REQUEST FOR INFO NOT A CLAIM
Request for Patient Records Not a Claim.
Marsico alleged that Dr. Bartolazo coerced her into a sexual relationship by prescribing addictive drugs. Marsico brought suit against Dr. Bartolazo for medical malpractice.
National Fire issued Dr. Bartolazo successive annual policies for several years insuring him for medical malpractice. These policies required that Bartolazo inform National of a claim in the year in which it occurred. Bartolazo notified National of the claim after receiving notice of Marsico’s intent to litigate.
National filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that Bartolazo’s notice of the claim was not timely. National argued that that Bartolazo received a letter from Marsico’s attorney requesting Marsico’s records in connection with “her claim for medical malpractice” prior to the inception of policy period in which he made the claim. Bartolazo argued that the letter from the attorney did not constitute a claim. Bartolazo argued that he properly notified National of Marsico’s claim shortly after receiving Marsico’s intent to litigate. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Bartolazo.
On appeal, the court held that the National policy defined “claim” as “the receipt by you of a demand for money or services, naming you and alleging a medical incident.” The court held that the letter from Marsico’s attorney requesting records did not constituent a claim because it did not make a demand for money or services, nor did it allege a medical incident. Bartolazo’s first notice of the claim was receipt of Marsico’s intent to litigate. Therefore, Bartolzo properly reported his claim during the policy period in which he received this notice.
Accordingly, the court affirmed the decision of the district court and held that the letter from Marsico’s attorney requesting medical records did not constitute a claim and that Bartolazo had given National timely notice of Marsico’s claim.
National Fire Insurance Company v Bartolazo, 27 F3d 518 (11th Cir 1994).