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The Rogak Report: 25 Feb 2005 ** Collateral Estoppel - Arbitration **

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  • Lawrence Rogak
    JUDICIAL HEARING OFFICER S DECISION IN PETITION TO STAY ARBITRATION IS BINDING IN LATER PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT Melendez v. Budget Rent-A-Car, NYLJ 2/28/05
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2005
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      JUDICIAL HEARING OFFICER'S DECISION IN PETITION TO STAY ARBITRATION
      IS BINDING IN LATER PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT

      Melendez v. Budget Rent-A-Car, NYLJ 2/28/05 (Civil Court, Bronx
      County) (Renwick, j)

      In this personal injury action, the defendant, the alleged hit-and-
      run driver, moved for summary judgment on the grounds of collateral
      estoppel. A judicial hearing officer's (JHO) decision at a framed
      issue hearing denying a petition to permanently stay UM arbitration,
      determined that the offending vehicle in the hit-and-run belonged to
      a different, unidentified driver -- not this defendant.

      The dispositive issue before the court was whether the collateral
      estoppel doctrine applied to the JHO determination. Because the
      doctrine had been extended to prior arbitration proceedings, the
      court reasoned that it should apply with greater force to special
      proceedings conducted in Supreme Court, where litigants would have
      the opportunity to employ procedural and substantive rights greater
      than those in arbitration. Giving the determination's preclusive
      effect, the court bound plaintiff to it and dismissed his claim
      against defendant.

      Larry Rogak
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