Justice Randy Sue Marber

 

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An action involved an accident that occurred in 2010 in Islip. Respondent claimed that, while driving a rented motor vehicle, a piece of concrete fell from a dump truck traveling in front of him, striking the windshield of the vehicle, piercing the windshield and striking him in the head. Petitioner filed a petition to permanently stay an arbitration for uninsured motorist benefits that were sought by respondent in 2016, six years after the accident. Petitioner contended that respondent’s demand for arbitration was untimely and that the accident lacks contact with an uninsured vehicle, a condition precedent to an arbitration based upon a hit-and-run accident involving an unidentified vehicle. The court found that respondent failed to show that petitioner was made aware of a purported second vehicle at or near the time of the accident. The court added that the demand for arbitration served six years after the accident is the first time respondent affirmatively made a claim regarding a second vehicle. The court further added that petitioner was not timely notified of the facts underlying respondent’s claim for uninsured motorist benefits.The court, therefore, held that respondent’s delay was unreasonable and that petitioner was prejudiced by the delay.