EIP’s payment of assigned billings confers standing back to EIPOctober 31, 2018
Abruscato v Allstate Prop., 2018 NY Slip Op 07279 (2d Dept. 2018)
However, the Supreme Court should have denied that branch of the defendant’s motion which was to dismiss so much of the first cause of action as sought to recover no-fault insurance benefits for medical expenses. The defendant contends, inter alia, that the plaintiff lacked standing because he had assigned his right to no-fault insurance benefits for medical expenses to his medical providers. Although the defendant submitted evidence that the plaintiff assigned his right to no-fault benefits to two medical providers (hereinafter the assignees), the plaintiff’s evidentiary submissions showed that other medical providers had also billed him for their services.
Moreover, upon the defendant’s determination that the injury was not causally related to the motor vehicle accident, the assignees were no longer precluded from seeking payment from the plaintiff (see Hospital for Joint Diseases v Travelers Prop. Cas. Ins. Co., 9 NY3d 312, 318; Central Gen. Hosp. v Chubb Group of Ins. Cos., 90 NY2d 195, 199; Rotwein v Stancil, 15 Misc 3d 19, 21). Since there was a failure of insurance coverage rendering the plaintiff personally responsible for the medical bills (see Hospital for Joint Diseases v Travelers Prop. Cas. Ins. Co., 9 NY3d at 318; Central Gen. Hosp. v Chubb Group of Ins. Cos., 90 NY2d at 199; Rotwein v Stancil, 15 Misc 3d at 21), the plaintiff has a cause of action to recover no-fault insurance benefits for medical expenses from the defendant (see Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d at 275).
Two things can happen to revive the EIP’s right to have standing. First, the EIP pays the billings that were sent to it. Or – Second, the insurance carrier determines the injuries are not related to the motor vehicle accident. Allstate’s counsel’s position on these cases (same counsel always) is plainly obnoxious. I am glad to see the Appellate Division bring some common sense to the plight of the EIP who is left defenseless, i.e, getting sued from the assignee medical providers and told from the insurance carrier that there is nothing they can do. Alas, there is a legal remedy.