Amendments to CPLR § 3101(f) now require the disclosure of voluminous information including insurance applications and information about other claims.
When Governor Kathy Hochul originally signed the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act on December 31, 2021, she also requested that the legislature enact amendments that would reduce the burden on litigants. On February 25, 2022, Gov. Hochul signed into law a variety of amendments that address some—but not all—of the concerns with New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CPLR) § 3101(f).
Among the most significant changes, the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act no longer applies to existing lawsuits, and the deadline to disclose insurance-related information in newly filed lawsuits has been extended from 60 to 90 days following the service of an answer. The amendments also provide important clarification regarding the scope of required disclosures. Specifically, a defendant need only disclose the insurance policy(ies) in place at the time of the loss that relate to the claim being litigated, and under which an insurer may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment in the lawsuit or to indemnify or reimburse payments made to satisfy the entry of final judgment. The information that must be disclosed has also been narrowed:
The amendments have also removed the ongoing obligation to ensure the accuracy of the disclosures. Instead, a defendant must update the disclosures at certain specified times: at the filing of the note of issue, when entering into any formal settlement negotiations conducted or supervised by the court, at a voluntary mediation, when the case is called for trial, and for 60 days after any settlement or entry of final judgment. Importantly, the amendments do not change CPLR § 3122-b, under which both the disclosing party and its attorneys must certify that the disclosures are accurate and complete.
Insureds who are current or potential defendants in New York state court should continue to be attuned to the burden and risks involved in complying with such requirements with the assistance of knowledgeable defense and insurance counsel.
To read our alert regarding the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act as originally enacted, click here.