As 2006 draws to a close, the Appellate Dvision, 2d Department has given us one of the most important no-fault decisions of the year. In Stephen Fogel Psychological, P.C. v Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., 2006 NY Slip Op 09604 (App. Div, 2d Dep't, 2006), a unanimous Court overturned that portion of the prior Appellate Term, 2d Dep't decision that held that an assignor's failure to appear for an independent medical examination ("IME") prior to the subject services having been rendered results only in a rebuttal of the presumption of medical necessity in the favor of the plaintiff provider. Instead, although agreeing with the concurrence/dissent of Golia, J. in the App. Term Fogel case and the Appellate Term, 1st Department decision in Inwood Hill Med., P.C. v General Assur. Co., 2005 NYSlipOp 25437 (App. Term, 1st Dep't, 2005), the App. Div. has gone even further. They now hold that failure to appear at an IME is a violation of a condition precedent to no-fault coverage, regardless of when the no-show occurred as compared with the date(s) of service of a given claim. Indeed, the App. Div. now holds that a carrier may deny claims "retroactively to the date of loss" when a no-show occurs.
This has numerous potential implications. A denial of coverage retroactive to the date of the loss should render the defense one that survives preclusion regardless of whether it is preserved in a timely denial of claim form. See generally, Central General v. Chubb, 90 N.Y.2d 195 (1997). Other explicit conditions precedent to coverage listed in the PIP Endorsement (11 NYCRR § 65-1.1) should also be subject to the same rule.