up requests for verification were timely (see Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] §§ 65-3.5 [b]; 65-3.6 [b]) and establish, by an affidavit of one with personal knowledge, that the assignor had failed to appear for the EUOs (see Stephen Fogel Psychological, P.C. v Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., 35 AD3d 720 [2006]). Since defendant failed to establish that the EUO scheduling letters were timely mailed (see Residential Holding Corp. v Scottsdale Ins. Co., 286 AD2d 679 [2001]), defendant failed to demonstrate that the 30-day claim determination period (Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] § 65-3.8) was tolled. As a result, defendant failed to establish that its denial of claim forms were timely and, thus, that it is not precluded from raising as a defense the failure of plaintiff’s assignor to appear for an EUO (see Presbyterian Hosp. in City of NY v Maryland Cas. Co., 90 NY2d 274, 282 [1997]).

There is a Golia dissent.  I don’t believe Phillips v Kantor & Co., 31 NY2d 307 (1972) supports the proposition he gives, based on the cases I’ve seen that cited it.  I’ll check, eventually.

Points of Health Acupuncture, P.C. v Lancer Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51338(U) (App. Term, 2nd 11rh & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

The first set of letters sent by defendant to plaintiff after defendant received plaintiff’s $334.14 claim (dates of service: July 24, 2006-July 31, 2006) and plaintiff’s $222.76 claim (dates of service: August 14, 2006 and August 15, 2006) merely stated that defendant was waiting for the results of an investigation by its special investigation unit as well as the scheduling of an EUO. Since it is well settled that an insurer’s delay letters, which request no verification, do not toll the statutory time period within which a claim must be paid or denied (see Nyack Hosp. v Encompass Ins. Co., 23 AD3d 535 [2005]; Careplus Med. Supply, Inc. v Selective Ins. Co. of Am., 25 Misc 3d 48 [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2009]; Ocean Diagnostic Imaging P.C. v Citiwide Auto Leasing Inc., 8 Misc 3d 138[A], 2005 NY Slip Op 51314[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2005]), defendant did not toll the statutory period within which defendant had to pay or deny said claims. While the rest of the letters sent by defendant in response to the remaining claims sent by plaintiff were in fact verification requests, the affidavit submitted by defendant’s no-fault specialist failed to establish that they were timely mailed (see New York & Presbyt. Hosp., 29 AD3d 547; Residential Holding Corp., 286 AD2d 679; Top Choice Med., P.C. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 22 Misc 3d 133[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 50230[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]). There was thus no tolling of the 30-day period as to these remaining claims. Consequently, with respect to the claims for which defendant did not [*3]establish that the 30-day period was tolled, defendant is precluded from raising most defenses.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, defendant correctly asserts that plaintiff’s cross motion for summary judgment was premature under CPLR 3212 (f). Defendant established that while facts may exist that are essential to justify the denial of plaintiff’s summary judgment motion, defendant was unable to set forth such facts with respect to its non-precluded defense that plaintiff was fraudulently incorporated (see Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] § 65-3.16 [a] [12]; State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v Mallela, 4 NY3d 313 [2005]; Midwood Acupuncture, P.C. v State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 21 Misc 3d 144[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 52468[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]), since this information was within plaintiff’s possession and plaintiff had not complied with defendant’s discovery demands therefor (see CPLR 3212 [f]). As plaintiff had failed to challenge the propriety of defendant’s discovery demands, the Civil Court should have granted the branch of defendant’s motion seeking to compel plaintiff to provide the information demanded in defendant’s interrogatories and notice for discovery and inspection with the exception of requests which were palpably improper or which sought information or documents which were privileged (see Fausto v City of New York, 17 AD3d 520 [2005]; Midwood Acupuncture, P.C. v State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 21 Misc 3d 144[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 52468[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]; Great Wall Acupuncture v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 20 Misc 3d 136[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 51529[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]).

I need to check the record, but I doubt defendant made the sort of showing required to invoke CPLR R. 3212(f).

Uptodate Med. Servs., P.C. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51345(U)(App. Term, 2nd 11rh & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010) (Collateral Estoppel)

AVA Acupuncture, P.C. v AutoOne Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51350(U) (App. Term, 2nd 11rh & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

However, to the extent that defendant seeks, in item 5, to compel the production of Ms. Anikeyeva’s personal income tax returns, defendant has failed to establish its entitlement to such documents. “It is well settled that tax returns are generally not discoverable in the absence of a strong showing that the information is indispensable to the claim and cannot be obtained from other sources” (Altidor, 22 AD3d at 435-436 [citations and internal quotation marks omitted]; see also Benfeld, 44 AD3d at 600). At this juncture, defendant has failed to meet its burden of establishing that Ms. Anikeyeva’s personal income tax returns are properly discoverable, particularly since defendant is entitled to disclosure of plaintiff’s income tax returns and the requested financial information with respect to said corporation (see Great Wall Acupuncture, 20 Misc 3d 136[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 51529[U]).

Likewise, at this juncture, defendant has failed to meet its burden of establishing that Ms. Anikeyeva’s bank account statements, “bank account registers, cancelled checks and ledger” are “material and necessary” (CPLR 3101 [a]) to the defense of this action (see Altidor, 22 AD3d 435; Crossbay Acupuncture, P.C. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 140[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51636[U] [App Term, 1st Dept 2009]; cf. Dore, 264 AD2d 804). Accordingly, [*3]defendant is entitled to the information sought in items 12 and 13, solely with respect to plaintiff.

Item 7 seeks a copy of the assignment. However, defendant did not seek verification with respect to the assignment, and its denial of claim form did not deny the claim on the ground that the assignment was defective. As a result, because defendant is now precluded from litigating the validity of the assignment (see Hospital for Joint Diseases v Travelers Prop. Cas. Ins. Co., 9 NY3d 312 [2007]), defendant’s demand for a copy of the assignment is palpably improper.

Finally, item 11 seeks expert witness disclosure. In view of the fact that CPLR 3101 (d) (1) (i) does not require a party to respond to a demand for expert witness information within any specifically restricted time limit, plaintiff should not be compelled to respond to item 11 at this juncture.

Accordingly, defendant is entitled to the production of the information sought in items 1 through 4, 6, 8 through 10, 12 (only as to plaintiff), 13 (only as to plaintiff) and 14 of defendant’s supplemental demand for discovery and inspection.

We note that, contrary to plaintiff’s contention, the Civil Court properly held that plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment was premature pending the completion of discovery (see CPLR 3212 [f]; Jimenez v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 71 AD3d 637 [2010]). Plaintiff’s remaining contention lacks merit.

Kew Gardens Med & Rehab, P.C. v Travelers Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51356(U) (App. Term, 2nd 11rh & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

Plaintiff commenced this action in July 2002 to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits. Issue was joined in September 2002, and there was no further activity in relation to the litigation until March 2007, when defendant served on plaintiff’s counsel of record a 90-day demand pursuant to CPLR 3216 (b). Plaintiff did not respond to the demand, and, by order entered November 24, 2008, the Civil Court granted defendant’s motion pursuant to CPLR 3216 (a) to dismiss the complaint for failure to prosecute, upon plaintiff’s default in opposing the motion. Thereafter, plaintiff moved to vacate the November 24, 2008 order, alleging that it had no notice of the motion, the papers having been improperly served on plaintiff’s former counsel, who had been replaced as counsel by present counsel in May 2003. The Civil Court denied the motion, citing plaintiff’s failure to produce a consent to change attorney form executed by plaintiff or to file said form with the Civil Court. Plaintiff appeals and we affirm.

If a notice of change of attorney form was executed in 2003, there is no proof that it was filed with the Civil Court at any time prior to defendant’s service of the 90-day demand in March 2007 (see CPLR 321 [b]; Moustakas v Bouloukos, 112 AD2d 981, 983 [1985]). Plaintiff’s present counsel does not claim that he communicated with defendant or its counsel during that four-year period, nor do any grounds appear on this record to support an inference that defendant was aware of the change of counsel, thereby rendering the filing requirement a mere “formality,” [*2]which may be disregarded (Bevilacqua v Bloomberg, L.P., 70 AD3d 411, 412 [2010]). Consequently, the counsel on whom defendant served its 90-day demand remained the counsel of record, and service of the demand and of the subsequent motion to dismiss on said counsel was proper (Stancage v Stancage, 173 AD2d 1081 [1991]), as was the order dismissing the complaint on plaintiff’s default in opposing defendant’s motion to dismiss. Under the circumstances, the noncompliance with the filing and notice requirements of CPLR 321 (b) represented no mere neglect of formalities, but the failure to transfer representation to new counsel (Splinters, Inc. v Greenfield, 63 AD3d 717, 719 [2009]; Hawkins v Lenox Hill Hosp., 138 AD2d 572, 573 [1988]; Moustakas v Bouloukos, 112 AD2d at 983; see Weinstein-Korn-Miller, NY Civ Prac ¶ 321.11 [2d ed]).

consequences will never be the same

Marina v Praetorian Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51292(U) (App. Term, 1st, 2010)

In this action to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits, defendant established prima facie that it mailed the notices of the independent medical examinations (IMEs) to the assignors and that the assignors failed to appear for the IMEs (Stephen Fogel Psychological, P.C. v Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., 35 AD3d 720, 721 [2006]). In opposition, plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue regarding the reasonableness of the requests or the assignors’ failure to attend the IMEs (see Inwood Hill Med. v General Assurance Co., 10 Misc 3d 18, 20 [2005]). Thus, defendant was entitled to summary judgment dismissing the complaint based upon plaintiff’s failure to comply with a condition precedent to coverage (see id.).

I’ve done no formal research on this, but I’m probably right

Insurance carriers spend far more money on their attorneys, peers, re-peers, IME doctors, and “experts” each year than it would cost to pay every single no-fault claim as it came in.

Unicorns, Rainbows, or Kittens

Only one can be the new theme for this blog.  You have until Saturday to vote.  Vote in the comments.

I can’t sleep.

New Fee Schedule for Acu (proposed)

h/t, the award nominated Mr. Damin Toell, Esq.

On EUOs and NTAs

Dynamic Med. Imaging, P.C. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 20285 (Nassau Dist Ct, First Dist 2010)

The document demand contained in State Farm’s EUO letters to Dynamic and Dr. Brownstein are essentially a demand for pre-action discovery regarding a Malella defense. CPLR 3102(c) permits pre-action discovery only by court order and only to aid in bringing an action. Some of the documentation requested in the EUO letters State Farm might not be able to obtain even if it had been requested in a duly served notice for discovery and inspection.[FN3]

The oft stated purpose of the No-fault Law is to insure prompt payment for medical services rendered to persons injured in motor vehicle accidents. Fair Price Medical Supply Corp. v. Travelers Indemnity Co., supra; and Hospital for Joint Diseases v. Travelers Property Casualty Ins. Co., 9 NY3d 312 (2007); and Presbyterian Hosp. in City of NY v. Maryland Cas. Co., supra. Permitting an insurer to obtain what would be [*6]tantamount to full discovery regarding a Malella defense as part of an EUO would defeat that purpose and is beyond the scope of the No-fault Law and regulations relating to EUO.

Permitting an insurer to demand what has been demanded by State Farm in this action for an EUO is fraught with the potential for abuse. See, Unitrim Advantage Ins. Co. v. Carothers, 17 Misc 3d 1121(A) (Sup. Ct. NY Co. 2007); and Gegerson v. State Farm Ins. Co., 27 Misc 3d 1207(A) (District Ct. Nassau Co. 2010). An insurer should not be able to defeat no fault claims by making an onerous and improper document demand relating to an EUO.

If an insurer has a reasonable basis for believing a medical provider cannot obtain payment of no-fault benefits because the provider is “fraudulently incorporated”, then it should assert the defense in its answer and litigate the issue on the merits in the action brought by the provider for no-fault benefits. The insurer should move to consolidate all of the actions brought by the provider and have the issue of whether the provider is subject to a Malella defense determined in one action. See, Andrew Carothers, M.D., P.C. v. Insurance Companies Represented by Bruno, Gerbino & Soriano, LLP, supra. Alternatively, an insurer can commence a declaratory judgment action seeking a judgment declaring the provider ineligible to receive no-fault payments. See, State Farm Mutual Ins. Co. v. Malella, supra.

While State Farm may have reason to believe Dynamic is not eligible to receive no-fault benefits for Malella reasons, State Farm cannot use a palpably improper EUO demand not subject to court review as a basis for obtaining summary judgment. See, Westchester Medical Center v. Progressive Casualty Ins. Co., 51 AD3d 1012 (2nd Dept. 2008).

Since the EUO demand was improper, defendant’s motion for summary judgment is denied.

Meridan Health Acupuncture, P.C. v Auto One Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51263(U) (Dist Ct Suffolk County, Third Dist 2010).

It is noted that the Appellate Courts are split on the availability of Notices to Admit to establish a medical provider no fault insurance claim. This court has previously decided that the Notice to Admit could be used to establish a NY Ins. Law § 5106(a) prima facie cause of action. Advanced Tempromandibular Disorder & Dental Surgery v. Progressive Northeastern Ins. Co., 27 Misc 3d 436 (Suf. Co. Dist. Ct. 2010) 896 NYS2d 830. Subsequent to that decision, the Appellate term of the Supreme Court, First Department has allowed no fault plaintiffs to establish their prima facie case via Sec. 3123 admissions and expressly found that facts such as receipt of a claim and the failure to respond or pay within 30 days were not legal conclusions which constitute inappropriate requests to admit. Central Nassau Diagnostic Imaging, P.C. v. Geico., 2010 NY Slip Op 20244 (App. Term, 1st Dept., 2010).

The plaintiff in this action seeks to push the envelope one step further by asking for a finding that a written timely inappropriate response similarly constitutes a statutory admission sufficient to establish a prima facie case without the need to call a witness.

The Notice to Admit is a procedural device used to narrow the disputed issues to be addressed at trial. See Hodes v. City of New York I, 165 AD2d 168, 566 NYS2d 611 (App. Div. 1st Dept. 1991). If a party declines to do anything in response to the Notice to Admit, the requested admissions are deemed admitted. The proper response as per CPLR Sec. 3123 is either an admission, a denial, or ” if the matters of which an admission is requested cannot be fairly admitted without some material qualification or explanation such party may, in lieu of a denial or statement, serve a sworn statement setting forth in detail his claim..”[FN1] Unlike requests for written interrogatories where a party is permitted to object in lieu of responding (CPLR 3133 (a)), such a procedure is not authorized with a Notice to Admit. See Webb v. Tire and Brake Distributor, Inc., 13 AD3d 835, 786 NYS2d 636 (NYAD 3rd Dept. 2004), cited in Prime Psychological Serv. P.C. v. Auto One Insurance Co.,18 Misc 3d 1122(A) (NY Civ. Ct. 2008). If there is a request for an improper admission, the correct procedure is to seek a protective order, pursuant CPLR § 3103. See Saqiv v. Gamache, 26 AD3d 368 (N.Y.A.D. 2nd Dept. 2006).

The plaintiff s Notice to Admit has established its prima facie case that; (1) necessary billing documents were mailed to and received by insurer, and (2) that the payments of no-fault benefits was overdue. New York Insurance Law § 5106; See Countrywide Ins. Co. v. 563 Grand Medical, P.C., 50 AD3d 313 (NY AD 1st Dept. 2008). As the defendant has presented no testimony or alternative evidence to rebut the plaintiff’s case, this Court must enter judgment for [*3]the plaintiff in the sum of $3,485.00. The plaintiff shall settle judgment plus appropriate costs, interest and attorneys fees upon twenty (20) days notice.

Those cases

Hillcrest Radiology Assoc. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51246(U) (2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

Plaintiff does not dispute that defendant established that it had timely denied the claim at issue on the ground of lack of medical necessity. In addition, in support of its motion for summary judgment, defendant submitted an affirmed peer review report setting forth a factual basis and medical rationale for the conclusion that there was a lack of medical necessity for the medical services at issue. Defendant’s showing that the services at issue were not medically necessary was unrebutted by plaintiff. Therefore, defendant’s motion for summary was properly granted (see e.g. Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Integon Natl. Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 136[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51502[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 18 Misc 3d 128[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 52455[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]; A. Khodadadi Radiology, P.C. v NY Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., [*2]16 Misc 3d 131[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 51342[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]).

Compare Abdalla v Mazl Taxi, Inc., 2010 NY Slip Op 06071 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010) h/t JT.

Kipor Medicine, P.C. v GEICO, 2010 NY Slip Op 51247(U) (2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

The branch of defendant’s motion seeking consolidation should have been denied since defendant failed to demonstrate that the actions it sought to consolidate had common questions of law or fact (see CPLR 602 [a]; S & B Neurocare, P.C. v GEICO Ins. Co., 20 Misc 3d 132[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 51450[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]). In addition, the branch of [*2]defendant’s motion seeking leave to amend the answer should have been denied since defendant’s papers presented no evidence that the proposed amendment might have merit (see CPLR 3025 [b]; Ingrami v Rovner, 45 AD3d 806, 808 [2007]). Defendant sought to amend its answer to assert that plaintiff’s certificate of incorporation had been revoked following the surrender, in April 2006, of the medical license of plaintiff’s sole shareholder. Plaintiff, however, is entitled to wind up its affairs and seek to recover no-fault benefits for the services it rendered to its assignors prior to April 2006 (see e.g. A.B. Med. Servs., PLLC v Travelers Indem. Co., 26 Misc 3d 69 [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2009]). Defendant has not demonstrated that the facts herein are akin to a fraudulent incorporation (see State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v Mallela, 4 NY3d 313 [2005]).

Moreover, since defendant failed to submit an affidavit specifying that any unusual or unanticipated conditions had developed after the notice of trial had been filed which made it necessary for defendant to engage in further pretrial proceedings (see Uniform Rules for New York City Civ Ct [22 NYCRR] § 208.17 [d]; S & B Neurocare, P.C. v GEICO Ins. Co., 20 Misc 3d 132[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 51450[U]), the branch of defendant’s motion seeking to compel plaintiff to respond to discovery demands and produce its sole shareholder for an examination before trial should also have been denied.

Neomy Med., P.C. v GEICO Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51252(U) (2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

In support of its cross motion, defendant annexed a copy of its denial of claim form which [*2]denied plaintiff’s claim for services rendered on April 6, 2006 on the ground of lack of medical necessity, as well as an affirmed peer review report which set forth a factual basis and medical rationale for the opinion that there was a lack of medical necessity for such services. As a result, defendant made a prima facie showing of its entitlement to summary judgment with respect to this claim form (see Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Integon Natl. Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 136[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51502[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 18 Misc 3d 128[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 52455[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]; A. Khodadadi Radiology, P.C. v NY Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 16 Misc 3d 131[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 51342[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]). With respect to the branch of defendant’s cross motion seeking summary judgment dismissing so much of the complaint as sought to recover the unpaid portion of bills for services rendered on March 14, 2006, which claims were timely denied on the ground that the unpaid portion exceeded the amount permitted by the workers’ compensation fee schedule, we find that defendant made a prima facie showing of its entitlement to judgment thereon. As plaintiff failed to rebut defendant’s prima facie showings, and plaintiff’s remaining contentions are either raised for the first time on appeal or lack merit, the order is reversed, plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is denied and defendant’s cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is granted.

Five Boro Psychological Servs., P.C. v MVAIC, 2010 NY Slip Op 51250(U) (2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

“The filing of a timely affidavit providing the MVAIC with notice of intention to file a claim is a condition precedent to the right to apply for payment from [MVAIC]‘ (see Insurance Law § 5208 [a] [1], [3]). Compliance with the statutory requirement of timely filing a notice of claim must be established in order to demonstrate that the claimant is a covered person,’ within the meaning of the statute, entitled to recover no-fault benefits from the MVAIC (see Insurance Law § 5221 [b] [2]; Ocean Diagnostic Imaging v Motor Veh. Acc. Indem. Corp., 8 Misc 3d 137[A], 2005 NY Slip Op 51271[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2005]). Defendant MVAIC’s failure to timely deny plaintiff['s] claim[ ] is of no consequence . . .” (A.B. Med. Servs. [*2]PLLC v Motor Veh. Acc. Indem. Corp., 10 Misc 3d 145[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 50139[U], *3 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2006]; see also M.N.M. Med. Health Care, P.C. v MVAIC, 22 Misc 3d 128[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 50041[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; Bell Air Med. Supply, LLC v MVAIC, 16 Misc 3d 135[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 51607[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]). Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment was properly denied.

Stoessel v Allstate Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51244(U) (2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

Contrary to defendant’s contention, the instant action was properly commenced in the Commercial Claims Part of the Civil Court by plaintiff – - a professional corporation which had its principal office in the State of New York [FN1] (see CCA 1801-A [a]; 1809-A [a]; cf. East End [*2]Med., P.C. v Oxford Health Ins., Inc., 12 Misc 3d 135[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 51229[U] [App Term, 1st Dept 2006]).

Defendant’s contention that there was no proof that defendant had been served with the notice of claim also lacks merit. Pursuant to CCA 1803-A, the clerk of the court is to provide a defendant with notice of the claim “by ordinary first class mail and certified mail with return receipt requested . . . If, after the expiration of twenty-one
days, such ordinary first class mailing has not been returned as undeliverable, the party complained against shall be presumed to have received notice of such claim.”

The commercial claims index card herein indicates that defendant was properly served with notice of the claim. Defendant’s conclusory denial of service failed to rebut the presumption that defendant received notice of the claim, since the mail had not been returned as undeliverable prior to the expiration of 21 days (see CCA 1803-A). Consequently, it was incumbent upon defendant to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for its default as well as a meritorious defense to the action (see CPLR 5015 [a]; Euguene Di Lorenzo, Inc. v A.C. Dutton Lbr. Co., 67 NY2d 138, 141 [1986]), which it failed to do. Consequently, the Civil Court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in denying defendant’s motion to vacate the default judgment. Accordingly, substantial justice was done between the parties (see CCA 1807-A) and, thus, the order is affirmed.

I’m going to post on the cases that came out

I swear.  Not now. Probably tonight.  Maybe.

Meh

There can be only one.

I like House.  For a long time I refused to watch the show, despite several people telling me how great it is, solely because I thought the name of the show is stupid.  I like the show for the same reason most people who know me thought I would like it:  House is an asshole.

A few decisions came out the other day.

Raz Acupuncture, P.C. v AIG Indem. Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51177(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

Plaintiff did not submit its claim forms in support of its cross motion for summary judgment. In light of plaintiff’s failure to submit competent evidence, plaintiff failed to establish its entitlement to summary judgment (see CPLR 3212; Midborough Acupuncture, P.C. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 13 Misc 3d 132[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 51879[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2006]). Contrary to plaintiff’s contention, defendant’s submission of the claim forms in support of its own motion did not lay the requisite foundation for their admission as evidence pursuant to CPLR 4518, since an acknowledgment of receipt does not “concede the admissibility of the purported claim forms or the facts set forth therein” (see Midborough Acupuncture,P.C., 13 Misc 3d 132[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 51879[U]). Accordingly, the Civil [*2]Court properly denied plaintiff’s cross motion for summary judgment.[1]

The affidavit submitted by defendant sufficiently established that its denial of claim forms were timely mailed in accordance with defendant’s standard office practices and procedures (see St. Vincent’s Hosp. of Richmond v Government Empls. Ins. Co., 50 AD3d 1123, 1124 [2008]; Residential Holding Corp. v Scottsdale Ins. Co., 286 AD2d 679 [2001]; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Chubb Group of Ins., 17 Misc 3d 16 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]). However, defendant did not proffer sufficient evidence to warrant the dismissal of plaintiff’s claim for the initial acupuncture visit (cf. Rogy Medical, P.C. v Mercury Cas. Co., 23 Misc 3d 132[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 50732[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]).

Eagle Surgical Supply, Inc. v Unitrin Advantage Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51183(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

The affidavit[2] of an employee of Kemper Independence Insurance Company, submitted by defendant, failed to provide allegations concerning defendant’s standard
office practices and procedures designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed so as to establish that defendant had timely mailed its denial of claim form (see Top Choice Med., P.C. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 22 Misc 3d 133[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 50230[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; see also New York & Presbyt. Hosp. v Allstate Ins. Co., 29 AD3d 547 [2006]; Residential Holding Corp. v Scottsdale Ins. Co., 286 AD2d 679 [2001]; Align for Health Chiropractic, P.C. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 20 Misc 3d 144[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 51862[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]). As a result, defendant failed to demonstrate that its defense of lack of medical necessity was not precluded (see e.g. Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Republic W. Ins. Co., 15 Misc 3d 33 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]). Accordingly, the order granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment is reversed and defendant’s motion is denied.


[1] According to the Appellate Term, the only way a document may be entered into evidence is through CPLR 4518.  But compare this decision with Matter of  Findlay,  253 NY 1 (Ct. App. 1930) (Cardozo, J.) and Flora v. Carbean, 38 NY 111 (Ct. App. 1868). Eventually someone is going to try to apply Appellate Term no-fault decisions to Supreme Court cases and the rule of law will implode.

[2] Somone please pull the file, copy the affidavit, and email it to me. Kthx.