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Lack of Notice Not Excused By Failure to Keep Address Current

January 26, 2011

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In <i>SP &amp; S Assoc., LLC v. Insurance Co. of Greater N.Y.</i>, the plaintiff-insured did not provide notice of a personal injury action to its insurer until receipt of a motion for a default judgment some five and a half months after service of process on the Secretary of State. The plaintiff did not actually receive a copy of the summons with notice, due to its failure to keep its address currently with the Secretary of State.
In reversing the lower court and granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss the declaratory judgment action, the First Department found that the plaintiff-insured failed to notify the defendant-insurer of an occurrence which might result in a claim “as soon as practicable,” as required by the insurance policy. It reasoned that although the plaintiff-insured did not receive a copy of the summons with notice, its failure to update its address with the Secretary of State was not an excuse for noncompliance with the notice requirements of the policy.
Thanks to Gabriel Darwick for his contribution to this post.
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