Thursday, October 14, 2021

Court-Ordered Discovery in Aid of SUM Arbitration Denied

MATTER OF ARBITRATION OF ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, 2021 NY Slip Op 5418 - NY: Appellate Div., 4th Dept. 2021 - Google Scholar

Justice delayed is justice denied, some say.

So can discovery in a SUM (supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorists) coverage claim, apparently.  

In this case, the Fourth Department AFFRIMED the denial of Allstate's petition to stay arbitration of its insured's SUM claim because "the record here establishes that '[Allstate] had ample time...within which to seek discovery of the respondent insured as provided for in the insurance policy, and unjustifiably failed to utilize that opportunity' to obtain the discovery now sought."

The appellate court also agreed that Allstate had made no showing that the discovery allowed in arbitration would be inadequate to establish its case.

Finally, the court held that "[t]o the extent that [Allstate] argues that respondent's demand for arbitration was premature inasmuch as respondent had not complied with the terms of the endorsement for SUM coverage, that argument is not properly before us because [Allstate] failed to raise it before the [lower] court [on its petition]."  One of the basic tenets of appellate practice is that issues not raised and argued to the motion or trial court generally may not be raised and argued on appeal.  

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