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In the NDNC Neurological Treatment Center, Inc. vs. United Automobile Insurance Company, the defendant was seeking a judgment in accordance with the directed verdict, or in the alternative, a new trial based on the allegedly incorrect jury instructions. Ultimately, the court denied the motion, reasoning that the instructions were proper to begin with and that the defendant failed to make a timely objection. The instructions at issue stated that it was not necessary to have expert medical testimony for the plaintiff to provide proof of the necessary medical expenses. The decision would ultimately be left to the jury to determine if the requested expenses were necessary.
The court reasoned that because the parties filed their Joint Pretrial Stipulation on July 15, 2008 and were provided with the jury instructions in advance, objecting to said instructions on the day of trial was deemed untimely, and hence, the defendant’s motion overruled. The court further reasoned that even if the defendant had set forth a timely objection to the instructions, the court would not have sided with the defendant, as the initial instructions were proper to begin with.
Personal Injury Protection Cases
Quantum Imaging Holdings, LLC a/a/o Glenis Jimenez vs. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
In Quantum Imaging Holdings, LLC a/a/o Glenis Jimenez vs. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Nathan Avrunin represented the Plaintiff. The defendant motioned for the case to be dismissed due to failure of a copy of the written Assignment of Benefits of Glenis Jimenez’s complaints not being attached.
In accordance to Rule 1.130, Mr. Avrunin argued it is not required for the Plaintiff to attach a written Assignment of Benefits.
The court ordered for the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss be denied. The court also ordered for the Defendant to file an answer and defense within 20 days of the date order.
Quantum Imaging Holding, LLC a/a/o Efrem Summerset, Plaintiff, vs. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Company
In Quantum Imaging Holding, LLC a/a/o Efrem Summerset, Plaintiff, vs. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Company, Nathan represented the Plaintiff. The Defendant failed to appear at a small claims pretrial conference that took place on February 28. 2012. The Defendant’s argued they were not made aware of the pretrial until May 31, 2012 but failed to provide proper explanation as to why they failed to be informed until such a late date.
Mr. Avrunin was able to win this case by proving the Defendant was not able to establish that their failure to act was due to “excusable neglect”, that they had merit defense for their action, and that they moved with due diligence to set aside the default. The Defendant made the mistake of assuming they could make the decision to invoke the rules of the civil procedure, when it is in fact only up to the court’s ruling. If the Defendant wanted to forego the small claims pretrial, they would have had to submit a “Waiver of Appearance at Pretrial Conference” which they failed to do. Their lack of action was not excusable neglect.
Mr. Avrunin’s ability to bring these rules to light resulted in the Defendant’s Motion to Set Aside Default being denied.
United Automobile Insurance Company, a Florida corporation, Appellant, vs. NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers, Inc. a/a/o Ismael Mohamed
In United Automobile Insurance Company, a Florida corporation, Appellant, vs. NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers, Inc. a/a/o Ismael Mohamed, Appellee, the court ordered that Emilio R. Stillo, Esq. was entitled to his pay. The Appellant challenged the order awarding the fees, arguing a lack of factual findings as to the hourly rate being in accordance to the factors of Florida Patient’s Compensation Fund v. Rowe.
The court found that the 7 factors according to Rowe, were all in accordance, that it also held true to co-counsel, Nathan Avrunin, as well as rendering the opinion of expert Joseph Dawson, Esq. The court therefore found that the Appellant’s arguments had no merit. The court order awarding attorney’s fees and costs were affirmed.
NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers, INC (a/a/o) Mercedes Medina) vs. United Automobile Insurance Company
In NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers, INC (a/a/o Mercedes Medina) vs. United Automobile Insurance Company, Nathan Avrunin defended the Plaintiff. Mercedes Medina got into a car accident on March 31, 2002. Suffering from injuries, Mercedes sought treatment from medical providers including NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers. Other medical providers sent the defendant, United Automobile Insurance Company, medical bills on May 6, May 22, and June 4 of 2002. The Plaintiff sent the Defendant a bill on September 25, 2002.
The Defendant claims that an Examination Under Oath was set for November 12, 2002 , which was a rescheduling, where Mercedes failed to appear. However, the November 12, 2002 appointment had already surpassed the 30 day window the Defendant had to verify the claim as stated in January v. State Farm Mut. Ins, Co. and Amador v. United Auto Ins. Co.
The Defendant never sent correspondence to NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers, Inc. denying the bill. The Defendant also failed to respond to a pre-suit Demand Letter sent by the Plaintiff. When questioned in deposition, the Defendant’s litigation adjuster had no argument as to why Nathan Avrunin did not receive the requested documents and why the Demand was not properly reviewed. It took almost 4 years for the Defendant to raise an Affirmative Defense of failing to appear at an Examination Under Oath. Mr. Avrunin asserted a waiver on behalf of his client. The Defendant still failed to notify the Plaintiff that they would not be paying the claim.
The Court ordered that the Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment be granted.
NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers, Inc. (a/a/o Sadonia Duncan) vs. United Automobile Insurance Company
In NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers, Inc. (a/a/o Sadonia Duncan) vs. United Automobile Insurance Company, Nathan Avrunin represented the Plaintiff and on July 27, 2009 motioned the court to strike Dr. Peter J. Millheiser MD for several court order violations.
Leading up to the motion to strike, NDNC Neurological Treatment Centers, Inc. treated Sadonia Duncan for injuries acquired in a car accident on September 17, 2002, totaling $5,674. The Defendant failed to pay the medical bills within 30 days of receiving the bill. Mr. Avrunin sought discovery from United Automobile Insurance Company regarding Dr. Millheiser.
On April 9, 2008 the Court Ordered the Defendant to respond to Peer Review Interrogatories within 30 days, which the Defendant failed to do.
On April 17, 2008 the Court Ordered the Defendant to provide better responses to Expert Witness Interrogatories which the Defendant failed to do.
On August 25, 2008 the Court sanctioned the Defendant $350.00 for the Court Order violations, calling for a response.
On October 29, 2008 the Court ordered the Defendant to provide responses to Plaintiff’s Supplemental Request for Production regarding Dr. Millheiser MD within 20 days, which the Defendant failed to do.
On December 12, 2008 Mr. Avrunin filed a Motion to Strike Dr. Millheiser for the prior Court orders.
On February 9, 2009 the Court heard Mr. Avrunin’s Motion to Strike. By this date the Defendant was still in contempt with the court. The court denied Mr. Avrunin’s Motion to Strike and further cautioned the Defendant it had one more chance to comply. The Defendant failed to do so. Mr. Avrunin was seeking the lesser sanction of the striking of Defendant’s Expert. The Court Ordered that Dr. Millheiser be struck as an Expert Witness.