At the beginning of 2022, New York state enacted the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act (“CIDA”), imposing significant new burdens on defendants in civil ligation. We outlined the original provisions of the law in an earlier legal alert. New York has now amended the Act, scaling back many of the most onerous CIDA requirements and limiting opportunities for harassing and abusive discovery tactics. Among other changes, CIDA no longer applies retroactively to claims pending before December 31, 2021, and the requirement to produce details about other prior and pending litigation has been eliminated.
CIDA amended CPLR 3101(f), governing disclosure of insurance policy information by defendants in civil litigation, and had applied it retroactively. Originally, CIDA made disclosure of insurance policies automatic, imposed a client certification requirement, and included “applications for insurance,” which may detail a defendant’s litigation history, in the definition of insurance policies. CIDA would have opened the door for plaintiffs to obtain:
- Copies of potentially unrelated excess and umbrella policies
- The contact information for all assigned insurance and third-party administrator representatives
- Any lawsuits that have reduced/eroded, or that may reduce/erode the limits, including the caption, date of filing, and identity/contact information of the parties; and
- The amount of attorney fees that have reduced/eroded the limits, and the identity/address of any attorney receiving such fees
CIDA imposed an ongoing obligation to disclose updated information that continued for 60 days after settlement or entry of final judgment; updated disclosure had to occur within 30 days of receipt of new information. CIDA added new CPLR section 3122-b, which requires the defendant (i.e., the party) and counsel to certify the information provided pursuant to 3101(f) is accurate and complete.
Amended CIDA scales back these requirements. Under amended CIDA, within 90 days of answering a defendant must disclose copies of all policies, including primary, excess, and umbrella policies, that relate to the claims being litigated; contact information for one claims representative; and the current limits, accounting for erosion. Defendants need not disclose unrelated policies, insurance applications, the identity of prior and pending litigation that has eroded or could erode limits, or information about the amount of attorney fees paid, and to whom. Updated disclosure, if applicable, must occur at predetermined intervals: upon filing of the note of issue, when entering court-supervised settlement negotiations, when entering voluntary mediation, and when the case is called for trial. Amended CIDA leaves intact the CPLR section 3122-b certification requirement and obligation to provide updated disclosure for 60 days after settlement or final judgment.
Amended CIDA retains obligations new to defendants in civil litigation in New York: they must automatically disclose copies of related policies (although the law permits plaintiff to consent to receive only declaration pages, plaintiff may revoke that consent at any time) and residual limits within 90 days of answering. Additionally, disclosure must be certified by the client and the obligation to update disclosure continues for 60 days after settlement/judgment. However, amended CIDA dispenses with other burdens that were ripe for abuse and harassing litigation tactics, including an obligation to identify multiple claims personnel and detailed information about other prior and pending litigation, including itemizing the amount and recipient of associated attorney fees.
For more information, please contact Judi Abbott Curry at (212) 313-5404 / firstname.lastname@example.org, Abbie Eliasberg Fuchs at (212) 313-5408 / email@example.com, Daniel R. Strecker at (212) 912-3513 / firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Harris Beach attorney with whom you usually work.
This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.
Harris Beach has offices throughout New York State, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.