Electronic Signature Permitted by Defense Doctors; Accident Victim Beats Defense Summary Judgment on No-Fault "Serious Injury" Anyway

Case: Martin v. Portexit Corp.

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York

Date: June 21, 2012

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Brooklyn and Queens; Queens accident attorney)

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RELATED POSTS:

DEFENSE NO-FAULT "SERIOUS INJURY" THRESHOLD SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION NICELY DEFEATED BY ACCIDENT VICTIM

PLAINTIFF WHO QUIT MEDICAL TREATMENT LOSES TO DEFENSE NO-FAULT "SERIOUS INJURY" THRESHOLD MOTION

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Facts: Car accident victim opposes a defense summary judgment motion alleging the accident victim=s ability to breach New York State's No-Fault "serious injury" threshold.

The lower court granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's complaint.

The defense doctors submitted affirmations opposing the plaintiff's position. However, the affirmations were signed "electronically." Is this permitted is the question in this case.

So, do our Courts enter the 21st Century?

Held: New York State Technology Law permits the use of electronic signatures. The Court also addressed the merits of the defense motion.

Plaintiff claimed injuries to his: (a) cervical spine, (b) right shoulder, (c) right knee, and, (d) neck.

The defense neurologist and orthopedist reported normal ranges of motion of those body parts.

The defense radiologist read the accident victims' cervical spine and knee MRIs as normal, and his lumbar MRI as showing only age-related changes and nothing from the accident.

The accident victim's physicians reported diminished ranges of motion in all his affected body parts. Plaintiff's radiologist diagnosed a meniscus tear in plaintiff's knee and bulging and herniated discs. Naturally, plaintiff's doctors related all these injuries to his accident.

Thus there is an issue of fact as to whether plaintiff suffered a "serious injury" and he partially beats the defense summary judgment motion.

The accident victim's "90/180" claim is dismissed as he submitted no proof from his employer.

Comment: A "gap" in this accident victim's treatment was NOT fatal to his case because he explain it away. The Court accepted that he had reached "maximum benefit." In lay person's language, this means that his No-Fault insurance coverage was cancelled, and he stopped treating because his doctors would not be paid.

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