The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the motion for a stay of arbitration pending a framed issue hearing should have been granted in this uninsured motorist traffic accident case:
“The party seeking a stay of arbitration has the burden of showing the existence of sufficient evidentiary facts to establish a preliminary issue which would justify the stay” … . “Thereafter, the burden shifts to the party opposing the stay to rebut the prima facie showing” … . “Where a triable issue of fact is raised, the Supreme Court, not the arbitrator, must determine it in a framed-issue hearing, and the appropriate procedure under such circumstances is to temporarily stay arbitration pending a determination of the issue” … .
Here, the appellants concede that Infinity [petitioner insurer] satisfied its prima facie burden of showing sufficient evidentiary facts to establish a preliminary issue that would justify a stay of arbitration. In support of its petition, Infinity submitted, inter alia, an affidavit from its investigator, who stated that he found that a claim for property damage was previously made to GEICO arising out of the subject accident … . In opposition, the appellants raised issues of fact as to whether GEICO’s insured was involved in the accident … . Matter of Infinity Indem. Ins. Co. v Leo, 2023 NY Slip Op 01003, Second Dept 2-22-23
Practice Point: The procedural criteria for a determining a petition for a stay of arbitration pending a framed issue hearing in an uninsured motorist traffic accident case are explained.