Hearsay (4518)

CPLR R. 4518 Business records

Steinberg v New York City Tr. Auth., 2011 NY Slip Op 07480 (1st Dept., 2011)

Supreme Court correctly found that, as movant, defendant failed to show that it did not breach a duty to plaintiff. Defendant relied on hearsay testimony and accident reports submitted without an adequate foundation for their admission as business records (see Wen Ying Ji v Rockrose Dev. Corp., 34 AD3d 253, 254 [2006]; compare Buckley v J.A. Jones/GMO, 38 AD3d 461, 462-463 [2007]). In view of the testimony of defendant's foreman that it was necessary to safeguard the tools from theft and that defendant's other employees had seen Williams hovering around them, talking and yelling, it cannot be found as a matter of law that Williams's criminal acts were unforeseeable and therefore a superseding cause of plaintiff's injuries (see Bell v Board of Educ. of City of N.Y., 90 NY2d 944 [1997])

Mallen v Farmingdale Lanes, LLC, 2011 NY Slip Op 08569 (2nd Dept., 2011)

In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. The plaintiff's expert affidavit was speculative and conclusory and, therefore, insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact (see Fotiatis v Cambridge Hall Tenants Corp., 70 AD3d 631, 632; Pappas v Cherry Cr., Inc., 66 AD3d 658, 659; Rivas-Chirino v Wildlife Conservation Socy., 64 AD3d 556, 558). Further, the plaintiff's contention that incident reports regarding prior accidents raised a triable issue of fact as to whether there was a dangerous condition or whether the defendant had notice of any such condition is speculative, as there was no evidence that those accidents were similar in nature to the plaintiff's accident (see Hyde v County of Rensselaer, 51 NY2d 927, 929; Gjonaj v Otis El. Co., 38 AD3d 384, 385). The plaintiff's reliance upon a statement as to the cause of her accident contained in an incident report is also unavailing, as the report contained hearsay and the plaintiff failed to lay the proper foundation for its admission as a business record (see CPLR 4518[a]; Roldan v New York Univ., 81 AD3d 625, 627; Stock v Otis El. Co., 52 AD3d 816, 817; Daliendo v Johnson, 147 AD2d 312, 321). "Although hearsay evidence may be considered in opposition to a motion for summary judgment, it is insufficient to bar summary judgment if it is the only evidence submitted" (Stock v Otis El. Co., 52 AD3d at 816-817 [internal quotation marks omitted]). Accordingly, since the hearsay evidence, by itself, was insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact, and the other evidence submitted by the plaintiff in opposition to the defendant's motion also failed to raise a triable issue of fact, the Supreme Court properly granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

Yant v Mile Sq. Transp., Inc., 2011 NY Slip Op 07913 (1st Dept., 2011)

Plaintiff established his entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by stating that he was injured when defendants' school bus hit the rear of the bus on which he was riding (see Johnson v Phillips, 261 AD2d 269, 271 [1999]). In opposition, defendants raised a triable issue of fact by attaching the complete police accident report, which listed all of the passengers on the buses and did not include plaintiff's name. This document, which was admissible as a business record (see Holliday v Hudson Armored Car & Courier Serv., 301 AD2d 392, 396 [2003], lv dismissed in part, denied in part 100 NY2d 636 [2003]), raised the question of whether plaintiff was actually a passenger on the bus (see Perry v City of New York, 44 AD3d 311 [2007]). Accordingly, plaintiff's motion should have been denied and defendants should have been permitted to conduct discovery to determine whether or not plaintiff was indeed a passenger (see CPLR 3212[f]; Bartee v D & S Fire Protection Corp., 79 AD3d 508 [2010]).

Expertly Fryed and a little precluded

Matter of Bausch & Lomb Contact Lens Solution Prod. Liab. Litig., 2011 NY Slip Op 06460 (1st Dept., 2011)

Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of showing at the Frye hearing (Frye v United States, 293 F 1013 [1923]) that their experts' opinions that defendant's soft contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc (Renu ML) was causally related to a rise in non-Fusarium corneal infections were generally accepted by the relevant medical or scientific community (see Pauling v Orentreich Med. Group., 14 AD3d 357 [2005], lv denied 4 NY3d 710 [2005]; Lara v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 305 AD2d 106 [2003]; see also Marso v Novak, 42 AD3d 377 [2007], lv denied 12 NY3d 704 [2009]). They submitted no "controlled studies, clinical data, medical literature, peer review or supporting proof" of their theory (Saulpaugh v Krafte, 5 AD3d 934, 936 [2004], lv denied 3 NY3d 610 [2004]; Lara, 305 AD2d at 106).

Plaintiffs' experts contended that testing showed a reduced biocidal efficacy of ReNu ML under certain conditions. The experts then extrapolated from those results the conclusion that ReNu ML increased the risk of non-Fusarium infections. However, one of the experts stated in a published article that "contamination is not consistently correlated with a higher rate of microbial keratitis" (Levey and Cohen, Methods of Disinfecting Contact Lenses to Avoid Corneal Disorders, Survey of Ophthalmology, Vol. 41, No. 3, at 296 [1996]). In addition, from a certain study in which a film was found to protect Fusarium, plaintiffs' experts concluded that the film similarly would protect other microorganisms. However, plaintiffs' microbiologist conceded that different types of microorganisms have different needs and respond  differently to different conditions.

Moreover, despite four studies conducted on keratitis infections during the relevant period, plaintiffs introduced no epidemiological evidence of a rise in non-Fusarium infections. The court properly excluded plaintiffs' epidemiologist from explaining this lack of an epidemiological signal, because the testimony had not been previously disclosed by plaintiffs and would have surprised defendant. Additionally, plaintiffs failed to demonstrate good cause for their failure to disclose the testimony (see CPLR 3101[d]; LaFurge v Cohen, 61 AD3d 426 [2009], lv denied 13 NY3d 701 [2009]; Peguero v 601 Realty Corp., 58 AD3d 556, 564 [2009]).

The court properly quashed plaintiffs' subpoena of defendant's expert and former chief medical officer, because the expert had been deposed on three occasions, and plaintiffs failed to articulate any legitimate need for his live testimony (see Pena v New York City Tr. Auth., 48 AD3d 309 [2008]).

Nonnon v City of New York, 2011 NY Slip Op 06463 (1st Dept., 2011)

The Frye test is not concerned with the reliability of a particular expert's conclusions, but rather, with "whether the expert['s] deductions are based on principles that are sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance as reliable" (Nonnon I, 32 AD3d at 103 [internal quotation marks omitted]). General acceptance does not necessarily mean that a majority of the scientists involved subscribe to the conclusion, but that those espousing the theory or opinion have followed generally accepted scientific principles and methodology in reaching their conclusions.


Thus, so long as plaintiffs' experts have provided a "scientific expression" of plaintiff's exposure levels, they will have laid an adequate foundation for their opinions on specific causation (Jackson, 43 AD3d at 602 [internal quotation marks omitted]). For example, in Jackson, the court found that the plaintiffs' expert had laid a sufficient foundation for his opinion on causation where, inter alia, the expert was directly involved in the investigation of the potential health consequences of the underlying incident; co-authored a report based on the investigation and research that had been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, comparing the facts of the incident to those recorded in other studies; and opined that the manner in which DEAE had been fed into the steam system prior to the leak caused concentrated levels of the toxin to be released and that plaintiffs' symptoms were caused by DEAE exposure in a building.

Salman v Rosario, 2011 NY Slip Op 06323 (1st Dept., 2011)

Most important, plaintiff's orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Ehrlich, who performed arthroscopic surgery on plaintiff's knee only four months after the accident, opined that "to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the motor vehicle accident of 11/28/05 is the proximate cause of her condition, and not from a pre-existing or long standing degenerative process." Plaintiff's surgeon based this conclusion on his observations of plaintiff's knee during surgery (documented in the operative report plaintiff submitted on the original motion) and because plaintiff's MRI films (plaintiff submitted the MRI report on the original motion) did not depict the existence of osteophytes, show evidence of spondylosis or show other symptoms of degenerative processes. Thus, plaintiff's surgeon countered defendant's orthopedist's observation that plaintiff's injuries had no traumatic basis. Plaintiff's surgeon also documented range-of-motion limitations in the knee. Dr. Mian, who also conducted an orthopedic examination in 2008 and found deficits in plaintiff's range of motion, opined that the right knee tear was causally related to the accident. Thus, the evidence more than amply raised an issue of fact as to whether plaintiff had sustained a "serious injury" of a permanent nature to the right knee within the meaning of Insurance Law Section 5102(d).

Plaintiff's objective evidence of injury, four months post-accident, was sufficiently contemporaneous to establish that plaintiff had suffered a serious injury within the meaning of the statute. Dr. Ehrlich based his conclusions in large part on his actual observations of plaintiff's knee during the surgery he performed. This conclusion is significant because the doctor was able to see exactly what the injuries were. Moreover, in her affidavit, plaintiff stated that, prior to surgery, she had physical therapy five times a week for three months. It is not unreasonable to try to resolve an injury with physical therapy before resorting to surgery. The circumstances, i.e., plaintiff's initial medical exam that was close in time to the accident, her intensive physical therapy, her young age and eventual surgery, make the four months between the accident and plaintiff's objective medical evidence sufficiently contemporanous to withstand a motion for summary judgment (see Gonzalez v Vasquez, 301 AD2d 438 [2003] [examining physician's affirmation correlating motorist's neck and back pain two years after rear-end collision to quantified range of motion limitations found on physical examination and bulging and herniated discs described in MRI reports, and opining that motorist's symptoms were permanent, raised genuine issue of material fact as to whether motorist suffered serious injury]; see also Rosario v Universal Truck & Trailer Serv., 7 AD3d 306, 309 [2004]).

However, defendants did establish, prima facie, that plaintiff did not suffer a 90/180-day injury, and plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact, given her testimony that she was out of work for only three days (see Pou v E & S Wholesale Meats, Inc., 68 AD3d 446, 447 [2009]).

All concur except Román, J. who dissents in a memorandum as follows:

ROMÁN, J. (dissenting)

To the extent that the majority concludes that renewal of the motion court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Kanate was warranted, and that upon renewal Garcia's evidence precluded summary judgment, I dissent. Here, renewal would only have been warranted in the interest of justice, and to the extent that Garcia's evidentiary submission on renewal failed to establish any injury contemporaneous with her accident, renewal should have been denied.

To the extent that Garcia submitted medical evidence failing to establish treatment earlier than January 25, 2006, two months after this accident, Garcia failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether she sustained a serious injury because she failed to submit competent and admissible medical evidence of injury contemporaneous with her accident (see Ortega v Maldonado, 38 AD3d 388, 388 [2007]; Toulson v Young Han Pae, 13 AD3d 317, 319 [2004]; Alicea v Troy Trans, Inc., 60 AD3d 521, 522 [2009]; Migliaccio v Miruku, 56 AD3d 393, 394 [2008]). Accordingly, the motion court properly granted Kanate's initial motion for summary judgment with respect to all categories of injury under Insurance Law § 5102.

On her motion to renew, seeking to remedy shortcomings in her prior submission, Garcia tendered, inter alia, medical records, not previously submitted, purportedly evincing medical treatment contemporaneous with her accident. Specifically and to the extent relevant here, on renewal Garcia submitted records evincing a medical examination occurring a month after her accident. Nothing submitted competently evinced medical treatment at anytime prior thereto. A motion to renew "must be based upon additional material facts which existed at the time the prior motion was made, but were not then known to the party seeking leave to renew, and, therefore, not made known to the court" (Foley v Roche, 68 AD2d 558, 568 [1979]). However, when the proponent of renewal seeks to proffer new evidence of which he/she was previously aware but did not provide to the court on a prior motion, renewal may be granted if the interest of justice so dictate (Tishman Constr. Corp. of N.Y. v City of New York, 280 AD2d 374, 376-377 [2001]; Mejia v Nanni, 307 AD2d 870, 871 [2003]). Generally, the interest of justice require renewal when the newly submitted evidence changes the outcome of the prior motion. Here, Garcia sought renewal in order to have the motion court consider evidence previously known to her. Accordingly, renewal would have only been warranted if it served the interest of justice. At best, Garcia's medical evidence of injury on renewal established medical treatment beginning no sooner than a month after her accident. A medical examination occurring a month after an accident is not contemporaneous. Given its plain and ordinary meaning, contemporaneous means "existing, happening in the same period of time" (Webster's New World Dictionary 300 [3rd college ed 2004]). Accordingly, insofar as Garcia's evidence on renewal did not evince medical treatment contemporaneous with the accident, renewal in the interest of justice should have been denied.

The majority takes the untenable position that not only is Garcia's medical examination, occurring a month after the accident, contemporaneous with her accident, but paradoxically that the report of her surgeon, who did not see plaintiff for the first time until four months after her accident, is sufficient to establish the causal link between Garcia's knee injury and her accident such that she raised an issue of fact precluding summary judgment in Kanate's favor. First, if a medical examination occurring one month after an accident is not contemporaneous, then an examination occurring four months after an accident is certainly less so (Mancini v Lali NY, Inc., 77 AD3d 797, 798 [2010] [medical findings made by plaintiff's doctor four months after his accident not sufficiently contemporaneous with the accident to establish a serious injury]); Resek v Morreale, 74 AD3d 1043, 1044-145 [2010] [medical findings made by plaintiff's doctor five months after his accident not sufficiently contemporaneous with the accident to establish a serious injury]). Moreover, even if we assume that this report was temporally contemporaneous with her accident, it was nevertheless bereft of any objective, qualitative, or quantitative evidence of injury to her knee (Blackmon v Dinstuhl, 27 AD3d 241, 242 [2006]; Thompson v Abassi, 15 AD3d 95, 98 [2005]). Second, contrary to the majority's assertion, the report of Garcia's orthopedist might have been probative as to her knee injury on the date he performed surgery, but standing alone, his observations on that date could not have been probative as to whether that injury was caused by this accident (see Pommells v Perez, 4 AD3d 101, 101-102 [2004], affd 4 NY3d 566 [2005] [medical opinion as to causation is speculative when the record is bereft of any evidence establishing contemporaneous medical treatment and the doctor proffering opinion sees plaintiff for the first time after a substantial period of time since the accident]; Vaughan v Baez, 305 AD2d 101, 101 (2003); Shinn v Catanzaro, 1 AD3d 195, 198-199 [2003]; Komar v Showers, 227 AD2d 135, 136 [1996]).

The majority relies on two cases in support of its holding, Gonzalez v Vasquez (301 AD2d 438 [2003]) and Rosario v Universal Truck & Trailer Serv., Inc. (7 AD3d 306 [2004]), neither of which bears on the issue of contemporaneous medical treatment and both of which, to the extent that they allow a doctor to establish causation upon an initial examination conducted a substantial time after an accident, are at odds with Vaughan, Shinn, Komar and Pommells.


Footnote 1:Although the records from Dr. Cordaro's office are unsworn, it is of no moment. The documents are properly certified as business records (see Mayblum v Schwarzbaum, 253 AD2d 380 [1998]; CPLR 4518[a]), and are referenced only to show plaintiff's complaints and the doctor's referral rather than a medical opinion about a causal relation to the accident.

Matter of New York City 5201-Asbestos Litig., 2011 NY Slip Op 06296 (1st Dept., 2011)

Colgate seeks to question Dr. Sanborn about a hobby allegedly involving asbestos that she mentioned in her consultation note on Karen Tedrick. Dr. Sanborn wrote that "[Tedrick's] father had some sort of hobby activity or other project in the family basement as the patient was growing up, which the patient's brother reports did involve having asbestos in the basement." Tedrick's brother, Richard Konopka, has already been deposed, however, and testified that this hobby referred to a chemistry set that he owned as a teenager. Because the information sought from Dr. Sanborn is available from another source, we agree with the motion court that Dr. Sanborn's deposition should not be compelled (see Ramsey v New York Univ. Hosp. Ctr., 14 AD3d 349 [2005]; CPLR 3101[a][3]; 3101[a][4]).

Lugo v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 2011 NY Slip Op 06475 (2nd Dept., 2011)

A running theme throughout the Frye hearing was whether the experts considered the medical literature they had reviewed to be "authoritative." Although both Dr. Katz and Dr. Peyster testified that they did not consider any of the literature they had discussed to be "authoritative," Dr. Katz testified that the Volpe textbook and the articles he had addressed were the sources he would consult for the current science in the areas discussed at the hearing. Dr. Peyster testified that he did not consider any medical literature, including his own book, to be "authoritative" because that term implied that everything in the article or study was correct and was not subject to any further changes. Dr. Peyster's reluctance to apply this label to medical literature was echoed by the defendant's expert Dr. Jahre, who agreed that this term was not used frequently to describe medical literature and that doctors relied upon articles not considered to be "authoritative" to assess the state of the science.


In addition, we disagree with the Supreme Court's conclusion that the theory of causation espoused by the plaintiffs' experts lacked an adequate foundation for admissibility. "The Frye inquiry is separate and distinct from the admissibility question applied to all evidence—whether there is a proper foundation—to determine whether the accepted methods were appropriately employed in a particular case" (Parker v Mobil Oil Corp., 7 NY3d 434, 447; see People v Wesley, 83 NY2d at 428-429; Jackson v Nutmeg Tech., Inc., 43 AD3d 599, 601). "The focus moves from the general reliability concerns of Frye to the specific reliability of the procedures followed to generate the evidence proffered and whether they establish a foundation for the reception of the evidence at trial" (People v Wesley, 83 NY2d at 429). "The foundation . . . should not include a determination of the court that such evidence is true. That function should be left to the jury" (id. at 425).


The Supreme Court's conclusion that the opinion of the plaintiffs' experts lacked an adequate foundation rested largely on its findings that the evidence presented at the Frye hearing established that perinatal ischemia or hypoxia is the overwhelming cause of PVL and that the testimony of the plaintiffs' experts did not eliminate other "more likely possible causes" of Lugo's PVL. In relying upon such reasoning, the Supreme Court, in effect, rendered an assessment as to the ultimate merit of the opinion testimony of the plaintiffs' experts (see People v Wesley, 83 NY2d at 425). Clearly, numerous factual disagreements between the parties' experts were highlighted at the Frye hearing, including, but not limited to, the specific appearance of Lugo's brain MRI abnormalities and their cause. However, these factual disagreements go to the weight to be accorded to the testimony of the plaintiffs' experts by the trier of fact, and not the admissibility of such testimony (see Jackson v Nutmeg Tech., Inc., 43 AD3d at 602).


CPLR R. 4518(a)

CPLR R. 4518 Business records

CPLR § 2002 Error in ruling of court

Rodriguez v New York City Tr. Auth., 2011 NY Slip Op 01258 (App. Div., 2nd 2011)

The defendant's contention that the Supreme Court improperly denied the admission of a certain photograph of the upper landing of the subject stairway taken some five years after the accident is without merit. The defendant failed to establish a proper foundation by showing that it was a fair and accurate representation of the condition of the landing on the date of the accident (see Moore v Leaseway Transp. Corp., 49 NY2d 720, 723; People v Byrnes, 33 NY2d 343, 347-349; Saporito v City of New York, 14 NY2d 474, 476-477; Leven v Tallis Dept. Store, 178 AD2d 466; Prince, Richardson on Evidence § 4-212, at 149 [Farrell 11th ed]).

We agree with the defendant that the Supreme Court erred in precluding it from introducing into evidence two accident reports. The accident reports were made in the regular course of business and were admissible under CPLR 4518(a) (see Galanek v New York City Tr. Auth., 53 AD2d 586; Bracco v MABSTOA, 117 AD2d 273, 277; Klein v Benrubi, 60 AD2d 548, 548; Bishin v New York Cent. R.R. Co., 20 AD2d 921). A business record is admissible even though the person who prepared it is available to testify to the acts or transactions recorded (see Meiselman v Crown Hgts. Hosp., 285 NY 389, 397; Clarke v New York City Tr. Auth., 174 AD2d 268; Napolitano v Branks, 141 AD2d 705, 706). Accordingly, the accident reports should have been admitted (see Klein v Benrubi, 60 AD2d at 548). However, the error does not require reversal since the precluded evidence was cumulative of testimony already adduced before the jury during the defendant's case (see CPLR 2002; Woody v Foot Locker Retail, Inc., 79 AD3d 740; Sweeney v Peterson, 24 AD3d 984; Tannen v Long Is. R.R., 215 AD2d 745).

Exclusion of witnesses and CPLR 4518(a)

I probably would have stumbled across it eventually, but I found it by way of JT.

CPLR R. 4518 Business records

Yellow Book of N.Y., L.P. v Cataldo, 2011 NY Slip Op 00678 (App. Div., 2nd 2010)

Cataldo's contention that the Supreme Court erred in denying his request to exclude a witness from the courtroom is without merit. The record supports the Supreme Court's determination that the witness at issue was employed by the plaintiff's successor-in-interest and was, therefore, a party representative. As such, and in the absence of extenuating circumstances, the witness was entitled to remain in the courtroom throughout the trial (see Auger v State of New York, 263 AD2d 929, 932; Liquori v Barrow, 160 AD2d 843, 844; Carlisle v County of Nassau, 64 AD2d 15, 18). Further, Cataldo failed to establish that he suffered any prejudice due to the continued presence of the witness (see People v Scheck, 24 AD3d 574).

Additionally, Cataldo contends that the plaintiff's documents should not have been admitted into evidence pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule because the plaintiff's witness was employed by the plaintiff's successor-in-interest and because she lacked personal knowledge of the information contained in the documents. As the witness at issue was fully familiar with the plaintiff's record-keeping procedures and practices, this contention is without merit (see CPLR 4518[a]; General Bank v Mark II Imports, 290 AD2d 240, 241). Cataldo's remaining contentions regarding the court's evidentiary rulings are unpreserved for appellate review.

The bold is mine.


CPLR R. 4518

CPLR R. 4518 Business records

Kamolov v BIA Group, LLC2010 NY Slip Op 09890 (App. Div., 2nd 2010)

The Supreme Court properly denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability on his cause of action pursuant to Labor Law § 240(1). In opposition to the plaintiff's prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on that cause of action, the defendants raised a triable issue of fact as to the manner in which the accident occurred (see e.g. Kumar v Stahlunt Assoc., 3 AD3d 330Park v Ferragamo, 282 AD2d 588; Avendano v Sazerac, Inc., 248 AD2d 340, 341). In this regard, the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that relevant portions of the medical records submitted by the defendants in opposition to his motion constituted inadmissible hearsay. The statements in the records regarding the manner in which the accident occurred were germane to the diagnosis and/or treatment of the plaintiff, and were properly considered as business records (see Harrison v Bailey,AD3d, 2010 NY Slip Op 09221 [2d Dept 2010];see also Rodriguez v Piccone, 5 AD3d 757, 758; Wright v New York City Hous. Auth., 273 AD2d 378, 379; Eitner v 119 W. 71st St. Owners Corp., 253 AD2d 641, 641-642). The plaintiff's remaining challenges to the defendants' reliance on the business records exception to the hearsay rule were not raised in the Supreme Court (see Buckley v J.A. Jones/GMO, 38 AD3d 461, 463) and, in any event, are without merit. Furthermore, the challenged statements set forth in the ambulance report also were admissible on the independent ground that they constituted admissions by the plaintiff, since they are inconsistent with his current account of the accident and the statements were satisfactorily connected to him (see generally Preldakaj v Alps Realty of NY Corp., 69 AD3d 455, 456-457).

Matter of Carothers v GEICO Indem. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 09256 (App. Div., 2nd 2010)

The testimony of an employee of the company that handled the plaintiff's medical billing was insufficient to lay a foundation for the admission of the claim forms under the business records exception of the hearsay rule (see Art of Healing Medicine, P.C. v Travelers Home & Mar. Ins. Co., 55 AD3d 644). Such records were inadmissible because the billing company did not create the records and there was no showing that its employee was familiar with the particular record- keeping procedures of the plaintiff (see West Val. Fire Dist. No. 1 v Village of Springville, 294 AD2d 949, 950). Further, although a proper foundation can be established by a recipient of records who does not have personal knowledge of the maker's business practices and procedures, there must still be a showing that the recipient either incorporated the records into its own records or relied upon the records in its day-to-day operations (see People v A & S DiSalvo, Co., 284 AD2d 547, 548; Plymouth Rock Fuel Corp. v Leucadia, Inc., 117 AD2d 727). Here, the billing company's mere printing and mailing of the documents to the insurer did not establish that the documents were incorporated into its records or that it relied upon the records in its regular course of business (see Lodato v Greyhawk N. Am., LLC, 39 AD3d 494,495). Since the subject documents were inadmissible, the plaintiff failed to establish its prima facie case, and the Appellate Term properly reversed the judgment in the plaintiff's favor

Harrison v Bailey2010 NY Slip Op 09221 (App. Div., 2nd 2010)

The Supreme Court erred in granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability. While the plaintiff established his prima facie entitlement to summary judgment on the issue of liability (see generally Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr.,64 NY2d 851, 852; Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562), the defendants' proffered accident report, which contained a statement from Bailey that the plaintiff had crossed into Bailey's lane, causing the accident, raised a triable issue of fact (see Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324; Bradley v Ibex Constr., LLC, 54 AD3d 626, 627). Contrary to the plaintiff's contention, the accident report was admissible evidence under the business record exception to the rule against hearsay. While an unsworn accident report, by itself, does not constitute evidence in admissible form sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment (see Morgan v Hachmann, 9 AD3d 400, 401; Hegy v Coller, 262 AD2d 606), it may be admissible in evidence if it qualifies as a business record (see Bradley v IBEX Constr., LLC, 54 AD3d at 627; cf. Bendik v Dybowski, 227 AD2d 228, 229). Here, the affidavit of Atlantic's Safety Manager established the elements required for the admissibility of the accident report as a business record pursuant to CPLR 4518(a), namely, that the report (1) was required of Bailey as a condition of his employment, (2) was made at or about the time of the accident, and (3) was maintained by Atlantic in the regular course of its business (see Bradley v IBEX Constr., LLC, 54 AD3d at 627; Galanek v New York City Tr. Auth., 53 AD2d 586;Bishin v New York Cent. R.R. Co., 20 AD2d 921). Once admissible, any challenges to the report extend only to the weight it will be given (see CPLR 4518[a]). Here, the order dated August 1, 2008, only precluded Bailey from "testifying at the trial of the action." Such language cannot be read as precluding Bailey from opposing a motion for summary judgment through the submission of documentary evidence. Moreover, the language of the order of preclusion does not prohibit Atlantic, as Bailey's former employer, from proffering any form of evidence at any time in the action. Indeed, the nature and degree of the penalty to be imposed pursuant to CPLR 3126 is a matter within the discretion of the court (see Jaffe v Hubbard, 299 AD2d 395, 396). Had the Supreme Court intended to preclude Bailey from proffering any forms of evidence, as the plaintiff maintains, it could have done so in the order dated August 1, 2008, by specifically precluding all forms of evidence or by striking Bailey's answer outright under CPLR 3126(3).

J.D.M. Imports Co., Inc. v Hartstein, 2010 NY Slip Op 09186 (App. Div., 1st 2010)

The court correctly found that plaintiff's computer database was a business record (see Ed Guth Realty v Gingold, 34 NY2d 440, 451 [1974]), and then properly admitted a print-out from the database (see People v Weinberg, 183 AD2d 932, 933 [1992], lv denied 80 NY2d 977 [1992]; see also Guth, 34 NY2d at 452).

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.

CPLR R. 3212; 4518 Gaps in proof not enough. Records not admissible. Plus CPLR 3116(a): Deposition not signed

CPLR R. 3212 Motion for summary judgment

CPLR R. 4518 Business records

CPLR R. 3116 Signing deposition; physical preparation; copies

(a) Signing.

Shafi v Motta, 2010 NY Slip Op 03895 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

On their motion for summary judgment, the defendants had the burden of
establishing, by proof in admissible form, their prima facie entitlement
to judgment as a matter of law (see CPLR 3212[b]; Zuckerman v
City of New York
, 49 NY2d 557, 561; Myers v Ferrara, 56 AD3d
78, 83). This burden may be satisfied only by the defendant's
affirmative demonstration of the merit of the defense, rather than
merely by reliance on gaps in the plaintiffs' case
(see DeFalco v
BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.
, 38 AD3d 824, 825; Cox v Huntington
Quadrangle No. 1 Co.
, 35 AD3d 523, 524; Pearson v Parkside Ltd.
Liab. Co.
, 27 AD3d 539; Mondello v DiStefano, 16 AD3d 637,
638). Here, the defendants submitted [*2]hospital
laboratory reports and records of the New York City Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene. As the Supreme Court concluded, however,
because these documents were neither certified nor authenticated, and
thus were not in admissible form, they could not be considered on the
motion (see CPLR 4518[c]
; Banfield v New York City Tr. Auth.,
36 AD3d 732; Baez v Sugrue, 300 AD2d 519, 520; cf. Whitfield v
City of New York
, 48 AD3d 798, 799). Moreover, the affirmation of
the defendants' attorney submitted with very brief excerpts of
deposition testimony was insufficient to establish the defendants'
entitlement to judgment as a matter of law
(see Irving v Great Atl.
& Pac. Tea Co.
, 269 AD2d 358, 359; Cicolello v Limb, 216
AD2d 434). Inasmuch as the defendants failed to carry their burden,
denial of the motion was required without regard to the sufficiency of
the papers submitted in opposition (see Winegrad v New York Univ.
Med. Ctr.
, 64 NY2d 851, 853; Molina v Belasquez, 1 AD3d 489).

v IF USA Express, Inc.
, 2010 NY Slip Op 04151 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

The defendants did not meet their prima facie burden of showing that the
plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury as a result of the subject
accident. Specifically, the defendants failed to show that the plaintiff
did not sustain a medically-determined injury or impairment of a
nonpermanent nature which prevented her from performing substantially
all of the material acts which constituted her usual and customary daily
activities for a period of not less than 90 days during the 180-day
period immediately following the subject motor vehicle accident, as
articulated in Insurance Law § 5102(d) (hereinafter the 90/180-day
category) (see Toure v Avis Rent A Car Sys., 98 NY2d 345; Gaddy
v Eyler,
79 NY2d 955, 956-957). In the plaintiff's bill of
particulars, she clearly set forth that, as a result of the subject
motor vehicle accident, she sustained, inter alia, a serious injury
under the 90/180-day category of Insurance Law § 5102(d). The affirmed
reports of the defendants' examining physicians did not specifically
relate any of their findings to this 90/180-day category of serious
injury (see Negassi v Royle, 65 AD3d 1311; Ismail v Tejeda, 65
AD3d 518; Neuberger v Sidoruk, 60 AD3d 650; Miller v Bah, 58
AD3d 815; Scinto v Hoyte, 57 AD3d 646). Further, the unsigned
deposition transcript of the plaintiff, which the defendants submitted
in support of their motion, did not constitute admissible evidence in
light of the defendants' failure to demonstrate that the transcript was
forwarded to the plaintiff for her review pursuant to CPLR 3116(a)
Martinez v 123-16 Liberty Ave. Realty Corp.,
47 AD3d 901; McDonald
v Mauss,
38 AD3d 727; Pina v Flik Intl. Corp., 25 AD3d 772; Santos
v Intown Assoc.,
17 AD3d 564). Since the defendants [*2]failed to meet their prima facie burden, we
need not consider whether the plaintiff's opposition papers were
sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact (see Negassi v Royle, 65
AD3d 1311; Ismail v Tejeda, 65 AD3d 518; Neuberger v Sidoruk,
60 AD3d 650; Miller v Bah, 58 AD3d 815).

The bold is mine.

ROM testing with a touch of CPLR R. 4518

CPLR R. 4518 Business records

I was going to post this for another reason, but JT makes a good point.

Simanovskiy v Barbaro, 2010 NY Slip Op 03304 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

Neither plaintiff offered competent medical evidence to demonstrate
the existence of a significant range-of-motion limitation in the
cervical or lumbar regions of their spines contemporaneous with the
subject accident (see Bleszcz v Hiscock, 69 AD3d 890; Caraballo v Kim, 63 AD3d 976, 977; Niles v Lam Pakie Ho, 61 AD3d 657, 659; Washington v Mendoza, 57 AD3d 972; Magid v Lincoln Servs. Corp., 60 AD3d 1008).
Although the affirmations and affirmed [*2]medical
reports of the plaintiffs' treating physician, Dr. Boris Dudelzak,
found "decreased" range of motion in the cervical and lumbar regions of
both plaintiffs' spines, he failed to quantify the results of his
range-of-motion tests
(see Barnett v Smith, 64 AD3d 669, 671; Kuchero v Tabachnikov, 54 AD3d 729, 730; Duke v Saurelis, 41 AD3d 770, 771).
Furthermore, the computerized range-of-motion tests referred to in Dr.
Dudelzak's affirmations were not in admissible form because they were
not affirmed by someone with personal knowledge of the facts
(see Taylor v Flaherty, 65 AD3d 1328; see also Luna v Mann, 58 AD3d 699, 700; Washington v Mendoza, 57 AD3d 972). Without
admissible evidence of quantified range-of-motion limitations
contemporaneous with the accident, the plaintiffs could not have
established the duration of the injuries required to raise a triable
issue of fact as to whether they sustained a serious injury under the
permanent consequential limitation or significant limitation of use
categories of the no-fault law
(see Kuchero v Tabachnikov, 54
AD3d at 730; Ferraro v Ridge Car Serv., 49 AD3d 498).

The affirmed magnetic resonance imaging reports of the
plaintiffs' radiologist, which indicated that the plaintiff Boris
Simanovskiy suffered from bulging cervical and lumbar discs, and that
the plaintiff Nadezhda Simanovskaya suffered from a torn meniscus, also
were insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact. The existence of
bulging discs and torn ligaments is not evidence of a serious injury in
the absence of objective evidence of the extent and duration of the
alleged physical limitations resulting from these injuries (see Casimir v Bailey, 70 AD3d 994; Bleszcz v Hiscock, 69 AD3d 890; Mora v Riddick, 69 AD3d 591; Caraballo v Kim, 63 AD3d 976, 977-978).

And JT found somene making a peculiar argument in Family Court.

Matter of Fortunato v Murray, 2010 NY Slip Op 03122 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

The father thereafter filed an objection to the Support Magistrate's
order on the ground that the Support Magistrate erroneously excluded his
medical records from evidence. The Family Court denied the objection,
stating, in an order dated November 19, 2008, that

"[the father] objects to the Support Magistrate's order
on the grounds that the doctor's records dated July 8, 2008, which the
Support Magistrate did not allow into evidence should have been admitted
into evidence. The Support Magistrate denied petitioner's request based
on the fact that the records are hearsay as they deprive respondent of
the right to confront the witness. This Court agrees. The [father]
refers to CPLR 4518(a). This section refers to business records, not
doctors office records or notes."

to the Family Court's general statement of the applicable law, "[a]
physician's office records, supported by the statutory foundations set
forth in CPLR 4518(a), are admissible in evidence as business records.
However, medical reports, as opposed to day-to-day business entries of a
treating physician, are not admissible as business records where they
contain the doctor's opinion or expert proof"
(Matter of
Bronstein-Becher v Becher
, 25 AD3d 796, 797 [internal quotation
marks and citations omitted]; see Batts v Rutrick, 298 AD2d 417; Napolitano
v Branks
, 141 AD2d 705, 705-706). Moreover, a physician's office
records "may be received as evidence despite the fact that a physician
is available to testify as to the substance and contents of the records"
(Napolitano v Branks, 141 AD2d at 705-706; see Clarke v New
York City Tr. Auth.
, 174 AD2d 268). Here, upon the father's appeal
of the Family Court's order, this Court does not have the benefit of the
actual medical documents in dispute since the documents are not part of
the original papers before this Court. Thus, from the record, it is
unclear whether the subject documents were the type which this Court
views as admissible. Accordingly, we remit the matter to the Family
Court, Nassau County, for a review by the Support Magistrate of the
subject medical documents in light of and pursuant to the aforementioned
standard as to admissibility.

And one more that I found.  Of course I realized that I read the case about five seconds after I initially published this post.

Elshaarawy v U-Haul Co. of Miss., 2010 NY Slip Op 03273 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

On appeal, the defendants contend that the Supreme Court erred in
granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the issue of
serious injury to his right knee under the 90/180 day category of
Insurance Law § 5102(d). We agree. As the proponent of the summary
judgment motion, the plaintiff had the burden of making a prima facie
showing that he suffered a serious injury pursuant to Insurance Law §
5102(d), and that his injury was causally related to the accident (see Autiello v Cummins, 66 AD3d 1072; McHugh v Marfoglia, 65 AD3d 828, 829; LaForte v Tiedemann, 41 AD3d 1191, 1192; Ellithorpe v Marion, 34 AD3d 1195). The
plaintiff satisfied this burden by submitting the affirmation of his
orthopedic surgeon and his own affidavit, which established that as a
result of the accident he had sustained a "a medically determined
injury" to his right knee which prevented him from performing
substantially all of his usual and customary daily [*3]activities
for at least 90 of the first 180 days following the accident (Insurance
Law § 5102[d]; see Ellithorpe v Marion, 34 AD3d 1195,
1197). However, in opposition, the defendants raised a triable issue of
fact as to whether the plaintiff's knee injuries were caused by the
subject accident by submitting the affirmation of their examining
orthopedic surgeon, and the plaintiff's ambulance report and hospital
emergency room records, which indicated that he made no complaints of
knee pain immediately after the accident, and that examination of his
knees revealed no swelling. Although the ambulance report and hospital
emergency room records were uncertified, a defendant may rely upon
unsworn medical reports and uncertified records of an injured
plaintiff's treating medical care providers in order to demonstrate the
lack of serious injury
(see Hernandez v Taub, 19 AD3d 368; Kearse v New York City Tr. Auth., 16 AD3d 45,
47; Itkin v Devlin, 286 AD2d 477; Abrahamson v Premier Car
Rental of Smithtown,
261 AD2d 562; Pagano v Kingsbury, 182
AD2d 268, 271). Accordingly, the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment
on the issue of serious injury to his right knee under the 90/180 day
category should have been denied. Since the jury was instructed that its
damages award must include compensation for the plaintiff's knee
injuries, which the Supreme Court determined to be causally linked to
the accident, the jury did not expressly find that the plaintiff
sustained a significant limitation of use of his right knee, and the
jury did not specifically allocate damages to compensate the plaintiff
for injuries to any particular parts, functions, or systems of his body,
the judgment must be reversed, and a new trial on the issue of damages
must be granted.

We further note that the Supreme Court erred in permitting the
plaintiff's treating neurologist to testify as to the contents of a
report interpreting magnetic resonance imaging (hereinafter MRI) films
of the plaintiff's cervical spine, which was prepared by a radiologist
who did not testify at trial (see Wagman v Bradshaw, 292 AD2d 84;
see also Clevenger v Mitnick, 38 AD3d 586,
587; Jemmott v Lazofsky, 5 AD3d 558, 560; Beresford
v Waheed,
302 AD2d 342, 343; DeLuca v Ding Ju Liu, 297 AD2d
307). This testimony was improperly admitted because the MRI films were
not in evidence, the plaintiff failed to elicit sufficient proof to
establish that the MRI report interpreting the films was reliable, and
the defendants had no opportunity to cross-examine the radiologist who
prepared the report
(see Wagman v Bradshaw, 292 AD2d at 89-90).

Interesting to Me (CPLR 3215; 4518; 3121; 602; 3018)

Of all the decisions that came out this past week, these are the ones that I read and though, "hey, that's interesting."

New S. Ins. Co. v Dobbins, 2010 NY Slip Op 01773 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

The Supreme Court properly, upon renewal and reargument, adhered to so much of its original determination as denied the plaintiff leave to enter judgment against the defendants James Dobbins, Jr., and Felita Dobbins, upon their default in answering the complaint. In support of its motion, the plaintiff offered the complaint, which was verified by plaintiff's counsel, and an affidavit of the plaintiff's investigator, neither of whom possessed personal knowledge of the facts constituting the claim (see CPLR 3215; Woodson v Mendon Leasing Corp., 100 NY2d 62, 70-71; Hosten v Oladapo, 44 AD3d 1006; Finnegan v Sheahan, 269 AD2d 491). The statements from the driver of the other vehicle that the plaintiff's investigator relied upon in his affidavit constituted inadmissible hearsay (see CPLR 4518[a]; Hochhauser v Electric Ins. Co., 46 AD3d 174, 179-183; Metropolitan Cas. Ins. Co. v Shaid, 23 Misc 3d 1140[A]). Accordingly, entry of a default judgment against these defendants was properly denied on the papers before the Supreme Court.

Ok, this one is a little older.  I accidentally put it with the others.  But since it's already here, I might as well keep it.

Tucker v Bay Shore Stor. Warehouse, Inc., 2010 NY Slip Op 00134 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

Contrary to the defendants' contentions, the Supreme Court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in denying that branch of their motion which was to compel the plaintiff to undergo a second independent medical examination. "The supervision of disclosure and the setting of reasonable terms and conditions therefor rests within the sound discretion of the trial court and, absent an improvident exercise of that discretion, its determination will not be disturbed" (Mattocks v White Motor Corp., 258 AD2d 628, 629 [internal quotation marks and citations omitted]; see Kaplan v Herbstein, 175 AD2d 200). While CPLR 3121 does not limit the number of examinations to which a party may be subjected, a party seeking a further examination must demonstrate the necessity for it (see Young v Kalow, 214 AD2d 559; see also Huggins v New York City Tr. Auth., 225 AD2d 732). Here, the defendants failed to show that a further physical examination of the plaintiff was required. While we strongly disapprove of the plaintiff's counsel instructing the plaintiff to refuse to respond to questions relating to her relevant past medical history, there was no indication by the defendants' examining physician that his prior examination was hindered, or that he required additional information.

Gladstein v Martorella, 2010 NY Slip Op 01732 (App. Div., 1st, 2010)

When parties set down their agreement in a clear, complete document, their writing should, as a rule, be enforced according to its terms. Evidence outside the four corners of the document as to what was really intended but unstated or misstated is generally inadmissible to add to or vary the writing. Extrinsic and parol evidence are not admissible to create an ambiguity in a written agreement which is complete, clear and unambiguous on its face (see W.W.W. Assoc. v Giancontieri, 77 NY2d 157, 162 [1990]).

The agreement herein is unambiguous on its face. Both sale and lease contracts may be utilized in meeting the 75% requirement. "The best evidence of what parties to a written agreement intend is what they say in their writing" (Greenfield v Philles Records, 98 NY2d 562, 569 [2002] [internal quotation marks and citation omitted]). If the parties intended to exclude lease contracts from consideration, they made a mistake in the agreement. "An omission or mistake in a contract does not constitute an ambiguity" (Reiss v Financial Performance Corp., 97 NY2d 195, 199 [2001] [internal quotation marks and citation omitted]).

Progressive Northeastern Ins. Co. v North State Autobahn, Inc., 2010 NY Slip Op 01779 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

The Supreme Court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in denying that branch of the defendants' motion which was, in the alternative, to direct that this action be tried jointly with an action entitled North State Autobahn v Progressive Insurance Group, pending in the Supreme Court, Westchester County, under Index No. 02761/07. Inasmuch as the two actions did not involve common questions of law or fact (see CPLR 602[a]), a joint trial was not warranted (see Beerman v Morhaim, 17 AD3d 302, 303).

At the close of the plaintiff's case, which arises out of the defendants' repair of a motor vehicle owned by the plaintiff's insured, the defendants moved for judgment as a matter of law on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to establish a prima facie case (see CPLR 4401). The Supreme Court granted the motion on a ground not argued by the defendants, namely, that the plaintiff's payment of the full amount of the final bill for the repair of the vehicle without asserting that the payment was, in some [*2]manner, "under protest," barred the plaintiff's claims under the doctrine of accord and satisfaction (see Merrill Lynch Realty/Carll Burr, Inc. v Skinner, 63 NY2d 590, 596; Uniform Commercial Code § 1-207). In granting the motion on that ground, the Supreme Court erred in two respects. First, accord and satisfaction is an affirmative defense which must be pleaded and proved (see CPLR 3018[b]; Conboy, McKay, Bachman & Kendall v Armstrong, 110 AD2d 1042; see also Arias-Paulino v Academy Bus Tours, Inc., 48 AD3d 350; Dec v Auburn Enlarged School Dist., 249 AD2d 907, 908). The defendants did not plead accord and satisfaction as an affirmative defense, and it was improper for the Supreme Court to raise it sua sponte (see Trustco Bank N.Y. v Cohn, 215 AD2d 840, 841; cf. Rienzi v Rienzi, 23 AD3d 450). Second, the doctrine of accord and satisfaction is not applicable because it contemplates full knowledge of the facts on the part of both parties who, in effect, enter into a new contract to expeditiously settle a contract dispute (see Horn Waterproofing Corp v Bushwick Iron & Steel Co., 66 NY2d 321, 325). In this action, inter alia, to recover damages for fraud, the gravamen of the plaintiff's claim is that it was without such knowledge because of the defendants' alleged misrepresentation of material facts. Thus, a new trial is warranted.

We note that, upon retrial, the plaintiff should not be limited to damages in the sum of $2,808.65, the amount of the allegedly fraudulent charges contained in the final bill of the defendant North State Autobahn, Inc., d/b/a North State Custom Auto, but rather to the amount sought in the complaint.

Another older one.

Simmons v New York City Health & Hosps.
2010 NY Slip Op 01692 (App. Div., 1st, 2010)

The motion court, by declining to grant defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint and ordering discovery, limited to plaintiff's assertion of the insanity toll, necessarily rejected defendant's res judicata defense. Thus, the order at issue, at least to the extent that it denied defendant's motion to dismiss on grounds of res judicata is appealable insofar as it affects a substantial right (see Fellner v Morimoto, 52 AD3d 352, 353 [2008]; CPLR 5701[a][2][v]).

However, contrary to the lower court's implicit conclusion the instant action is in fact barred by res judicata. Plaintiff's prior action was against a doctor employed by defendant, arose from the same course of treatment alleged in the instant action, and was dismissed on statute of limitations grounds. While defendant was not a party to the prior action, as defendant doctor's employer, required to indemnify defendant doctor in the prior action, it was in privy with defendant doctor (Beuchel v Bain, 97 NY2d 295, 304-305 [2001], cert denied 535 US 1096 [2002]; Prospect Owners Corp. v Tudor Realty Servs., 260 AD3d 299 [1999]), the real party in interest in that action (Ebert v New York City Health and Hosp. Corp., 82 NY2d 863, 866-867 [1993]), and the abbreviated statute of limitations applicable to defendant was thus applied to him (see International Shared Servs. v County of Nassau, 222 AD2d 407, 408 [1995]; Urraro v Green, 106 AD2d 567 [1984]). Plaintiff cannot avoid res judicata by varying facts, changing his causes of action and omitting references to the previously named doctor (see Reilly v Reed, 45 NY2d 24, 28-30 [1978]; Marinelli v Assocs. v Helmsley Noyes Co., 265 AD2d 1 [2000]).

The bold, that I will eventually use, will be mine.

CPLR R. 4518 from up on high

CPLR R. 4518 Business records
(a) Generally.

People v Ramos, 2010 NY Slip Op 00192 (Ct. App., 2010)

The trial court erred when it admitted hearsay evidence without a proper foundation (CPLR 4518[a]). Even assuming some documents may be admitted as business records without foundation testimony (see People v. Kennedy, 68 NY2d 569, 577 n 4), the record at issue in this case was not such a document. Nothing on its face indicates that it “was made in the regular course of business and that it was the regular course of business to make it” (CPLR 4518[a]). Nor can the error be deemed harmless in the circumstances of this case.