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Dismissal with prejudice is a viable disposition in a workers compensation primacy case

AR Med. Rehabilitation, P.C. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 2010 NY Slip Op 50708(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2010)

“…reversed without costs, the provision denying without prejudice defendant’s motion for summary judgment is stricken and defendant’s motion for summary judgment is remitted to the Civil Court to be held in abeyance pending a prompt application to the Workers’ Compensation Board for a determination of the parties’ rights under the Workers’ Compensation Law. In the event plaintiff fails to file proof with the Civil Court of such application within 90 days of the date of the order entered hereon, the Civil Court shall grant defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint unless plaintiff shows good cause why the complaint should not be dismissed.”

“In the instant case, contrary to plaintiff’s contention, defendant proffered sufficient evidence in admissible form of the alleged facts which gave rise to its contention that plaintiff’s assignor was acting as an employee at the time of the accident and that therefore workers’ compensation benefits were available (see e.g. Response Equip., Inc. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 15 Misc 3d 145[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 51176[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]; see also A.B. Med. Servs., PLLC v American Tr. Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 75 [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2009]; cf. Westchester Med. Ctr. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 60 AD3d 848 [2009]). This issue must be resolved in the first instance by the Board (see O’Rourke v Long, 41 NY2d 219, 225 [1976]; see also Infinity Health Prods., Ltd. v New York City Tr. Auth., 21 Misc 3d 136[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 52218[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2008]; Response Equip., Inc. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 15 Misc 3d 145[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 51176[U]).

Defendant’s motion should not have been denied without prejudice but, rather, should have been held in abeyance pending Board resolution. A prompt application to the Board, as set forth above, is required in order to determine the parties’ rights under the Workers’ Compensation Law (see LMK Psychological Serv., P.C. v American Tr. Ins. Co., 64 AD3d 752). Accordingly, we reverse the order, insofar as appealed from.”

Note that the remedy for failure to apply to the board is dismissal with prejudice.  This is a very severe remedy.