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Quality Health Products As Assignee of Shirley Webster v. Geico General Insurance Company

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


December 19, 2011

QUALITY HEALTH PRODUCTS AS ASSIGNEE OF SHIRLEY WEBSTER,
RESPONDENT,
v.
GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT.

Quality Health Prods. v Geico Gen. Ins. Co.

Decided on December 19, 2011

Appellate Term, Second 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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: PESCE, P.J., RIOS and STEINHARDT, JJ

Appeal from an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Wavny Toussaint, J.), entered March 2, 2010, deemed from a judgment of the same court entered May 24, 2010 (see CPLR 5501 [c]). The judgment, entered pursuant to the March 2, 2010 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 $1,142.

ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, without costs, the order entered March 2, 2010 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, defendant appeals from an order which granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denied defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. A judgment was subsequently entered awarding plaintiff the principal sum of $1,142, from which the appeal is deemed to have been taken (see CPLR 5501 [c]).

The affidavit submitted by defendant in support of its cross motion for summary judgment established that defendant had timely denied the claim at issue, on the ground of lack of medical necessity, 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 [2008]; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Chubb Group of Ins., 17 Misc 3d 16 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]). Moreover, defendant annexed to its motion papers an affirmed peer review report, which set forth a factual basis and medical rationale for the peer reviewer's determination that there was a lack of medical necessity for the supplies provided (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., 16 Misc 3d 131[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 51342[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]).

In opposition to defendant's cross motion for summary judgment, plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact, since it did not submit an affirmation from a doctor rebutting the conclusions set forth in the peer review report (see Innovative Chiropractic, P.C. v Mercury Ins. Co., 25 Misc 3d 137[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 52321[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; Pan Chiropractic, P.C. v Mercury Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 136[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51495[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]). While plaintiff asserted that the peer review report contained an electronic stamped facsimile of the peer reviewer's signature and, as a result, the report was inadmissible, the record indicates that the facsimile signature was placed on the report by the doctor who had performed the peer review or at his direction (see Eden Med., P.C. v Eveready Ins. Co., 26 Misc 3d 140[A], 2010 NY Slip Op 50265[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2010]; cf. Orthotic Surgical & Med. Supply, Inc. v GEICO Ins. Co., 20 Misc 3d 137[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 51540[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]; Radiology Today, P.C. v GEICO Ins. Co., 20 Misc 3d 70 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]). Thus, defendant established its entitlement to summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

Accordingly, the judgment of the Civil Court is reversed, the order entered March 2, 2010 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., Rios and Steinhardt, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: December 19, 2011

20111219

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