Castlepoint Ins. v. Anlovi Corp.

NEW YORK COUNTY
Insurance Law

New York Law Journal

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Justice Arthur Engoron

Building owner Anlovi was sued by the Oleh tenants for burns the children sustained while bathing. Superintendent Taylor was informed of the events, but neither he, nor building manager, Davis, or Anlovi informed insurer Castlepoint. The Olehs' attorney, Fuld, notified Anlovi of the events and requested his letter be forwarded to the liability carrier. Fuld later learned of Castlepoint, and notified it of the claims over a year later. Castlepoint disclaimed coverage alleging late notice. Castlepoint moved for summary judgment declaring it had no obligation to defend or indemnify Anlovi in the tort action. Insurance Law §3420(a)(3) permitted an injured party to notify an insurer of a claim, but such party must have acted diligently in attempting to learn the identify of the insurer and expeditiously notify it of the claim. The court found Fuld's letters over a five month period to Anlovi showed his hopes that an insurer existed, requesting Anlovi to notify it of the claim, yet never asked for the identity. The court also noted there was no indication Fuld ever attempted to obtain insurance information from Taylor, Davis, or any tenant, concluding the Olehs did not act diligently in notifying Castlepoint of the tort claim. Castlepoint's motion was granted.

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