Case Update: October 2004
Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal Of Broker Malpractice Action Defended By M&W’s Eric Harrison
In August the New Jersey Supreme Court decided President v. Jenkins, a combined insurance coverage and broker malpractice action in which Eric Harrison of our office originally obtained summary judgment on behalf of C&R Insurance Agency, which sold a Zurich- American malpractice policy to the defendant, Dr. Reginald Jenkins. In August 1997 Dr. Jenkins requested coverage with Zurich effective February 1, 1998 to succeed his coverage with Princeton, which was scheduled to lapse on that date. Because of financial difficulties Dr. Jenkins elected not to make his final premium payment to Princeton, causing coverage to lapse in October 1997. He committed alleged acts of malpractice in January 1998 and the coverage with Zurich did not begin until February 1998, leading to disclaimers by Princeton and Zurich and a declaratory judgment action filed by Dr. Jenkins and Ms. President, his injured patient.
The trial court entered summary judgment for both carriers as well as the C&R Agency, ruling that the policy terms were clear and well known to Dr. Jenkins, who by his own admission got what he paid for. A divided appellate panel affirmed. [MORE]