A New York appeals court on Wednesday ruled that a trial judge improperly dismissed a subrogation action brought by an auto insurer seeking to recover costs from a workers compensation insurer stemming from a work-related motor vehicle accident.
The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court determined that State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. should have been permitted to pursue subrogation against Amtrust North America Inc. over payments State Farm made to its insured for medical services.
State Farm’s policyholders were hurt in a no-fault auto accident in July 2018. Amtrust was directed by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board to pay for medical treatments, and State Farm argued it was entitled to fully recover no-fault benefits it had provided following the accident.
State Farm sued for unjust enrichment, but Amtrust sought to dismiss the complaint, claiming that the comp board had jurisdiction over the dispute. A trial judge agreed.
The appeals court said the trial judge should have referred the matter to the comp board instead of dismissing it entirely. It sent the case back to the trial court for further determination.