Voluntary Payment Doctrine Bars Munich Re’s Counterclaim, N.Y. Appellate Division Rules
July 31, 2023
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York appellate panel has upheld dismissal of Munich Reinsurance America Inc.’s counterclaim seeking to claw back payments it made for defense costs incurred by its cedent, Utica Insurance Co., in defending Burnham Corp. against asbestos exposure claims.
In a July 28 opinion, the New York Appellate Division, 4th Department, found the counterclaim is barred by the voluntary payment doctrine because Munich Re “never made ‘any effort to learn what [its] legal obligations were,’ and instead simply made payments without objection.”
Utica issued primary and umbrella policies to Burnham Corp. that were in effect from 1977 …