Failure to Allege a Special Relationship Between Insured and Health Insurance Carrier
In Batas v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's finding of no special relationship between an insured and her health insurance carrier (281 AD2d 260, 265, 724 N.Y.S.2d 3 [1st Dept 2001]).
The Court explained that it was not enough that "the only claimed basis for such a relationship was alleged to be defendants' superior knowledge of their product, and a posting of promotional material on their web page in which they touted themselves as a trusted name' in health insurance" (id. at 265).
Further, the Court affirmed the conclusion that "in the absence of some additional allegation showing a more direct or affirmative effort by defendants to gain plaintiffs' trust and confidence," plaintiff failed to allege a special relationship (id.).
Finally, the special relationship must have existed before the contractual relationship giving rise to the alleged wrong, and not as a result of it (Emigrant Bank v. UBS Real Estate Securities, Inc., 49 AD3d 382, 385, 854 N.Y.S.2d 39 [1st Dept 2008]; MBIA Ins. Co., 2009 NY Slip Op 52662[U]; Tech. Support Servs. Inc. v. IBM, 236 NYLJ 43, [Sup Ct, Westchester County 2006]).