January 12, 2018

Greenway Med. Supply Corp. v American Tr. Ins. Co. (2018 NY Slip Op 50039(U))


The court considered the fact that the plaintiff was seeking to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits from an accident that occurred on April 19, 2010. The defendant argued that the action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata based on a previous court order. The main issue decided was whether the prior court order had collateral estoppel effect and whether the subsequent order corrected the date of the accident. The holding of the case was that the April 3, 2013 court order did not have res judicata effect as it was vacated by a subsequent order. The court also held that the subsequent order, which corrected the accident date, was a conclusive final determination, and res judicata applied. The court affirmed the previous order granting the defendant's cross motion for summary judgment.

Reported in New York Official Reports at Greenway Med. Supply Corp. v American Tr. Ins. Co. (2018 NY Slip Op 50039(U))


Greenway Medical Supply Corp., as Assignee of Pittman Shameeka, Appellant,


American Transit Ins. Co., Respondent.

The Rybak Firm, PLLC (Damin J. Toell, Esq.), for appellant. Law Office of Daniel J. Tucker, for respondent (no brief filed).

Appeal from an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Richard Montelione, J.), entered October 8, 2015. The order granted defendant’s cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and denied, as academic, plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, with $25 costs.

In this action by a provider to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits arising out of an accident which occurred on April 19, 2010, plaintiff moved for summary judgment. Defendant cross-moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground that the action is barred by the doctrine of res judicata, in that, by order entered April 3, 2013 on default, the Supreme Court, New York County, found that defendant is not obligated to honor or pay claims for reimbursement to the assignor and provider herein, among others, which had no rights “with respect to the April 20 [sic], 2010 alleged accident.” Plaintiff opposed defendant’s cross motion solely on the ground that the Supreme Court’s order had no collateral estoppel effect, as it had been entered on default. In reply papers, defendant proffered a subsequent order of the Supreme Court, dated April 2, 2015, which “vacated, resettled and corrected” the April 3, 2013 order to indicate that the date of the accident at issue was April 19, 2010. By order entered October 8, 2015, the Civil Court granted defendant’s cross motion based on res judicata and denied plaintiff’s motion as academic. Plaintiff argues, for the first time on appeal, that the April [*2]3, 2013 Supreme Court order has no preclusive effect because it applies to an accident on April 20, 2010, whereas the accident at issue in this case occurred on April 19, 2010. Plaintiff further argues that the “revised” April 2, 2015 order should not be considered as it was first submitted in reply papers.

The April 3, 2013 Supreme Court order did not have res judicata effect, as that order was vacated by the April 2, 2015 order. However, the April 2, 2015 order, which was attached to defendant’s reply papers, replaced the April 3, 2013 order and set forth the correct accident date of April 19, 2010, and a court “may, in general, take judicial notice of matters of public record” (Headley v New York City Tr. Auth., 100 AD3d 700, 701 [2012]). Furthermore, contrary to plaintiff’s contention, the April 2, 2015 Supreme Court order is a conclusive final determination, notwithstanding that it was entered on default, and res judicata applies to an order taken by default which has not been vacated (see Lazides v P & G Enters., 58 AD3d 607 [2009]; Matter of Allstate Ins. Co. v Williams, 29 AD3d 688 [2006]; Matter of Eagle Ins. Co. v Facey, 272 AD2d 399 [2000]; Ava Acupuncture P.C. v NY Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 34 Misc 3d 149[A], 2012 NY Slip Op 50233[U] [App Term, 2d Dept, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2012]).

Accordingly, we do not disturb the Civil Court’s order granting defendant’s cross motion (see EBM Med. Health Care, P.C. v Republic W. Ins., 38 Misc 3d 1 [App Term, 2d Dept, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2012]), as any judgment in favor of plaintiff in the present action would destroy or impair rights or interests established by the judgment in the declaratory judgment action (see Schuylkill Fuel Corp. v Nieberg Realty Corp., 250 NY 304, 306-307 [1929]; Flushing Traditional Acupuncture, P.C. v Kemper Ins. Co., 42 Misc 3d 133[A], 2014 NY Slip Op 50052[U] [App Term, 2d Dept, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2014]).

Accordingly, the order is affirmed.

ELLIOT, J.P., PESCE and ALIOTTA, JJ., concur.

Paul Kenny
Chief Clerk
Decision Date: January 12, 2018