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Park Slope Medical and Surgical Supply, Inc. As Assignee of Lindoro Castellanus v. Praetorian Ins. Co

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 2nd, 11th and 13th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS Appellate Term, Second Department


November 4, 2011

PARK SLOPE MEDICAL AND SURGICAL SUPPLY, INC. AS ASSIGNEE OF LINDORO CASTELLANUS,
RESPONDENT,
v.
PRAETORIAN INS. CO.,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Queens County (Diane A. Lebedeff, J.), entered December 24, 2009, deemed from a judgment of the same court entered January 27, 2010 (see CPLR 5512 [a]; Neuman v Otto,

Park Slope Med. v Praetorian Ins. Co.

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on November 4, 2011

PRESENT: PESCE, P.J., WESTON and RIOS, JJ

The judgment, entered pursuant to the December 24, 2009 order granting plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denying defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,937.25.

ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, without costs, the order entered December 24, 2009 is vacated, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied and defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is granted.

In this action by a provider to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits, the Civil Court, by order entered December 24, 2009, granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denied defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. A judgment was subsequently entered. We deem defendant's appeal from the order to be from the judgment entered pursuant to the order (see CPLR 5512 [a]; Neuman v Otto, 114 AD2d 791 [1985]).

In support of its cross motion, defendant submitted an affidavit of the president of Media Referral Inc., the independent medical review service retained by defendant to schedule independent medical examinations (IMEs), which affidavit sufficiently established that the IME scheduling letters had been timely mailed in accordance with her company's standard office practices and procedures (see St. Vincent's Hosp. of Richmond v Government Empls. Ins. Co., 50 AD3d 1123 [2008]; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Chubb Group of Ins., 17 Misc 3d 16 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]). Defendant also submitted an affidavit of the chiropractor who was retained to perform the IMEs, which was sufficient to establish that plaintiff's assignor had failed to appear for the duly scheduled IMEs (see Stephen Fogel Psychological, P.C. v Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., 35 AD3d 720 [2006]). In addition, an affidavit executed by defendant's claims division employee demonstrated that after defendant had received requested verification, the denial of claim forms, which denied plaintiff's claims based upon plaintiff's assignor's nonappearance at the IMEs, had been timely mailed pursuant to defendant's standard office practices and procedures (see St. Vincent's Hosp. of Richmond, 50 AD3d 1123; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C., 17 Misc 3d 16). Since an assignor's appearance at an IME "is a condition precedent to the insurer's liability on the policy" (Stephen Fogel Psychological, P.C., 35 AD3d at 722; see also Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] § 65-1.1), defendant properly denied plaintiff's claims based upon the assignor's failure to satisfy a condition precedent to coverage and, thus, was not precluded from raising such issue (see Westchester Med. Ctr. v Lincoln Gen. Ins. Co., 60 AD3d 1045 [2d Dept 2009]; but see Unitrin Advantage Ins. Co. v Bayshore Physical Therapy, PLLC, 82 AD3d 559 [1st Dept 2011]).

Accordingly, the judgment is reversed, the order is vacated, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied and defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is granted.

Pesce, P.J., Weston and Rios, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: November 04, 2011

20111104

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