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More on FloridaJanuary 18, 2013

Craigg v Infinity Select Ins. Co., 2013 NY Slip Op 23014 (App. Term 2d Dept. 2013)

Who would have thought that some of the most interesting choice of law cases would come from no-fault litigation at the Appellate Term?   This is a wild one, not so much as to how the grouping of factor test came about but because of the outcome that the court reached when the grouping of factors was applied:

Facts

“defendant, a Florida insurer, had issued letters rescinding plaintiff’s assignor’s insurance policy ab initio on the ground that material misrepresentations had been made during the application process; and that defendant had refunded the assignor’s premiums. The parties’ attorneys further stipulated to the admission into evidence of plaintiff’s claim form, defendant’s rescission letter, the policy application, and the insurance policy. Finally, the parties agreed that the sole issue for the Civil Court to decide was “whether or not Defendant has to establish the reason for rescinding its policy.” After trial, the Civil Court found for plaintiff, holding that New York law applied and that defendant was required, but failed, to present evidence in support of the underlying basis for its rescission of the policy. A judgment was subsequently entered, from which the appeal is deemed to have been take”

Conclusion of Law #1:

“Florida law applied since Florida had the most significant contacts with the contracting party and the contract”

Conclusion of Law #2:

Where, as here, an insurer is not seeking a judicial decree of rescission in the action, but, rather, is seeking to establish that the policy had, in fact, been retroactively rescinded to a time prior to the commencement of the action, the insurer must simply demonstrate that it complied with the [*2]Florida statute by giving the requisite notice of the rescission to the insured and that it returned or tendered all premiums paid within a reasonable time after the discovery of the grounds for avoiding the policy

[Defendant wins]