First Mercury Insurance v. 613 NY Inc.
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Judge Paul Crotty
First Mercury, which is not licensed in New York, retained Brooks Insurance Groupa wholesale broker to retail broker Worldwideto issue a liability policy to Hagivah. 613 NY Inc. was an additional insured. Third-party Ndreka was hurt in 2006, while working at a 613-managed building. He served his complaint on 613 on Nov. 23, 2007. 613 notified Worldwide on the 30th, and sent Brooks two forms on Dec. 3. One form identified Alea North America Specialty Insurance as insurer, the other First Mercury. Seeking declaratory judgment that it need not provide coverage, First Mercury argued that Ndreka's claim was untimely received, and not received from Brooks but rather Alea's third-party administrator. The court denied both sides judgment. Distinguishing Rockland Expo. v. Great Am. Assur., it found it possible to find the policy did not authorize Brooks as First Mercury's agent to receive notice. Further aspects of their operating relationship created factual issues as to Brooks' apparent authority as First Mercury's agent. On the one hand First Mercury received insurance policy applications through Brooks and used Brooks to collect premiums. On the other, Brooks lacked authority to bind or issue policies absent First Mercury's permission.