Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mutual Insurance Company, 501503.

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Writing for the CourtLahtinen
Citation40 A.D.3d 1177,2007 NY Slip Op 03816,834 N.Y.S.2d 736
Docket Number501503.
Decision Date03 May 2007
PartiesTOWN OF MASSENA, Plaintiff, v. HEALTHCARE UNDERWRITERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff-Respondent. MASSENA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL et al., Third-Party Defendants-Appellants.
40 A.D.3d 1177
834 N.Y.S.2d 736
2007 NY Slip Op 03816
TOWN OF MASSENA, Plaintiff,
v.
HEALTHCARE UNDERWRITERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff-Respondent.
MASSENA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL et al., Third-Party Defendants-Appellants.
501503.
Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Third Department.
Decided May 3, 2007.

[40 A.D.3d 1178]

Appeal from an order of the Supreme Court (Demarest, J.), entered November 2, 2005 in St. Lawrence County, which, upon renewal, granted defendant and third-party plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.

LAHTINEN, J.


The facts in this declaratory judgment action involving insurance coverage are set forth more fully in earlier appeals (281 AD2d 107 [2001], mod 98 NY2d 435 [2002] [hereinafter referred to as Massena I and Massena II, respectively]). The underlying action, which is pending in federal court, is explained in decisions from that court (Franzon v Massena Mem. Hosp., 977 F Supp 160 [ND NY 1997]; see Franzon v Massena Mem. Hosp., 89 F Supp 2d 270, 273 [ND NY 2000] [providing citations to reported decisions in the underlying action]). Briefly, in 1997, Olof Franzon, a physician, and his professional corporation (hereinafter the Franzon plaintiffs) commenced the underlying federal court action alleging several causes of action against Massena Memorial Hospital, its governing committees and members of the committees (hereinafter the Franzon defendants). The Franzon plaintiffs contended that, in retaliation for Franzon having advocated an enhanced role for nurse-midwives at the hospital, the Franzon defendants engaged in tortious conduct including defamation, violation of civil rights, interference with business relations and interference with contract.

In 1998, plaintiff commenced the current action against, among others, Healthcare Underwriters Mutual Insurance Company (hereinafter HUM), Federal Insurance Company and Physicians Reciprocal Insurers seeking to require them to defend and indemnify the Franzon defendants. HUM then brought a third-party action against the Franzon defendants. As is relevant here, several of these insurers eventually moved for summary judgment asserting no coverage because the underlying action was premised upon intentional conduct by the Franzon defendants. Although Supreme Court determined that these three insurers were not entitled to summary judgment, we held in Massena I that they were. The Court of Appeals, however, granted leave and modified, holding that HUM had a duty to defend. In its decision, the Court of Appeals noted that HUM's contract with the hospital involved three policies: the personal injury liability (hereinafter PIL) policy, the hospital professional liability (hereinafter HPL) policy, and the comprehensive general liability (hereinafter CGL) policy. Since it found that HUM had a duty to defend under the PIL policy, it was "unnecessary for [the Court] to discuss the HPL and the CGL policies" (98 NY2d 435, 446 [2002]).

40 A.D.3d 1179

Thereafter, the Franzon plaintiffs stipulated to discontinue all of their causes of action in the underlying federal suit except the one premised on the 1st Amendment and 42 USC § 1983, which asserted Franzon's civil rights had been violated through a concerted campaign of retaliation and harassment to punish him for his comments. This discontinuance prompted HUM to renew its motion for summary judgment arguing that the discontinued causes of action extinguished the basis for the Court of Appeals' holding and revived this Court's dismissal in Massena I as to HUM. In opposition, the Franzon defendants submitted, among other things, affidavits from their peer review committee members denying any intent to injure Franzon. Supreme Court, concluding that the portions of our decision in Massena I not modified by the Court of Appeals remained the law of the case, granted HUM's motion. The Franzon defendants...

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16 practice notes
  • Town of Verona v. Cuomo, No. 4624–13.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • June 27, 2014
    ...v. Chapman, 53 A.D.3d 900, 863 N.Y.S.2d 97 [3rd Dept., 2008], at 901, quoting Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mut. Ins. Co., 40 A.D.3d 1177, 1179 [2007], and citing Webster v. Ragona, 51 A.D.3d 1128, 1131–1132 [2008] and Beneke v. Town of Santa Clara, 45 A.D.3d 1164, 1165 [2007],......
  • Delgado v. City of N.Y.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • September 27, 2016
    ...where there previously was a full and fair opportunity to address the issue' (Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mut. Ins. Co., 40 A.D.3d 1177, 1179, 834 N.Y.S.2d 736 [2007]; see also Matter of Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co. v. Lauria, 291 A.D.2d 492, 493, 739 N.Y.S.2d 394 [2002]).' "In man......
  • People v. Aleynikov, 0447/12
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • August 14, 2018
    ...in controlling legal authority following a judicial decision. Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mutual Insurance Company , 40 A.D.3d 1177, 1179, 834 N.Y.S.2d 736 (3d Dept. 2007) ; Brownrigg v. New York City Housing Authority , 29 A.D.3d 721, 815 N.Y.S.2d 681 (2d Dept. 2006) ; Seltz......
  • Bridge Metal Indus., L.L.C. v. Travelers Indem. Co., Case No. 10–CV–5235 (KMK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 7, 2011
    ...in evaluating the duty to defend) (internal quotation marks omitted); Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mut. Ins. Co., 40 A.D.3d 1177, 834 N.Y.S.2d 736, 739–40 (2007) (noting that “a party's characterization of the causes of action alleged in a complaint are not controlling as [the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Town of Verona v. Cuomo, No. 4624–13.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • June 27, 2014
    ...v. Chapman, 53 A.D.3d 900, 863 N.Y.S.2d 97 [3rd Dept., 2008], at 901, quoting Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mut. Ins. Co., 40 A.D.3d 1177, 1179 [2007], and citing Webster v. Ragona, 51 A.D.3d 1128, 1131–1132 [2008] and Beneke v. Town of Santa Clara, 45 A.D.3d 1164, 1165 [2007],......
  • Delgado v. City of N.Y.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • September 27, 2016
    ...where there previously was a full and fair opportunity to address the issue' (Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mut. Ins. Co., 40 A.D.3d 1177, 1179, 834 N.Y.S.2d 736 [2007]; see also Matter of Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co. v. Lauria, 291 A.D.2d 492, 493, 739 N.Y.S.2d 394 [2002]).' "In man......
  • People v. Aleynikov, 0447/12
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • August 14, 2018
    ...in controlling legal authority following a judicial decision. Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mutual Insurance Company , 40 A.D.3d 1177, 1179, 834 N.Y.S.2d 736 (3d Dept. 2007) ; Brownrigg v. New York City Housing Authority , 29 A.D.3d 721, 815 N.Y.S.2d 681 (2d Dept. 2006) ; Seltz......
  • Bridge Metal Indus., L.L.C. v. Travelers Indem. Co., Case No. 10–CV–5235 (KMK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 7, 2011
    ...in evaluating the duty to defend) (internal quotation marks omitted); Town of Massena v. Healthcare Underwriters Mut. Ins. Co., 40 A.D.3d 1177, 834 N.Y.S.2d 736, 739–40 (2007) (noting that “a party's characterization of the causes of action alleged in a complaint are not controlling as [the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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