Monday, November 26, 2007

Keep In Touch With Your Insurer

A law firm that had allowed a personal injury action to be dismissed sought coverage from their insurer in the ensuing malpractice case. A condition precedent to coverage was timely notice to the insurer of the claim. The firm had moved to reinstate the dismissed underlying claim in May 2003 but did not notify the insurer until a year later. The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department affirmed the trial court determination that the insurer was not obligated to defend: "plaintiffs failed to provide notice of a potential malpractice claim within a reasonable time in view of all the circumstances...the plaintiffs knew or should have known of a potential malpractice claim no later than July 2003 [when the motion to vacate default was denied]. The notice provided a year later was unreasonable as a matter of law." (Mike Frisch)

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