IN RE: UNITED SERVICES AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

IN RE: UNITED SERVICES AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, appellant, v. Jane DeROSA, et al., respondents.

Decided: January 30, 2007

REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., ROBERT A. SPOLZINO, DAVID S. RITTER, and DANIEL D. ANGIOLILLO, JJ. Neil L. Kanzer, Garden City, N.Y. (Steven T. Farmer of counsel), for appellant. Schwartzapfel, Novick, Truhowsky & Marcus, P.C. (Alexander J. Wulwick, New York, N.Y., of counsel), for respondents.

In a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 75 to stay arbitration of claims for uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits, United Services Automobile Association Property and Casualty Insurance Company appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Burke, J.), dated July 6, 2006, which denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, with costs.

Contrary to the appellant's contention, the respondents' demands for arbitration of their claims for uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits were not served in a manner intended to conceal their nature or to precipitate a default (cf. Matter of Nationwide Ins. Co. v. Singh, 6 A.D.3d 441, 776 N.Y.S.2d 291;  Matter of American Sec. Ins. Co. [Tabacchi ], 95 A.D.2d 808, 463 N.Y.S.2d 529;  Rider Ins. Co. v. Marino, 84 A.D.2d 832, 444 N.Y.S.2d 188).   Accordingly, since the appellant otherwise failed to seek a stay of arbitration within the relevant 20-day period, its petition was properly denied as untimely (see CPLR 7503[c];  Matter of Steck [State Farm Ins. Co.], 89 N.Y.2d 1082, 659 N.Y.S.2d 839, 681 N.E.2d 1285;  Matter of Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Castillo-Gomez, 34 A.D.3d 477, 824 N.Y.S.2d 159).

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