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Some doors have swung openJanuary 24, 2017

Alleviation Med. Servs., P.C. v Hertz Co., 2017 NY Slip Op 50046(U)(App. Term 2d 2017)

(1) “In opposition, plaintiff did not proffer any proof, but merely speculated, in an affirmation of counsel, that defendant might have learned of the accident in another timely manner prior to its receipt of the untimely written notice. In support of its opposition, plaintiff cited 11 NYCRR 65-3.4 (a) but failed to demonstrate how this regulation would warrant a different result. Furthermore, despite plaintiff’s having been informed, in the denial of claim form, that it could provide reasonable justification for its failure to provide timely written notice (see 11 NYCRR [*2]65-2.4 [b]), plaintiff did not present any evidence that it had availed itself of the opportunity to do so.”

(2) “Plaintiff argues that its NF-3 form, which was for services rendered on September 15, 2011, and which defendant admitted to having received on October 5, 2011, constituted timely written notice of the July 31, 2011 accident at issue. However, since plaintiff’s NF-3 form was not submitted within the 30-day time period following the accident, it was untimely in any event, and we need not pass upon the question of whether the submission of an NF-3 form is sufficient to satisfy the 30-day written notice requirement of 11 NYCRR 65-2.4 (b).

This raises an interesting question.  First, the case presents the issue of contesting the disclaimer during the claims stage.  Again, a party who waits until litigation to establish a reasonable excuse in opposition to a 30-day denial will swiftly find the courthouse doors to close behind him or her.

Second, can an NF-3 be the document that places an insurance carrier on notice of a motor vehicle accident?  A police report stating there are injuries on it will serve as notice.  An NF-5 will serve as notice.  But a properly completed NF-3?  The court found the issue worth a look on a better record,

 

 

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