The DJ as to the provider that never wasJuly 26, 2017

Ultimate Health Prods., Inc. v Ameriprise Auto & Home, 2017 NY Slip Op 27245 (App. Term 2d Dept. 2017)

(1) ” Generally, [i]n the absence of prejudice or surprise to the opposing party, leave to amend a pleading should be freely granted unless the proposed amendment is palpably insufficient or patently devoid of merit’ (G.K. Alan Assoc., Inc. v Lazzari, 44 AD3d 95, 99 [2007]; see CPLR 3025 [b]; Lucido v Mancuso, 49 AD3d 220 [2008]; Trataros Constr., Inc. v New York City School Constr. Auth., 46 AD3d 874 [2007])” (Morris v Queens Long Is. Med. Group, P.C., 49 AD3d 827, 828 [2008]). In the instant case, since Ultimate’s assignor executed the assignment of benefits in favor of Ultimate more than three months prior to the commencement of the declaratory judgment action and the Supreme Court did not award Ameriprise a declaratory judgment against Ultimate, the branch of Ameriprise’s cross motion seeking leave to amend the answer to assert that the action is barred by the doctrine of res judicata should have been denied, as the proposed amendment is patently devoid of merit (see Morris, 49 AD3d at 828; Eagle Surgical Supply, Inc. v AIG Ins. Co., 40 Misc 3d 139[A], 2013 NY Slip Op 51449[U] [App Term, 2d Dept, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2013]). As a result, the branch of Ameriprise’s cross motion seeking summary judgment dismissing the complaint based on the doctrine of res judicata should also have been denied.

(2) Observation.  The Dj was brought in Kings because you can get any short form order you want out of the Default Judgment Motion Part.  In fact, the DJMP is so bad, judges would rather sit as acting SCJ in Civil then hang out there.  But here is a question – could the default motion in Supreme Court have survived a judge reviewing the papers?  We will never know.