Surrogate John M. Czygier, Jr.

 

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Petitioner moved for partial summary judgment seeking allocation of the net settlement proceedings from a compromise order, and directing release of a portion of the funds. Decedent died testate resulting from injuries sustained when she was hit by a car. Petitioner listed a claim for wrongful death and his letters testamentary prohibited him from receiving or distributing any money resulting from the wrongful death action without further court order. Petitioner pursued a claim for conscious pain and suffering, and the parties reached a settlement. He filed this petition to allocate 100 percent of the proceeds to conscious pain and suffering, and none to wrongful death. DSS asserted a claim against the estate for over $165,000 for services rendered to decedent. Petitioner argued Social Services Law §369(2)(b)(ii) prohibited payment of DSS’ claim until the death of decedent’s surviving spouse, Victor. DSS alleged Victor abandoned decedent, thus, permitting its claim, and even if he did not, Victor may have a viable right of election that may affect distribution of the proceeds. DSS argued the motion was premature. The court found issues were raised regarding DSS’ claim, and as the ultimate distribution remained unclear, any distribution was rendered premature, denying petitioner’s motion.

Surrogate John M. Czygier, Jr.

 

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Petitioner moved for partial summary judgment seeking allocation of the net settlement proceedings from a compromise order, and directing release of a portion of the funds. Decedent died testate resulting from injuries sustained when she was hit by a car. Petitioner listed a claim for wrongful death and his letters testamentary prohibited him from receiving or distributing any money resulting from the wrongful death action without further court order. Petitioner pursued a claim for conscious pain and suffering, and the parties reached a settlement. He filed this petition to allocate 100 percent of the proceeds to conscious pain and suffering, and none to wrongful death. DSS asserted a claim against the estate for over $165,000 for services rendered to decedent. Petitioner argued Social Services Law §369(2)(b)(ii) prohibited payment of DSS’ claim until the death of decedent’s surviving spouse, Victor. DSS alleged Victor abandoned decedent, thus, permitting its claim, and even if he did not, Victor may have a viable right of election that may affect distribution of the proceeds. DSS argued the motion was premature. The court found issues were raised regarding DSS’ claim, and as the ultimate distribution remained unclear, any distribution was rendered premature, denying petitioner’s motion.