Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PA Means Public Adjuster. PIA Means...

Public Ins. Adjusters of N.Y., Ltd. v. Valvik

(App. Term, 2nd Dept., decided 2/6/2009)

...Public Insurance Adjusters of New York, Ltd.  What were you thinking?  Professional Insurance Agents Association?  Something else?

Plaintiff sued its customer presumably for the recovery of its contingent public adjusters' compensation fee.  At a non-jury trial of this action, plaintiff submitted its contract with the defendant, which prominently bore plaintiff's corporate license number PA-873158, and plaintiff's vice-president testified that that plaintiff was a "New York Limited" liability corporation.  The Richmond Civil trial judge mistook the PA- prefix in plaintiff's license number as meaning that plaintiff was licensed in Pennsylvania and not New York and dismissed the action.  The PA- prefix, however, meant public adjuster, not Pennsylvania.

The Appellate Term reversed and ordered a new trial, holding that "[t]here was no basis whatsoever in the record for the court's conclusion that plaintiff was not licensed in New York."

On the retrial, plaintiff would be well served to bring a copy of its actual New York adjusting license and study up on what "Ltd." means.  Know thyself.

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