December 20, 2019

Fishkin Lucks Wins Before New York Appellate Division

The Firm won an appeal on behalf of its client, a life insurance company, before the First Department of New York’s Appellate Division.  The Firm had prevailed at the trial level on its motion to dismiss a complaint brought by the owner of two life insurance policies with a combined death benefit of $5 million.  The policies’ owner sought to rescind the policies, based on purported misrepresentations and omissions made before he purchased them on the secondary market. Among other things, he also sought (i) a declaratory judgment that the Firm’s client be required to pay the death benefits on the policies when the insured died, even if the Firm’s client later found that the owner had engaged in fraud, and (ii) mandatory injunctive relief requiring the Firm’s client to explain to the owner how premiums on the policies were calculated.  The First Department adopted each of the Firm's arguments, including that (i) the fraud claim was time barred, (ii) the declaratory judgment claim was not ripe where the Firm’s client had not taken a position on whether it intended to pay the death benefits on the policies, and (iii) the claim for mandatory injunctive relief was inappropriate where monetary relief was available.