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Triangle R Inc. a/a/o Danilo Cabarcas v. Praetorian Insurance Company

APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT, FIRST DEPARTMENT


November 26, 2010

TRIANGLE R INC. A/A/O DANILO CABARCAS, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
PRAETORIAN INSURANCE COMPANY,

Defendant appeals from an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County (Mitchell J. Danziger, J.), entered October 29, 2009, which denied its motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

Per curiam.

Triangle R Inc. v Praetorian Ins. Co.

Decided on November 26, 2010

Appellate Term, First Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

PRESENT: Shulman, J.P., McKeon, Schoenfeld, JJ

NOVEMBER 26, 2010

SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, FIRST DEPARTMENT November 2010 Term

Shulman, J.P., McKeon, Schoenfeld, JJ.NY County Clerk's No. 570600/10

Calendar No. 10-358

Triangle R Inc. a/a/o Danilo Cabarcas, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Praetorian Insurance Company, Defendant-Appellant.

Defendant appeals from an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County (Mitchell J. Danziger, J.), entered October 29, 2009, which denied its motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. Per Curiam.

Order (Mitchell J. Danziger, J.), entered October 29, 2009, reversed, without costs, and defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of defendant dismissing the complaint. An insurer is not obligated to pay or deny a claim for no-fault benefits until it has received verification of all of the relevant information requested (see 11 NYCRR 65-3.8[b][3]; Hospital for Joint Diseases v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 44 AD3d 903 [2007]; Nyack Hosp. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 19 AD3d 569 [2005]). Inasmuch as it is undisputed that defendant-insurer never received a response to its verification requests for medical records, defendant established its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the claim as premature (see Hospital for Joint Diseases, supra; Nyack Hosp., supra). In opposition, plaintiff-provider failed to raise a triable issue.

As plaintiff correctly concedes on appeal, defendant's issuance of a general, blanket denial of benefits arising from the subject loss based on the assignor's failure to attend an independent medical examination was ineffective to deny the specific claim at issue (see generally A & S Med. v Allstate Ins. Co., 15 AD3d 170 [2005], affg 196 Misc 2d 322 [2003]). Therefore, we reject plaintiff's contention that defendant's issuance of the general, blanket denial precludes defendant from asserting, as an alternative defense, noncompliance with its verification requests (see Westchester County Med. Ctr. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 262 AD2d 553 [1999]). Plaintiff's estoppel argument is unpreserved for appellate review, and, in any event, without merit. Plaintiff submitted no competent proof demonstrating that it was misled or that it detrimentally relied on the general, blanket denial. Moreover, any confusion on plaintiff's part as to whether the general, blanket denial vitiated defendant's entitlement to receive the verification requested "should have been addressed by further communication, not inaction" (id. at 555).

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE COURT. I concur Decision Date: November 26, 2010

Defendant-Appellant.

Order (Mitchell J. Danziger, J.), entered October 29, 2009, reversed, without costs, and defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of defendant dismissing the complaint.

An insurer is not obligated to pay or deny a claim for no-fault benefits until it has received verification of all of the relevant information requested (see 11 NYCRR 65-3.8[b][3]; Hospital for Joint Diseases v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 44 AD3d 903 [2007]; Nyack Hosp. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 19 AD3d 569 [2005]). Inasmuch as it is undisputed that defendant-insurer never received a response to its verification requests for medical records, defendant established its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the claim as premature (see Hospital for Joint Diseases, supra; Nyack Hosp., supra). In opposition, plaintiff-provider failed to raise a triable issue.

As plaintiff correctly concedes on appeal, defendant's issuance of a general, blanket denial of benefits arising from the subject loss based on the assignor's failure to attend an independent medical examination was ineffective to deny the specific claim at issue (see generally A & S Med. v Allstate Ins. Co., 15 AD3d 170 [2005], affg 196 Misc 2d 322 [2003]). Therefore, we reject plaintiff's contention that defendant's issuance of the general, blanket denial precludes defendant from asserting, as an alternative defense, noncompliance with its verification requests (see Westchester County Med. Ctr. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 262 AD2d 553 [1999]). Plaintiff's estoppel argument is unpreserved for appellate review, and, in any event, without merit. Plaintiff submitted no competent proof demonstrating that it was misled or that it detrimentally relied on the general, blanket denial. Moreover, any confusion on plaintiff's part as to whether the general, blanket denial vitiated defendant's entitlement to receive the verification requested "should have been addressed by further communication, not inaction" (id. at 555).

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE COURT. I concur Decision Date: November 26, 2010

20101126

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