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Staged accident fraudMarch 7, 2022

State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v Pace, 2022 NY Slip Op 30391(U)(Sup. Ct. Kings Co. 2022)

“With regard to State Farm’s first, second, and third causes of action, parties generally are not entitled to recover no-fault benefits for damages resulting from intentional events (Matter of Allstate Ins. Co. v Massre, 14 AD3d 610, 61 I [2d Dept 2005], citing State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v Laguerre, 305 AD2d 490, 490-91 [2d Dept 2003]). When determining if a collision was intentional, the court looks to circumstantial factors. Common considerations include the age of the policy at the time of the loss, the value and age of the car involved, cancellation of the policy shortly thereafter, interrelationships among the parties involved, inconsistencies in testimony regarding the circumstances of the subject collision, and inconsistencies in the identities of the individuals involved (PDG Psychological, P.C. v Stale Farm Ins. Co., 12 Misc 3d 1183[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 51398[U] *6 [Civ Ct, Kings County 2006]; VS. Med. Services, P.C. v Allstate Ins. Co., 11 Misc 3d 334, 343 [Civ Ct, Kings County 2006]; Matter of Progressive County Mut. ins. Co. by McNeil, 4 Misc 3d 1022[A], 2004 NY Slip Op 50998[U], *2 [Sup Ct, Nassau County 2004])

Ms. Rivera states in her affidavit that the policy was thirty-three days old, and provides a copy of the subject policy (Rivera affirmation at ,i 16). Ms. Rivera also notes in her affidavit the following testimony from the EUOs of Ms. Conway and Ms. Chandler: Ms. Conway claims to have known all occupants of the vehicle for several years prior to the accident (Conway EUO at 32). Conversely, Ms. Chandler denies having known any of them until the day of the crash (Chandler EUO at 13 ). Ms. Conway claims the group had planned to go to the theater on Court Street that night, but they had not picked a movie, did not know the show times, and did not know that the theater would be closed by the time they arrived (Conway EUO at 18-20). Ms. Conway claims the group had not seen or spoken to each other for three months prior to the day of the crash (Conway EUO at 32). Ms. Conway claims the accident occurred in the roundabout on Grand Army Plaza (Conway EUO at 21 ). Ms. Chandler, however, denies the accident occurred in the roundabout (Chandler EUO at 22). Ms. Conway claims the car was moved to a service lane immediately following the collision (Conway EUO at 26. Ms. Chandler claims the car remained in the street immediately following the collision (Chandler EUO at 24). Accordingly, State Farm has sufficiently established the facts of its first, second, and third causes of action”

New policy, inconsistent statements. Fraud.