Promed Durable Equip., Inc. v GEICO Ins.

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[*1] Promed Durable Equip., Inc. v GEICO Ins. 2013 NY Slip Op 51376(U) Decided on August 16, 2013 Appellate Term, Second Department Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431. This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on August 16, 2013
SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 2d, 11th and 13th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS
PRESENT: : PESCE, P.J., ALIOTTA and SOLOMON, JJ
2012-92 K C.

Promed Durable Equipment, Inc. as Assignee of LUIS ABREU, Respondent,

against

GEICO Insurance, Appellant.

Appeal from an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Robin Kelly Sheares, J.), entered October 6, 2011. The order, insofar as appealed from, denied defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and found, in effect, that plaintiff had established, for all purposes in the action, the submission of the bills and the fact and amount of the loss sustained.


ORDERED that the order, insofar as appealed from, is reversed, with $30 costs, and defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is granted; and it is further,

ORDERED that on the court's own motion, Jonathan R. Vitarelli, Esq., Ilona Finkelshteyn, Esq., and counsel for defendant are directed to show cause why an order should or should not be made and entered imposing such sanctions and costs, if any, against Jonathan R. Vitarelli, Esq., and Ilona Finkelshteyn, Esq., pursuant to Rules of the Chief Administrator (22 NYCRR) § 130-1.1 (c) as this court may deem appropriate, by each filing an affidavit or [*2]affirmation on that issue in the office of the Clerk of this court and serving a copy on the others on or before October 4, 2013; and it is further,

ORDERED that the Clerk of this court, or his designee, is directed to serve a copy of this decision and order to show cause by regular mail upon Jonathan R. Vitarelli, Esq., Ilona Finkelshteyn, Esq., and counsel for defendant.

In this action by a provider to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits, defendant appeals from so much of an order of the Civil Court as denied defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and stated that the only issue for trial was the medical necessity of the supplies at issue (see CPLR 3212 [g]).

Insofar as is relevant to this appeal, defendant submitted affirmed peer review reports, each of which set forth a factual basis and medical rationale for the conclusion that there was a lack of medical necessity for the services at issue. Since plaintiff has not challenged the Civil Court's finding, in effect, that defendant is otherwise entitled to judgment, defendant established its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment (see Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Integon Natl. Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 136[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51502[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 18 Misc 3d 128[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 52455[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]; A. Khodadadi Radiology, P.C. v NY Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 16 Misc 3d 131[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 51342[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]). Defendant's showing that the supplies at issue were not medically necessary was unrebutted by plaintiff (see Pan Chiropractic, P.C. v Mercury Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 136[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51495[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]). Consequently, defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint should have been granted.

Where a respondent submits an appellate brief, it shall include, pursuant to CPLR 5528, respondent's appellate argument (see Rules of App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists [22 NYCRR] § 731.2 [a]). Sanctions and costs may be imposed against an attorney or party to the litigation, or both, for engaging in frivolous conduct (Rules of the Chief Administrator [22 NYCRR] § 130-1.1). We note generally that rule 3.3 (f) (2) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) provides that "[i]n appearing as a lawyer before a tribunal, a lawyer shall not . . . engage in undignified or discourteous conduct" (see also Galasso, Langione & Botter, LLP v Galasso, 89 AD3d 897, 899 [2011]). We further note that rule 5.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) governs the responsibilities of law firms, partners, managers and supervisory lawyers. In the instant case, the brief submitted on respondent's behalf contained, among other things, pages denominated "Table of Authorities" and "Summary of the Argument" that merely state that these pages were "left blank intentionally." The "Question Presented" stated only "WHAT'S A BOY TO DO?" The remainder of the respondent's brief did not address the facts of this case or interpose any specific argument as to why the order from which defendant appealed should be affirmed. Based upon the above, and other statements in the respondent's brief, we order Jonathan R. Vitarelli, Esq., Ilona Finkelshteyn, Esq., and counsel for defendant, to show cause why an order should or should not be made and entered imposing sanctions and costs, if any, against Jonathan R. Vitarelli, Esq., and Ilona Finkelshteyn, Esq.

Accordingly, the order, insofar as appealed from, is reversed, defendant's cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is granted and, on the court's own motion, Jonathan R. Vitarelli, Esq., Ilona Finkelshteyn, Esq., and counsel for defendant, are directed to show cause [*3]why an order should or should not be made and entered imposing such sanctions and costs, if any, against Jonathan R. Vitarelli, Esq., and Ilona Finkelshteyn, Esq., pursuant to Rules of the Chief Administrator (22 NYCRR) § 130-1.1 (c) as this court may deem appropriate, by each filing an affidavit or affirmation on that issue in the office of the Clerk of this court and serving a copy on the others on or before October 4, 2013.

Pesce, P.J., Aliotta and Solomon, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: August 16, 2013