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Court Rules Car Insurance Company Can Be Reimbursed

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of a national auto insurer which sought reimbursement from a third party after the insured was involved in a car accident. Law360 reported that GEICO was allowed to be reimbursed for medical expenses from the insurance company of a convenience store that was sued by a drunk driver who bought a bottle of vodka from the store and consumed it before getting behind the wheel.

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Federal Court Upholds Ruling in Favor of Insurance Company in Claim Theft Case

On April 2002, Construction Contractors chose AlphaCare Services Inc. in Toledo as its subcontractor to handle the day-to-day operations for its “subscribers,” which consisted of regional construction firms. In July 2012, John R. Moon, AlphaCare’s co-owner, told Construction Contractors his company did not have enough money to meet its obligations, despite the fact that Construction Contractors’ subscribers were making their payments on time and regularly fulfilling their obligations.

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Discovery Requests Were Wrongly Denied for Records of Surgical Procedures Performed on Non-Parties

The Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department recently handed down its decision on a medical malpractice suit appealed from the New York State Supreme Court. In reversing the lower court’s holding, the Second Department found that specific discovery requests by the plaintiff were wrongly denied.

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Insurance Fee Schedule Used as an Affirmative Defense

Submitting claims to insurance agencies can be complex as there are fee schedules and set services which are covered. One recent case involved fee schedules and payment of claims. Ms. Kenia Perez was a patient at East Coast Acupuncture (ECA) during August, September, and October 2013. After ECA submitted claims for Ms. Perez for treatments received, the defendant, Hereford Insurance Company, recalculated the amount of the claims based on their fee schedule. Afterwards, ECA brought suit to recover the amount of claims left unpaid by Hereford.

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New York Appellate Division 1st Department Rules on Discovery of Facebook Posts

The defendant sought to introduce evidence from the plaintiff’s Facebook account to contradict the plaintiff’s claim that her “social network went from huge to nothing.”  During deposition, the plaintiff had admitted to posting photographs depicting her engaged in fun activities.  The plaintiff had deactivated her Facebook account sometime after the accident and after the commencement of the case.  Subsequently, the defendant made a motion to obtain all the plaintiff’s Facebook records without limitation.  This included all text messages sent through Facebook, photographs, and any other content posted.

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Appellate Division Holds that Liability May be Imposed on the City for Negligence in Hiring an Officer with Violent Propensities

The case concerned a young mother who had maintained a relationship with a New York City Police Officer 22 years her senior, since she was 16.  In July 2007, he shot and killed her, then shot and killed himself.  The victim was survived by her infant daughter.  The administrator of the estate alleged that before the murder, numerous complaints were made to the City regarding the officer’s abusive conduct toward the victim and her daughter.

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Appellate Division, Second Department Holds Court Approval Necessary Before Recording an Independent Medical Examination to be Used at Trial

This month, the New York Appellate Division, Second Department, considered whether an attorney must obtain permission from the court prior to recording an Independent Medical Examination, and whether failing to provide such a recording to opposing counsel constituted a violation of CPLR 3101. The Court answered both questions affirmatively.

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Appellate Division, First Department, Considers Whether Calling Defense Counsel and Defense Witnesses “Liars” Denied Defendant a Fair Trial

Attorneys are held to a high moral standard of professional conduct. Even though our system of justice is an adversarial one, attorneys must adhere to a code of certain conduct in the courtroom. Statements by an attorney that would result in an unfair trial are prohibited. Witnesses are also held to a high moral standard of truthfulness in giving testimony, whether at a deposition or at trial, and harsh consequences can result from untruthfulness.

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Doctrine of “Danger Invites Rescue” Applied to Permit Recovery by Firefighter of Underinsured Benefits

In a recent ruling, the Appellate Division, Second Department applied the “danger invites rescue” doctrine in an unusual manner. The suit arose from injuries sustained by a firefighter who came to the aid of a car accident victim, who was trapped in his wrecked vehicle. The firefighter was injured while attempting to extract the motorist using the “jaws of life.” The injury occurred to the firefighter’s right shoulder when he and three other firefighters tried to lift the roof from the mangled vehicle in order to save the motorist inside.

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New York Court of Appeals Holds that the Right of Sepulcher Does Not Extend to Tissues and Organs

A recent decision from the New York Court of Appeals held that a Medical Examiner does not have a legal obligation to notify a decedent’s next of kin that any organs or tissues were retained for further medical examination as part of an authorized autopsy. Although the right of sepulcher provides that the next of kin have the right to immediately possess the body of their deceased loved one for burial, the recent holding did not extend that right to include tissues and organs.

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