MELVILLE, NY (July 27, 2017) – Bruno, Gerbino & Soriano (BG&S) LLP is pleased to announce that firm partner Nathan Shapiro secured a win in June for its client in the Matter of Allstate Insurance Company vs. [Almeta] Howell, an appeal heard and decided by the Appellate Division, First Department.

“It was a unique case,” said Shapiro who was promoted to partner status at the beginning of the year after starting with the firm in 2011. The case concluded with a decision in favor of Allstate when the Appellate Division held that the claimant had waived her right to arbitrate the claims by engaging in litigation in South Carolina before switching forums to New York. “We were happy to be able to stay the arbitration on behalf of Allstate because the claimant failed to comply with the terms of her agreement with Allstate.”

The case initially began in 2011 as a petition to stay underinsured motorist arbitration commenced in New York since the South Carolina policy issued by Allstate did not require mandatory arbitration. The claimant agreed to withdraw the arbitration demand and to proceed in South Carolina. Subsequently, she then returned to New York and attempted to compel Allstate to arbitrate. Allstate sought a stay based on her earlier agreement. The final decision to stay the arbitration in favor of BG&S’s client, Allstate, was made on June 6, 2017 after a successful appeal.

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in New York State is mandatory. Prior to October 1993, insurance carriers prepared their own UM and Underinsurance (UIM) endorsements that often culminated into significant differences. Under this old approach, a potential gap in coverage could exist.

To remedy this shortfall, the Insurance Department prepared a prescribed policy form, the Supplementary Uninsured Motorist (SUM) endorsement that affords both UM and UIM protection, meaning that an insured is able to protect himself and his family. This unified endorsement allows both uninsured and underinsured motorist protection for accidents that occur in the United States or Canada.

Shapiro, who is in charge of the appellate practice at BG&S, regularly tries cases involving no-fault, personal injury and declaratory judgment actions. His work also involves affirmative litigation to combat healthcare fraud as well as legal research and motion drafting.

Shapiro, a New York native, received a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University in 2011 and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science, magna cum laude, from Stony Brook University in 2008.

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