senate Bill S5531

Relates to expediting actions involving insurance claims for damages resulting from a state disaster emergency

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 16 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Summary

Relates to expediting actions involving insurance claims for damages resulting from a state disaster emergency.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5570
Versions:
S5531
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Civil Practice Law and Rules
Laws Affected:
Add RR3410, 3411 & 3412, amd R3403, CPLR

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5531

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil practice law and rules, in
relation to expediting actions involving insurance claims for damages
resulting from a state disaster emergency

PURPOSE: To allow property damage-related litigation in State Disaster
Emergency declared counties to proceed in an expedited manner.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 would add new rules 3410, 3411, and 3412 to the civil
practice law and rules, and create a mandatory expedited preliminary
conference for property damage claims against insurers for damages
sustained in counties where a State Disaster Emergency has declared by
the Governor pursuant to Executive Law Section 29-a.

Section 2 would amend rule 3403 (a) of the civil practice law and
rules to allow such litigation to be granted a special trial
preference, thus expediting ultimate resolution of same.

Section 3 states that this act shall take effect immediately.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: This bill would
allow claims against insurers resulting from property sustained, where
the Governor has declared a State Disaster Emergency, to be advanced
and expedited.

JUSTIFICATION: Where many insurers have dealt with the victims of
property damage losses sustained as the result of State Disaster
Emergencies, i.e. most recently Storm Sandy, in a responsible and
timely manner, some insurers have not. This has resulted in litigation
by property owners, i.e. homeowners, to enforce their rights under
contracts of insurance. Many of these property owners have sustained
utter financial ruin due to severe property damage losses, and this
bill seeks to allow for a swift and certain resolution of their claims
against their insurers in court.

For example, there is no reason why an individual who has lost their
home and all of their belongings due to Superstorm Sandy should have
to wait years for their claims against their insurer to be adjudicated
in court.

This bill requires that upon institution of an action by an insured
against an insurer for damages related to a State Disaster Emergency
as declared by the Governor, the court shall hold a preliminary
conference within thirty (30) days after the request for judicial
intervention is filed.

In addition, this bill requires that all parties shall appear for
preliminary conference by a person fully authorized to dispose of the
case. It is hoped that requiring same will permit many of such actions
to be resolved without the need for further proceedings.

For actions which cannot be resolved at the preliminary conference,
the bill requires that discovery be completed within 60 days of the
holding of the conference, absent good cause shown.


Finally, this bill allows for these types of actions to be given a
special trial preference, and be tried in advance of most other types
of litigation. An expedited discovery schedule and a special trial
preference represent a recognition that property owners who have lost
all of their possessions due to natural disaster (as declared by the
Governor), should have the ability to obtain prompt and swift
adjudication of their claims against any insurers who would ostensibly
be contractually responsible to them.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: No negative
effects anticipated. If contractual claims against insurers are
resolved in a more timely manner, there may be some positive effects
upon State and Local government disaster-related expenditures.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5531

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  BOYLE  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN ACT to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation  to  expe-
  diting actions involving insurance claims for damages resulting from a
  state disaster emergency

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The civil practice law and rules is amended by adding three
new rules 3410, 3411 and 3412 to read as follows:
  RULE 3410.  MANDATORY  PRELIMINARY  CONFERENCE  IN  CERTAIN  INSURANCE
ACTIONS.  (A)  IN  ANY  ACTION  INVOLVING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR DAMAGES
OCCURRING TO PROPERTY IN A COUNTY WHERE A STATE DISASTER  EMERGENCY  HAS
BEEN  DECLARED  BY  THE GOVERNOR PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT OF THE
EXECUTIVE LAW RELATING TO ANY CLAIM  ARISING  FROM  THE  CAUSE  OF  SUCH
DECLARATION, THE COURT SHALL HOLD A PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE WITHIN THIRTY
DAYS AFTER THE REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL INTERVENTION IS FILED.
  (B)  AT  ANY  CONFERENCE HELD PURSUANT TO THIS RULE, ALL PARTIES SHALL
APPEAR IN PERSON OR BY COUNSEL, AND IF APPEARING BY COUNSEL, SUCH  COUN-
SEL  SHALL  BE  FULLY AUTHORIZED TO DISPOSE OF THE CASE.  IN THE COURT'S
DISCRETION, THE COURT MAY PERMIT A REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY PARTY TO ATTEND
THE SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE TELEPHONICALLY OR BY VIDEO-CONFERENCE.
  (C) UPON FILING OF A REQUEST  FOR  JUDICIAL  INTERVENTION,  THE  COURT
SHALL  PROMPTLY  SEND  A NOTICE TO PARTIES ADVISING THEM OF THE TIME AND
PLACE OF THE CONFERENCE, THE PURPOSE OF THE CONFERENCE AND THE  REQUIRE-
MENTS  OF  THIS  RULE.  THE  NOTICE SHALL BE IN A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE
OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION, OR, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE  OFFICE  OF
COURT  ADMINISTRATION, THE ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE OF THE JUDICIAL DISTRICT
IN WHICH THE ACTION IS PENDING, AND SHALL  ADVISE  THE  PARTIES  OF  THE
DOCUMENTS THAT THEY SHOULD BRING TO THE CONFERENCE.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08348-06-3

S. 5531                             2

  (D) NO ADJOURNMENT IN EXCESS OF TEN DAYS SHALL BE GRANTED BY THE COURT
FOR  ANY SUCH PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE, AND SUCH AN ADJOURNMENT SHALL ONLY
BE GRANTED UPON GOOD CAUSE SHOWN.
  (E)  DISCOVERY  SHALL  BE COMPLETED WITHIN SIXTY DAYS FROM THE DATE OF
THE PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE, AND PENALTIES MAY BE  ASSESSED  AGAINST  ANY
PARTY AS PER SECTION THREE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX OF THIS CHAP-
TER  FOR  REFUSAL  TO  COMPLY  WITH DISCOVERY WITHIN SAID SIXTY DAY TIME
PERIOD. THE COURT MAY EXTEND SAID SIXTY DAY TIME PERIOD  SUA  SPONTE  IN
THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE, OR UPON GOOD CAUSE SHOWN BY ANY PARTY.
  RULE  3411.  MANDATORY  SETTLEMENT  CONFERENCE  IN  CERTAIN  INSURANCE
ACTIONS. IN ANY ACTION INVOLVING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR  DAMAGES  OCCUR-
RING  TO  PROPERTY IN A COUNTY WHERE A STATE DISASTER EMERGENCY HAS BEEN
DECLARED BY THE GOVERNOR PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT OF THE  EXECU-
TIVE  LAW  RELATING TO ANY CLAIM ARISING FROM THE CAUSE OF SUCH DECLARA-
TION, THE COURT SHALL HOLD  A  MANDATORY  SETTLEMENT  CONFERENCE  WITHIN
FOURTEEN  DAYS  AFTER  A NOTE OF ISSUE HAS BEEN FILED FOR THE PURPOSE OF
HOLDING SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS PERTAINING TO SUCH INSURANCE CLAIMS.
  RULE 3412. MOTIONS IN CERTAIN INSURANCE ACTIONS.  (A)  NOTWITHSTANDING
SUBDIVISION  (A)  OF  RULE THIRTY-TWO HUNDRED TWELVE OF THIS CHAPTER, IN
ANY ACTION INVOLVING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR DAMAGES OCCURRING TO PROPER-
TY IN A COUNTY WHERE A STATE DISASTER EMERGENCY HAS BEEN DECLARED BY THE
GOVERNOR PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW  RELATING
TO  ANY  CLAIM ARISING FROM THE CAUSE OF SUCH DECLARATION, ALL PRE-TRIAL
MOTIONS SHALL BE MADE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER  THE  NOTE  OF  ISSUE  IS
FILED.
  (B) THIS RULE SHALL NOT APPLY TO CLAIMS INVOLVING REINSURANCE.
  S  2. Subdivision (a) of rule 3403 of the civil practice law and rules
is amended by adding a new paragraph 7 to read as follows:
  7. AN ACTION TO RECOVER DAMAGES RESULTING FROM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY IN A
COUNTY CAUSED BY A NATURAL DISASTER UPON DECLARATION OF A STATE DISASTER
EMERGENCY BY THE GOVERNOR PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT OF THE EXECU-
TIVE LAW RELATING TO ANY CLAIM ARISING FROM THE CAUSE OF  SUCH  DECLARA-
TION.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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