Zalma's Insurance Fraud Letter - October 15, 2021
Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter Volume 25, Number 20
Criminal Caused Suit on Policy to Drag on for More than Six Years
Court Finally Stopped an Unconscionable Level of Overlitigation
United States District Judge Gary R. Brown was faced with a legal dispute that, perhaps because the defendant was a criminal, went on for years without a final disposition. In Principal Life Insurance Company v. Jason P. Brand, No. CV 15-CV-3804, United States District Court, E.D. New York (September 29, 2021) the case was reduced to seven years on disputes that appeared to be relatively straightforward:
defendant Brand obtained a disability policy in early 2012 from plaintiff Principal Life, after being less than forthcoming about his health history.
In June 2014 – prior to the submission of Defendant’s disability claim on November 14, 2014 – the New York State Attorney General’s office raided Defendant’s offices, seizing his computers and physical files, leading to indictment on October 16, 2014 of Defendant and his businesses, DASO Development Corp. and Narco Freedom, Inc., for insurance fraud in the first degree and grand larceny in the second degree, charges to which defendant would plead guilty.
Defendant filed a disability claim based upon anxiety;
Principal Life, for its part, acted quickly and rescinded the policy and
Filed a declaratory relief action.
Proactive Insurer Has to Fight to Renew Judgment Against Convicted Fraudster
Insurer’s $7,870,557.89 Judgment Against Fraudster Stands
Insurer May Collect on Default Judgment Against Fraudster
In People of The State of California, ex rel. Interinsurance Exchange of The Automobile Club of Southern California v. Alex Semyon Mirsky, B297321, California Court of Appeals, Second District, Seventh Division (September 21, 2021) Alex Semyon Mirsky appealed from the superior court’s denial of a motion to vacate a 2013 renewal of a default judgment and the underlying default judgment.
In 2003 the superior court entered a default judgment of over $7.8 million against Mirsky. Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club of Southern California (Interinsurance Exchange) renewed the judgment in 2013, and in 2018 it mailed notice of the renewal to Mirsky at an address Interinsurance Exchange claimed was Mirsky’s last known address. Mirsky filed a motion to vacate the renewal of judgment, or, in the alterative, vacate the default judgment under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (d). The trial court denied the motion, concluding Mirsky’s motion to vacate the renewal of judgment was untimely and Mirsky failed to meet his burden to show the default judgment was void.
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© 2021 – Barry Zalma
Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders.
He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 54 years in the insurance business.
Subscribe to Excellence in Claims Handling at https://barryzalma.substack.com/welcome.
He is available at http://www.zalma.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine/ACE Legend Award. Over the last 53 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it possible for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals.
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