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New York Diagnostic Medical Care, P.C. As Assignee of Austin Trout and Atiba Cobbler v. Geico Casualty Insurance Company

New York Supreme and/or Appellate Courts SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


April 10, 2012

NEW YORK DIAGNOSTIC MEDICAL CARE, P.C. AS ASSIGNEE OF AUSTIN TROUT AND ATIBA COBBLER,
APPELLANT, --
v.
GEICO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY,
RESPONDENT.

Appeal from an order of the District Court of Nassau County, Third District (Andrea Phoenix, J.), dated November 24, 2010.

New York Diagnostic Med. Care, P.C. v Geico Cas. Ins. Co.

Decided on April 10, 2012

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: MOLIA, J.P., NICOLAI and LaCAVA, JJ

The order denied plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, without costs, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is granted, and the matter is remitted to the Civil Court for a calculation of statutory interest and an assessment of attorney's fees.

In this action by a provider to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits, plaintiff appeals from an order denying its motion for summary judgment.

A no-fault provider establishes its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment by proof of the submission to the defendant of a claim form, proof of the fact and the amount of the loss sustained, and proof that the defendant either failed to pay or deny the claim within the requisite 30-day period or issued a timely denial of claim that was conclusory, vague or without merit as a matter of law (see Insurance Law § 5106 [a]; Westchester Med. Ctr. v Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 78 AD3d 1168 [2010]; see also New York & Presbyt. Hosp. v Allstate Ins. Co., 31 AD3d 512 [2006]).

The affidavit by plaintiff's billing manager was sufficient to establish that the claim forms annexed to the motion papers were admissible pursuant to CPLR 4518 (see Art of Healing Medicine, P.C., 55 AD3d 644 [2008]; Fortune Med., P.C. v Travelers Home & Mar. Ins. Co., 14 Misc 3d 136[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 50243[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2007]), that the claim forms had been mailed to defendant within 45 days of the date services were rendered (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]), and that the basis for defendant's denials, i.e., that "written proof of claim was provided more than 45 days after the date these services were rendered" was "without merit as a matter of law." Contrary to defendant's contention, it is not the date of defendant's receipt of a claim form which determines whether the submission of a claim form is untimely, but rather the date of plaintiff's submission of the claim form (see Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] § 65 - 1.1 ["the eligible injured person or that person's assignee . . . shall submit written proof of claim to the Company . . . in no event later than 45 days after the date services are rendered"]; see also SZ Med. P.C. v Country-Wide Ins. Co.,12 Misc 3d 52 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2006]; Ops Gen Counsel NY Ins Dept No. 04-02-12 [Feb. 2004]).

As plaintiff established its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment (see Westchester Med. Ctr., 78 AD3d 1168), the burden shifted to defendant to raise a triable issue of fact (see Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557 [1980]). Since defendant failed to do so, plaintiff should have been awarded summary judgment. Accordingly, the order is reversed, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is granted and the matter is remitted to the Civil Court for a calculation of statutory interest and an assessment of attorney's fees pursuant to Insurance Law § 5106 (a) and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

Molia, J.P., Nicolai and LaCava, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: April 10, 2012

20120410

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