In New York City Transit Authority v. American Transit Insurance Company, 2022 NY Slip Op 07508 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 2022), Jones Jones LLC Partner Jackie Mancino was successful in obtaining an Appellate Division decision reversing the lower court’s order that would have prevented Jones Jones LLC client, The New York City Transit Authority, from recovering a $25,000 award in their favor. Jones Jones LLC’s handling of this matter began with the filing of a Loss Transfer claim in which the Transit Authority sought reimbursement for Workers’ Compensation benefits paid in lieu of No-Fault benefits arising from an employee’s injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. Following arbitration of the claim, Jones Jones LLC succeeded in securing an award of $25,000 for our client. However, the respondent insurer failed to issue payment.
In order to enforce the arbitration award, Partner Mancino filed a petition seeking to confirm the award and enter judgment for the outstanding amount. However, the lower court dismissed the petition based on a misapplication of the statute of limitations. Specifically, the lower court failed to properly apply Executive Order 202.8, which was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 20, 2020 in response to the Covid-19 public health crisis and included a provision tolling the specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action from said date through November 3, 2020, which was a span of 228 days. The lower court erroneously applied the toll as if it were merely a 228 day extension of the statute of limitations, thus finding that the statute of limitations expired 228 days after the toll was lifted on November 4, 2020, or on June 21, 2021. On appeal, Partner Mancino correctly argued that a toll is distinguishable from a mere extension because a toll essentially presses the pause button on the clock counting down the time within which a particular action must be taken. Thus, where the time period for taking action is tolled, the clock, which was paused by the toll, simply begins to run again when the toll is lifted. As such, in the case at bar, there were 350 days remaining on the applicable statute of limitations when the toll went into effect on March 20, 2020. As such, when the toll was lifted on November 4, 2020, there remained 350 days until the statute of limitations expired as opposed to 228 days.
The First Department agreed with Partner Mancino’s position on the issue, reversed the lower court’s decision and confirmed the arbitration award, which will allow Jones Jones LLC to pursue the full amount originally sought by our client. Contact the Jones Jones LLC Loss Transfer team at firstname.lastname@example.org