Settlement and Cross-motion timing

Zisholtz & Zisholtz, LLP v Mandel, 2018 NY Slip Op 07349 [2d Dept. 2018]

Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, it failed to submit any evidence that the purported open court settlement agreement of January 28, 2016, constituted a valid and binding settlement agreement pursuant to CPLR 2104 (see Diarassouba v Urban, 71 AD3d 51, 54; Maldonado v Novartis Pharms. Corp., 40 AD3d 940). Rather, the plaintiff submitted only the January 29 stipulation, which was not executed by the plaintiff. Therefore, the January 29 stipulation did not constitute an enforceable settlement agreement binding upon the plaintiff and the appellant (see CPLR 2104). In the absence of an enforceable settlement agreement, the Supreme Court should have denied the plaintiff’s motion.

We also disagree with the Supreme Court’s determination denying the cross motion as untimely. The plaintiff served its motion by regular mail on March 17, 2016, with a return date of April 6, 2016. In order to make effective its demand for seven days’ notice of answering papers or a cross motion (see CPLR 2214[b]; CPLR 2215), the plaintiff was required to have mailed its motion papers at least 21 days prior to the return date (see CPLR 2103[b][2]; CPLR 2214[b]; Matter of Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v Fell, 53 AD3d 760, 761-762). The plaintiff mailed its motion papers only 20 days before the return date. Thus, the cross motion, which was served six days before the return date, was timely (see CPLR 2215).

Demetriou v Wolfer, 2018 NY Slip Op 07288 [2d Dept. 2018]

In July 2012, the plaintiff commenced this action to recover damages for dental malpractice. On Friday, October 30, 2015, the plaintiff, by text message, directed her former attorney to discontinue the action. On that date, the former attorney and defense counsel executed a stipulation of discontinuance (see CPLR 3217[a][2]). On Saturday, October 31, 2015, the plaintiff, by text message, directed her former attorney to, among other things, “not dismiss my case under any circumstances; please retract . . . instructions to discontinue.” Within 30 minutes of receiving that message, the plaintiff’s former counsel advised the plaintiff that the case had already been discontinued. The stipulation of discontinuance was then filed on Monday, November 2, 2015. The plaintiff moved, inter alia, to vacate the stipulation of discontinuance. The Supreme Court denied the motion, and the plaintiff appeals.

We agree with the Supreme Court’s determination to deny the plaintiff’s motion, inter alia, to vacate the stipulation of discontinuance. CPLR 2104 provides that, “[a]n agreement between parties or their attorneys relating to any matter in an action, other than one between counsel in open court, is not binding upon a party unless it is in a writing subscribed by him or his attorney or reduced to the form of an order and entered.” Here, there is no dispute that on October 30, 2015, the plaintiff’s former counsel had actual authority from his client to enter into the stipulation discontinuing the action on her behalf (see Hallock v State of New York, 64 NY2d 224, 230; Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP v Fashion Boutique of Short Hills, 56 AD3d 334, 335). Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, the stipulation of discontinuance clearly evidenced the plaintiff’s intent to discontinue the action as of October 30, 2015, notwithstanding that she changed her mind prior to the filing of the stipulation on November 2, 2015 (see Lim v Choices, Inc., 60 AD3d 739, 740). Pursuant to CPLR 2104, the stipulation must be regarded as a valid, binding contract (see Pile v Grant, 41 AD3d 810), even though it did not effect a discontinuance until it was filed with the clerk of the court on November 2, 2015 (CPLR 3217[a][2]). In seeking to vacate the stipulation, the plaintiff failed to meet her burden to establish good cause sufficient to invalidate a contract, such as that the stipulation was the result of duress, fraud, mistake, or overreaching, or that the terms of the stipulation were unconscionable (see Chae Shin Oh v Jeannot, 160 AD3d 701Pieter v Polin, 148 AD3d 1191).

The bold is mine.

Renewal record: efile

Leary v Bendow, 2018 NY Slip Op 03114 [1st Dept. 2018]

Although plaintiffs failed to include a copy of defendants' original motion to strike with the renewal motion, this did not violate CPLR 2214(c) because the original motion had been electronically filed and therefore was available to the parties and the court (see also Studio A Showroom, LLC v Yoon, 99 AD3d 632 [1st Dept 2012]). There is no evidence that the record was not sufficiently complete to allow the court to render a decision on the renewal motion and to exercise its discretion in considering any improperly submitted document (see Washington Realty Owners, LLC v 260 Wash. St. LLC, 105 AD3d 675 [1st Dept 2013]; Loeb v Tanenbaum, 124 AD2d 941, 942 [3d Dept 1986] ["under CPLR 2214(c), the court may refuse to consider improperly submitted" documents (emphasis added)]).

In any event, the court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in granting renewal (see CPLR 2221[e]). Unbeknownst to the court at the time it decided the original motion, the parties had entered a stipulation agreeing to adjourn the motion. Both parties concede the motion was accidentally submitted to the court in contravention of the stipulation. Thus, the equities of this matter, and the interests of justice, were properly served by permitting renewal, especially because denial would defeat substantial fairness (see Jorge v Conlon, 134 AD3d 480 [1st Dept 2015]; Scott v Brickhouse, 251 AD2d 397 [2d Dept 1998]; Metcalfe v City of New York, 223 AD2d 410, 411 [1st Dept 1996]). Finally, in denying defendants' motion to strike upon renewal, the court was permitted to take judicial notice of the so-ordered stipulations where both parties agreed that discovery had been completed (see Matter of Khatibi v Weill, 8 AD3d 485 [2d Dept 2004] ["this court may take judicial notice of undisputed court records and files"]; Jerome Prince, Richardson on Evidence § 2-209 at 45 [Farrell 11th ed 1995]).

CPLR 2214 Med Mal

CPLR 2214(c)

Garrison v Quirk, 2014 NY Slip Op 05947 [2nd Dept. 2014]

"A physician moving for summary judgment dismissing a complaint alleging medical malpractice must establish, prima facie, either that there was no departure or that any alleged departure was not a proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries" (Garrett v University Assoc. in Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C., 95 AD3d 823, 825). "The burden shifts to the plaintiff to demonstrate the existence of a triable issue of fact only upon the defendant physician's meeting the initial burden, and only as to the elements on which the defendant met the prima facie burden" (id. at 825 [citation omitted]). Here, as the Supreme Court correctly determined, the moving defendants failed to make a prima facie showing of their entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. In forming their opinions, the moving defendants' medical experts did not examine the plaintiff's decedent but relied upon, inter alia, medical reports and medical records that were not annexed to the motion (see LaVecchia v Bilello, 76 AD3d 548; Farmer v City of New York, 25 AD3d 649, 650; see also Jian-Yu Zhang v Qiang Wang, 24 AD3d 611, 612). Although the moving defendants contend that they provided the Supreme Court with a CD-R containing the medical records relied upon by their experts, there is no evidence that the CD-R provided to the court properly contained the certified medical records, or was even readable by the court (see CPLR 2214[c]; Loeb v Tanenbaum, 124 AD2d 941, 942; see generally 22 NYCRR 202.5[b]). Moreover, even if a readable CD-R was previously submitted to the court in connection with an earlier motion in this case, the Supreme Court should "not be compelled, absent a rule providing otherwise, to locate previously submitted documents in the electronic record in considering subsequent motions" (Biscone v JetBlue Airways Corp., 103 AD3d 158, 179). The moving defendants' remaining contentions are without merit. Therefore, the Supreme Court correctly denied the motion.

CPLR R. 2214 OSC

CPLR R. 2214 Motion papers; service; time

Carter v Johnson, 2011 NY Slip Op 04403 (App. DIv., 2nd 2011)

During the course of this action, inter alia, for the partition of real property, the plaintiffs entered into a stipulation of settlement with the defendant Phyllis B. Johnson wherein Johnson agreed, among other things, to purchase the plaintiffs' share in the subject property. However, Johnson failed to tender performance, and the plaintiffs thereafter entered a judgment  against her in the principal sum of $200,000. Johnson subsequently moved by order to show cause to vacate this judgment. In the resulting order, the Supreme Court denied vacatur, but sua sponte granted relief which was not requested by the movant, namely, it "stayed and enjoined [the plaintiffs] from executing the judgment by sale of [the subject property] for so long as defendant Johnson resides in the premises and until further order of this court."

Pursuant to CPLR 2214(a), an order to show cause must state "the relief demanded and the grounds therefor." "The court may grant relief, pursuant to a general prayer contained in the . . . order to show cause, other than that specifically asked for, to such extent as is warranted by the facts plainly appearing on the papers on both sides" (HCE Assoc. v 3000 Watermill Lane Realty Corp., 173 AD2d 774, 774).

In the case at bar, Johnson never requested the stay relief granted by the Supreme Court. Moreover, the order to show cause contained no general prayer for relief, and even requested that the Supreme Court "appoint[ ] a Judicial Hearing Officer . . . with regard to partitioning the property." Given such a request, the Supreme Court's decision to, in effect, grant to Johnson what was essentially a life estate in the property was not only unwarranted by the facts, but was inconsistent with the relief sought in the order to show cause (see e.g. Hunter Sports Shooting Grounds, Inc. v Foley, 73 AD3d 702, 705; Singh v Hobart Corp., 302 AD2d 444, 445; cf. Shaw v RPA Assoc., LLC, 75 AD3d 634, 635). It is also clear that this unrequested relief operated to the prejudice of the plaintiffs (see HCE Assoc. v 3000 Watermill Lane Realty Corp., 173 AD2d 774). Accordingly, it was error to grant such relief.

In light of our conclusion herein, we need not reach the plaintiffs' remaining contentions, and their appeal from the denial of that branch of their motion which was denominated as leave to renew has been rendered academic.


Late Papers. CPLR 2214(b)

CPLR 2214(b)

Prato v Arzt2010 NY Slip Op 09550 (App. Div., 1st 2010)

Defendant's argument that the court improperly declined to reject plaintiff's opposition to his motion as untimely pursuant to CPLR 2214(b) is misguided. The issue was addressed and resolved by the motion court, which granted defendant's request for an opportunity to file a reply.  More importantly, defendant has not shown that he suffered any prejudice as a result of the court's acceptance of plaintiff's late opposition papers (see Dinnocenzo v Jordache Enters., 213 AD2d 219 [1995]).

No-Fault with a tiny tiiiiiny tap of CPLR


CPLR R. 2214 Motion papers; service; time

CPLR R. 4518 Business records

22 NYCRR § 208.17 Notice of trial where all parties appear by attorney.

22 NYCRR § 208.4  Papers filed in court; index number; form; label.

CPLR R. 2106 Affirmation of truth of statement by attorney, physician, osteopath or dentis

CPLR § 3123 Admissions as to matters of fact, papers, documents and photographs

A relative ton of no- fault decisions came out today from the Appellate Term, Second Department.  Again, I'm not posting them because you care, but because It's easy for me to find cases when I post them.  For serious discussion, head over to JT and NFP.

There are, however, some interesting procedural nuances in the decisions,  making them almost relevant here.


Stephen Fealy, M.D., P.C. v State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51442(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

We note, at the outset, that plaintiff's "Supplemental Affirmation in Opposition" is, in reality, a sur-reply, for the submission of which no showing of "good cause" had been made and which should not have been considered by the Civil Court and has not been reviewed on this appeal (see CPLR 2214 [c]; McMullin v Walker, 68 AD3d 943, 944 [2009]; Graffeo v Paciello, [*2]46 AD3d 613, 615 [2007]; Flores v Stankiewicz, 35 AD3d 804, 805 [2006]; Severino v Classic Collision, 280 AD2d 463 [2001]).

The proponent of a summary judgment motion must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of any material issues of fact (Muscatello v City of New York, 215 AD2d  463 [1995]; see Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320 [1986]; Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851 [1985]; Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562 [1980]; Sillman v Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 3 NY2d 395, 404 [1957]). "It is axiomatic that summary judgment requires issue-finding rather than issue-determination and that resolution of issues of credibility is not appropriate" (Greco v Posillico, 290 AD2d 532, 532 [2002] [citation omitted]). The court, on a motion for summary judgment, should not determine issues of credibility or the probability of success on the merits, but should only determine whether there is a triable issue of fact (Venetal v City of New York, 21 AD3d 1087 [2005]; Greco, 290 AD2d 532). The existence of triable issues of fact precludes a finding of a prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law (Wilson-Toby v Bushkin, 72 AD3d 810 [2010]; see Brown v Outback Steakhouse, 39 AD3d 450, 451 [2007]; Gray v South Nassau Communities Hosp., 245 AD2d 337 [1997]; Muscatello, 215 AD2d at 464).

Although defendant's papers established, prima facie, based on objective medical evidence, that the assignor's injuries did not arise from the accident, we find that the affirmation in opposition, written by Dr. Fealy, the surgeon who actually performed the procedure on the assignor, read in conjunction with the other medical and hospital reports indicating that the assignor had complained of left knee pain within days of the accident, is sufficient to raise an issue of fact that must be resolved at trial.

Read JT's comments.

Hillcrest Radiology Assoc. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51467(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

In support of its motion for summary judgment, defendant annexed to its papers an affirmed peer review report, which found the MRIs in question to be medically unnecessary. However, also annexed to the moving papers were defendant's independent medical examination report, which found one of the MRIs to be medically necessary, and other reports that contradicted facts set forth in the peer review report. Since defendant's moving papers are contradictory as to whether there was a lack of medical necessity for the services at issue, defendant failed to establish its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment as a matter of law (see Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557 [1980]). Accordingly, defendant's motion was properly denied (see Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320 [1986]).

There is a Golia dissent.

Mega Supply & Billing, Inc. v Larendon Natl. Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51452(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

CPLR R. 3212(f)


Eagle Surgical Supply, Inc. v Travelers Indem. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51456(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

Although defendant demonstrated that it had timely requested verification of the claim (see Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] § 65-3.5 [b]; Residential Holding Corp. v Scottsdale Ins. Co., 286 AD2d 679 [2001]; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Chubb Group of Ins., 17 Misc 3d 16 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]), defendant failed to establish that plaintiff did not provide the requested verification. Defendant's litigation examiner did not even allege that the requested verification was outstanding, and defendant's attorney failed to demonstrate that she had personal knowledge to support her assertion of defendant's non-receipt of such documents (see Warrington v Ryder Truck Rental, Inc., 35 AD3d 455, 456 [2006]; Feratovic v Lun Wah, Inc., 284 AD2d 368, 368 [2001]; V.S. Med. Servs., P.C. v New York Cent. Mut. Ins., 20 Misc 3d 134[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 51473[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]). Accordingly, the order is reversed and defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is denied.

There is a Golia "atta boy" at the end.

Total Family Chiropractic v Mercury Cas. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51470(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010).

In an attempt to establish that the time period in which it had to pay or deny the claims was tolled due to outstanding verification requests, defendant relied upon spreadsheets annexed to the affidavit of its claim representative. However, because the claim representative did not establish that the spreadsheets constituted evidence in admissible form (see CPLR 4518 [a]; People v Kennedy, 68 NY2d 569, 579-580 [1986]; Palisades Collection, LLC v Kedik, 67 AD3d 1329, 1330-1331 [2009]; Speirs v Not Fade Away Tie Dye Co., 236 AD2d 531 [1997]), defendant has not shown that it made timely verification requests.

While defendant has failed to demonstrate that it is not precluded from raising most defenses (see Presbyterian Hosp. in City of NY v Maryland Cas. Co., 90 NY2d 274, 282 [1997]), in any event, defendant is not precluded from raising the defense of fraudulent procurement of the insurance policy (see Matter of Insurance Co. of N. Am. v Kaplun, 274 AD2d 293 [2000]; A.B. Med. Servs. PLLC v Commercial Mut. Ins. Co., 12 Misc 3d 8 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2006]). The certified transcripts of plaintiff's assignors' examinations under oath, annexed to defendant's motion papers, support defendant's assertion that the assignors' testimony at an examination before trial would be material and necessary to the defense of fraudulent procurement of an insurance policy (see CPLR 3101 [a]). Since plaintiff served the notice of trial two weeks after defendant served its answer and it is uncontroverted that defendant timely moved to vacate the notice of trial within 20 days of its receipt of same (see Uniform Rules for Civ Ct [22 NYCRR] § 208.17 [c]), the branch of defendant's motion seeking to strike the notice of trial is granted. However, as plaintiff's assignors are not directors, members or employees of plaintiff, defendant must subpoena them to compel their appearance at examinations before trial (see CPLR 3016 [b]; see also A.M. Med. Servs., P.C. v Allstate Inso Co., 14 Misc 3d 143[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 50384[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]).

Accordingly, the judgment is reversed, the order entered February 13, 2009 is vacated, the branch of defendant's motion seeking summary judgment dismissing the complaint is granted to the extent of dismissing the complaint insofar as it sought to recover upon the claim form dated March 22, 2007, the branch of defendant's motionseeking to strike the notice of trial and to compel plaintiff's assignors to attend examinations before trial is granted to the extent of striking the notice of trial, plaintiff's cross motion for summary judgment is denied, and the matter is remitted to the Civil Court for all further proceedings.

So the NOT was stricken so that defendant could issue a non-party subpoena for an EBT.  What happens when the non-party doesn't appear, assuming, of course, that the non-party doesn't appear.  It would make sense for the Appellate Term to provide some guidance.  Read JT's comments.

Almost forgot. There is an article in the NYSBA journal on non-party discovery by David Horowitz.

Points of Health Acupuncture, P.C. v Lancer Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 51455(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

The "who cares if he doesnt know how he knows, he's a partner" exception to Fogel.

MVAIC (condition precedent or coverage or both)

Central Radiology Servs., P.C. v MVAIC, 2010 NY Slip Op 51454(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

Under the circumstances presented, the Civil Court should have considered the affidavit submitted by MVAIC's claim representative rather than sua sponte rejecting it due to a de minimis violation of Uniform Rules for the Civil Court (22 NYCRR) § 208.4. The submissions in support of MVAIC's motion for summary judgment made a prima facie showing that plaintiff's assignor had failed to timely file a notice of claim (see Insurance Law § 5208 [a]), and plaintiff failed to demonstrate that its assignor had timely filed a notice of claim or sought leave to file a late notice of claim (see Insurance Law § 5208 [b], [c]). Consequently, defendant's motion for summary judgment should have been granted. Accordingly, the judgment is reversed, the order entered February 20, 2009 is vacated, defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is granted and plaintiff's cross motion for summary judgment is denied.


Ferrara v De Ming Song, 2010 NY Slip Op 51472(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

The Civil Court granted defendant's motion, finding that defendant had made out a prima facie case and that, among other things, the affirmed reports of plaintiff's medical provider in Florida, submitted in opposition to defendant's motion, were not in admissible form, as the doctor was not licensed in the State of New York and, thus, was not authorized to execute an affirmation under CPLR 2106. The court noted, however, that had the reports been in admissible form, they would have been sufficient to demonstrate a serious injury.

Plaintiff thereafter moved for leave to renew defendant's motion and, upon renewal, to deny defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that triable issues of fact exist. In support of the motion, plaintiff submitted an affidavit from his Florida medical provider, sworn to before a notary public commissioned by the State of Florida, and resubmitted the provider's reports. The Civil Court granted plaintiff's motion for leave to renew and, upon renewal, denied defendant's motion for summary judgment on the condition that plaintiff's attorneys pay the sum of $100 to defendant's attorneys as costs, and the sum of $100 to the New York State Lawyers Fund for Client Protection. This appeal by defendant ensued in which the sole issue raised is that the Civil Court erred in granting plaintiff leave to renew.

Contrary to defendant's contention, the Civil Court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in granting the branch of plaintiff's motion seeking leave to renew, thereby allowing plaintiff the opportunity to submit its papers in proper form (see CPLR 2221 [e]; Arkin v Resnick, 68 AD3d 692 [2009]; Simpson v Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc., 48 AD3d 389 [2008]; Smith v Allstate Ins. Co., 38 AD3d 522 [2007]; Joseph v Joseph, 24 Misc 3d 141[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51719[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; see also Shaw v Looking Glass [*2]Assoc., LP, 8 AD3d 100 [2004]; Acosta v Rubin, 2 AD3d 657 [2003]; Ramos v Dekhtyar, 301 AD2d 428 [2003]). We note that defendant has raised no objection to the form of plaintiff's resubmitted papers.

Nicholas Cabrini, Inc. v Hagenbart, 2010 NY Slip Op 51443(U) (App. Term, 2nd, 11th & 13th Jud. Dists. 2010)

CPLR 3123 (a) requires a party to respond to a notice to admit within 20 days of service of the notice "or within such further time as the court may allow," and further provides that "the party to whom the request is directed [must] serve[] upon the party requesting the admission a sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which an admission is requested or setting forth in detail why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters" (emphasis added).

After reviewing defendants' response to plaintiff's notice to admit, wherein defendants explained why they could not either admit or deny the first item in plaintiff's notice to admit and denied the other two items in the notice, we find that the Civil Court properly determined that defendants' response was not so evasive as to be a nullity.

Turning to the timeliness of defendants' response to the notice, in Alford v Progressive Equity Funding Corp. (144 AD2d 756 [1988]), a case analogous to the instant case, the plaintiffs moved for summary judgment on December 2, 1987, based on the defendants' failure to respond to the plaintiffs' notice to admit, which had been served on November 5, 1987. On December 7, 1987, the defendants served a response to the plaintiffs' notice to admit. The Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, and, on appeal, the Appellate Division, Third Department, held that the Supreme Court had properly exercised its discretionary power to extend the time within which the defendants had to respond to the plaintiffs' notice to admit. The Appellate Division further held that since the defendants had not admitted all of the material facts at issue, the Supreme Court had properly denied the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

Similarly, defendants in the case at bar were 15 days late in serving their response to plaintiff's notice to admit. Thus, the Civil Court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in extending the time within which defendants had to respond to the notice. Since defendants have not admitted all of the material facts at issue, the Civil Court properly denied the branch of plaintiff's motion which sought summary judgment (see id.). Accordingly, the order, insofar as appealed from, is affirmed.

What, no cite to Dan MedBajaj?  I'm disappointed.  If any of you want to read further on the use of NTAs in no-fault.  I co-authored an article in the NYLJ on the issue with Dave Barshay, the new author of NFP, and while the AT has not seen fit to cite to it, the Appellate Division has.  Click here to get all the links and what not.