Really, Hot ...and Cool.

AuthorAcunto, Steve

I had to read it twice.

Hard to believe it.

See if you get it the first time.

In a motion made by Park Insurance to have the NY State Supreme Court vacate its order placing Park into Liquidation, the initial text reads as follows:

Respondent Park Insurance Company ("Respondent" or "Park") respectfully submits this memorandum of law in support of its motion: (i) to vacate the Court's Decision and Order, dated and entered September 22, 2020, which granted the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services of the State of New York's ("Petitioner" or "DFS") Petition for an order appointing the Superintendent and her successors in office as liquidator of Park and directing the liquidator to take possession of the property of Park to liquidate its business and affairs (NYSCEF Doc. No. 477, hereinafter, the "Liquidation Order"); and (ii) for recusal. For the reasons set forth below, the Liquidation Order should be vacated in its entirety and presiding Justice Shlomo Hagler should then recuse himself from further participation in these proceedings.

This case presents the extraordinary circumstance of an unprecedented order by this Court directing the immediate liquidation of Park while the Court's brother not only had an existing financial relationship with Park, but was also leveraging his brother's decision in this case for his personal advantage. Justice Hagler issued the Liquidation Order without disclosing to the parties the disqualifying fact that his brother, Daryl Hagler, is a principal of Park's single largest policyholder, Senior Care Ambulance, and is otherwise significantly intertwined with Park's financial prospects.

Senior Care Ambulance is the largest provider of ambulances in New York City and Justice Hagler was aware of his brother Daryl's ownership of Senior Care Ambulance long before the trial in this action. Yet no cautionary disclosure of his brother's interest in Senior Care Ambulance was made by the Court, even when the evidence at trial revealed that ambulances and ambulettes comprised a significant part of Park's insurance business. Indeed, while these proceedings were ongoing, Senior Care Ambulance extracted a significant premium reduction from Park for its 2019 renewal policy, and Daryl Hagler advised Mr. Polsinelli that he "knew everything" about this proceeding pending before his brother. Park, for its part, was in no position to refuse the demands of its largest policyholder because of the temporary restraining...

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