Interesting? Snooze and LoseMarch 25, 2014

Aminov v Country Wide Ins. Co., 2014 NY Slip Op 24066 (App. Term 2d Dept 2014)

“First, contrary to plaintiff’s argument on appeal, defendant did prove the timely mailing of the denial. Where, as here, a provider does not commence the action within 30 days of receipt of the denial, the Insurance Department Regulations provide that statutory prejudgment interest (see Insurance Law § 5106 [a]) begins to accumulate when the action is commenced (see Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] § 65-3.9 [c]), “unless the applicant unreasonably delays the . . . court proceeding” (Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] § 65-3.9 [d] [emphasis added]). In this case, plaintiff took no action for seven years. Plaintiff’s argument that defendant should be required to pay interest for that period because defendant could have attempted to move the case forward lacks merit. It is plaintiff who brought this action and plaintiff should not be rewarded for its years of inaction by receiving a windfall of interest (see Arzu v NYC Tr. Auth., 35 Misc 3d 210 [Civ Ct, Kings County 2012]; compare Igor Shtarkman Neurologist, P.C. v Allstate Ins. Co., 191 Misc 2d 76 [Nassau Dist Ct 2002]). Thus, in our opinion, the Civil Court properly had that the interest in this case should be awarded from August 7, 2008.”

The only saving grace that exists nowadays is that most cases in Queens will not linger 5 years post notice of trial.  So, the annuity seekers can still 8 times what is paid at the bank on their money through filing in Civil Queens or Bronx.  But, you cannot drop a case off, pick it up 10 years later and expect 10 years of interest anymore.  Interestingly, I thought it was going to be an insurance carrier appealing a windfall interest case that would have invoked the first appellate interpretation of the unreasonable delay rule, not a medical provider seeking an additur to the judgment.

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