X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

It has for more than 100 years been recognized by the courts of this state that evidence that a defendant in a negligence or malpractice action carries liability insurance is generally inadmissible. Like Voldemort of Harry Potter fame, the word “insurance” has become known as “that which shall never be mentioned” at trial. Indeed, the practice of bringing before the jury the fact that the defense is being conducted by an insurance company and/or that the defendant might be reimbursed by insurance in the event of a verdict against him or her, has been repeatedly and soundly condemned by the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Divisions. See e.g., Cosselmon v. Dunfee, 10 Bedell 507 (1902) (“The inquiry into the matter of insurance is not material and the practice of asking a question that counsel must be assumed to know cannot be answered is highly reprehensible, and where the trial court or Appellate Division is satisfied that the verdict of the jury has been influenced thereby, it should, for that reason, set aside the verdict”); Loughlin v. Brassil, 187 NY 128 (1907) (remarks by plaintiff’s counsel during summation concerning insurance “were entirely improper, and…they were designed to influence the jury by considerations which were not legitimately before them”); Simpson v. Foundation Co., 201 NY 479 (1911) (“Evidence that the defendant in an action for negligence was insured in [sic] a casualty company, or that the defense was conducted by an insurance company, is incompetent and so dangerous as to require a reversal even when the court strikes it from the record and directs the jury to disregard it, unless it clearly appears that it could not have influenced the verdict”); Wildrick v. Moore, 66 Hun. 630 (4th Dept. 1892); Manigold v. Black River Traction Co., 81 AD 381 (4th Dept. 1903); Haigh v. Edelmeyer and Morgan Hod Elevator Co., 123 AD 376 (1st Dept. 1908); Hordern v. The Salvation Army, 124 AD 674 (1st Dept. 1908). Indeed, so verboten is the very mention of insurance before the jury that the prohibition similarly has been applied to the mention by defense counsel of the absence of insurance. See Rendo v. Schermerhorn, 24 AD2d 773 (3d Dept. 1965).

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at customercare@alm.com

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.