East Coast CM Report of Recent Decisions – 2021 Volume 3

October 22, 2021 / CM Reports

New Jersey Appellate Court Refuses To Reform Insurance Policy To Reflect The Owner As An Additional Insured

In Affiliated FM Ins. v. Rothschild Realty I, L.P., 2021 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1661(Super Ct App Div Aug. 6, 2021), the New Jersey Appellate Court had to address whether a property owner met the high burden required to reform an insurance policy, which it claimed was necessary due to a mutual mistake between the insured and the carrier. In particular, the owner sought to reform the portion of the policy that did not list the owner as the additional insured under the tenant’s policy.

Business Owed No Duty Of Care To Plaintiff Who Was Struck By Van Door As No Relationship Existed Between The Property Owner And The Tortfeasor

One of the main issues that a defendant has to determine in a tort case is whether it had a duty to the injured plaintiff since as it is often said: “no duty, no liability.” In the context of a premises liability matter, the property owner owes a duty to persons who are lawfully on its property. If there is no duty owed to the plaintiff, then liability cannot be attached to the property owner. Very often, duty is attached if the plaintiff demonstrated a degree of control over the instrumentality or individual that caused the accident.

New York Appellate Division Enforces Time Limitation Provision In Homeowners Policy

In Avery v. WJM Dev. Corp., 2021 NY Slip Op 04961 (App. Div., 2d Dep’t., September 15, 2021), the Appellate Division held the trial court correctly determined that the insureds’ action against their insurer was time-barred because a homeowners insurance policy provision provided the action had to be commenced within two years after the occurrence causing loss or damage. The insureds filed suit six years after the fire. 

Massachusetts Court Of Appeals Vacates Trial Decision Because Judge Informed Jury That An Insurance Company Was The Real Party-In-Interest

In Antoniadis v. Basnight, 99 Mass. App. Ct. 172, 164 N.E.3d 206 (2021), Plaintiff George Antoniadis’ (“Antoniadis”) home renovations ended in flames when a subcontractor hired to finish his floors left oil-soaked rags in a bucket which spontaneously combusted. Mr. Antoniadis’ insurance carrier, Amica Mutual Insurance Company (“Amica”), brought a subrogation claim against the subcontractor and the contractor hired to perform the renovations, after settling Antoniadis’ insurance claims. Id., 99 Mass. at *173. Amica originally filed the Complaint in its own name, but later removed its name and substituted in that of Antoniadis, in accordance with Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 17(a). Id. 

No Hoist Here: Second Department Rules Collateral Estoppel Bars Plaintiff’s Workers’ Compensation Claim Of Elevator Injury

In Lennon v. 56th and Park (NY) Owner, LLC, et al., 2021 NY Slip Op 04972 (App. Div., 2d Dept., September 15, 2021), the Second Department affirmed a lower court decision granting Defendants’ motion, pursuant to CPLR 3025(b), for leave to amend their Answer to include the affirmative defense of collateral estoppel, and thereupon, for summary judgment dismissing the second Amended Complaint.

  • Chicago

    Illinois 60603

    10 South LaSalle Street

    Chicago, Illinois 60603

    T: 312.855.1010 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Dennis D. Fitzpatrick

  • New York

    New York 10005

    28 Liberty Street 39th Floor

    New York, New York 10005

    T: 212.805.3900 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 212.805.3939 Office Managing Partner: Carl M. Perri

  • Mission Viejo

    California 92691

    27285 Las Ramblas

    Suite 200

    Mission Viejo, California 92691

    T: 949.260.3100 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 949.260.3190 Office Managing Partner: Ian R. Feldman

  • Florham Park

    New Jersey 07932

    100 Campus Drive

    Florham Park, New Jersey 07932

    T: 973.410.4130 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 973.410.4169 Office Managing Partner: Carl M. Perri

  • Michigan City

    Indiana 46360

    200 Commerce Square

    Michigan City, Indiana 46360

    T: 219.262.6106 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partners: Paige M. Neel, Kimbley A. Kearney

  • Appleton

    Wisconsin 54914

    4650 W. Spencer Street

    Appleton, Wisconsin 54914

    T: 920.560.4658 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 920.968.4650 Office Managing Partner: Patrick L. Breen

  • Stamford

    Connecticut 06902

    68 Southfield Avenue

    2 Stamford Landing Suite 100

    Stamford, Connecticut 06902

    T: 203.921.0303 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 212.805.3939 Office Managing Partner: Matthew J. Van Dusen

  • Tampa

    Florida 33609

    4830 West Kennedy Boulevard, One Urban Center

    Suite 600

    Tampa, Florida 33609

    T: 813.509.2578 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Dennis D. Fitzpatrick

  • San Francisco

    California 94111

    100 Pine Street

    Suite 1250

    San Francisco, California 94111

    T: 415.745.3598 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 949.260.3190 Office Managing Partner: Ian R. Feldman

  • Houston

    Texas 77019

    2929 Allen Parkway

    American General Center, Suite 200

    Houston, Texas 77019

    T: 346.229.4612 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Ramy P. Elmasri

  • Boca Raton

    Florida 33434

    7777 Glades Road

    Suite 405

    Boca Raton, Florida 33434

    T: 561.765.5305 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Dennis D. Fitzpatrick