By Thomas M. Bona and Daniel O. Dietchweiler.
Court: United States District Court Northern District of New York
Judge: Hon. Brenda K. Sannes
Case Type: Action to recover funds paid for catastrophic loss
Caption: Citizens Insurance Company of America v. Risen Foods, LLC, Petr A. Tkach, Jason J. Tanner and Cristina Tanner
Index No.: 6:14-cv-00493-BKS-ATB
Decision Date: February 18, 2021
We defend cases every day, but when clients come to us and ask us to help them recover the money that they have paid for catastrophic losses, then that calls for a special set of skills. Although it may sound simple, it is not an easy task. Years can drag on, and an Insurance company’s zeal to recover the money they have paid can quickly fade like an old sunset. At PMT, we know how to shake the tree so that the apples quickly fall to the ground. What is needed is a plan agreed upon by the team and then aggressive concerted action undertaken to force slow-paying or non-paying carriers to cough up their share. A recent case shows why we do this so well for our clients.
PMT is frequently retained to seek recovery of funds from responsible third parties to offset catastrophic workers’ compensation losses. A young delivery driver sustained devastating injuries from a head-on collision with a bread (commercial) truck in a recently closed matter. The cognitive and medical injuries suffered by the client’s employee will require 24/7 care for the rest of his life. PMT created an action plan in coordination with the carrier, the TPA, and the insured’s risk manager. PMT kept the principals informed, supported the principals involved, and the team effort led to a successful outcome.
The first Coverage litigation, commenced by the bread truck’s commercial liability and excess carrier in federal court, initially favored a finding of coverage under Insurance Law 3420(d); after that, on appeal, the Second Circuit reversed, eliminating $3MM in coverage.
Returning to the action plan, PMT advised its principals that the insurance broker for the bread company failed to secure appropriate coverage. After a conflict check and an analysis of the bread company’s finances, PMT secured an assignment of the bread company’s rights against its broker and assisted in the second litigation, commenced in State Court, against the bread company’s insurance broker. The matter was initially removed to federal court, remanded back to state court. The case was settled with the broker’s Errors and Omissions insurer before the Appellate Division oral argument. The carrier, the TPA, and the risk manager for the insured were all satisfied with the result; PMT’s success in recovering sizable amounts for our clients on this complex matter resulted from a team effort.
PMT knows its clients in this matter appreciated receiving two sizable checks (their allocated proportion of the recovery). PMT knows this cost-effective result was achieved by developing an action plan, implementing the action plan, adjusting the action plan when needed, and always working as a team with the insurer, the TPA, and the insured’s risk manager. Should the need arise, PMT stands ready to facilitate the recovery of funds to mitigate catastrophic losses sustained by carriers and their self-insureds alike.
Should you have any questions, please call our office at (914) 703-6300 or contact:
Jeffrey T. Miller, Executive Partner
Thomas M. Bona, Partner