Clear Water Psychological Services PC v. American Transit Insurance Company, 54 Misc.3d 915, 42 N.Y.S.3d 779, 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 26420

An uncertified police report indicated that at the time of the accident, the assignor was driving a vehicle with a taxi license plate number and that there were two passengers in the vehicle. Defendant did not submit an affidavit or other sworn evidence from someone with personal knowledge establishing its authenticity or accuracy.  However, the Court nevertheless allowed the MV104 into evidence since plaintiff did not raise the issue that it was not authenticated and never disputed the truthfulness of the officer’s observations that the vehicle involved in the accident had a taxi license plate. The Court stated:

Pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law §§ 603-a and 604, whenever a motor vehicle accident results in serious physical injury, and such accident either is discovered by a police officer, or reported to an officer within five days after an accident, it is the duty of the police to immediately investigate the facts and complete a report on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, a copy of which shall be sent to the Commissioner*917 within five business days of the completion of such investigation report (People v Quackenbush, 88 NY2d 534, 539 [1996]; Bouet v City of New York, 125 AD3d 539, 540 [1st Dept 2015]). In New York City, the prescribed police accident report (PAR) is the MV-104AN. (See State of New York Department of Motor Vehicles, Police Accident Report Manual,

Although the MV-104AN is signed at the bottom by P.O. Stephenson, it is not certified, and defendant’s cross motion for summary judgment does not contain an affidavit or other sworn evidence from someone with personal knowledge establishing its authenticity or accuracy. CPLR 4518 (c) permits a police report to be admitted as proof of the facts recorded therein only if “[it] bear [s] a certification or authentication by the head of the . . . [police] department . . . or by an employee delegated for that purpose.” Since the MV-104AN is not certified, it does not qualify for admission under CPLR 4518 (c) (Nationwide Gen. Ins. Co. v Bates, 130 AD3d 795, 796 [2d Dept 2015]; Adobea v Junel, 114 AD3d 818 [2d Dept 2014]; Cheul Soo Kang v Violante, 60 AD3d 991 [2d Dept 2009]).

Once the report was in, ultimately, the Court held that the merits were up to the WC Board:

Pursuant to Workers’ Compensation Law § 2 (3) and (4), the term “employer” includes a person or entity who leases a taxicab, and concomitantly, the term “employee” includes “a driver, operator or lessee who contracts with an owner, operator or lessor for the purpose of operating a taxicab” (see Matter of Mihalaris v UTOG 2-Way Radio, 299 AD2d 677, 678 [3d Dept 2002]). The question of the assignor’s employment status and his entitlement to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Law must be resolved at a hearing before the Board, which has primary jurisdiction over *918 deciding these matters (Siekkeli v Mark Mariani, Inc., 119 AD3d 766, 768 [2d Dept 2014]; Dunn v American Tr. Ins. Co., 71 AD3d 629, 630 [2d Dept 2010]; Speroni v Mid-Island Hosp., 222 AD2d 497, 498 [2d Dept 1995]).

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