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As soon as an automobile accident occurs, there is imposed on the driver's insurer a contractual obligation which should be considered a "debt" within the meaning of N.Y. C.P.L.R. 5201and 6202.
Plaintiffs, husband and wife, were injured in an automobile accident allegedly caused by a non-resident defendant. The order of attachment directed the sheriff to levy upon the contractual obligation of defendant's insurer to defend and indemnify defendant under an automobile policy. Defendant moved to vacate the attachment, service of summons, and complaint. Defendant contended that the purported attachment was an attempt to levy upon an obligation which was limited, conditional, and dependent upon several contingencies, and was neither absolutely payable at present or in the future. The lower court held that the attachment had actually been made upon the insurer's existing contractual obligations under the policy. Defendant appealed.
In a personal injury action against a nonresident defendant, was defendant’s liability insurer's contractual obligation to defend and indemnify defendant a "debt" owing to defendant and as such subject to attachment under CPLR 6202?
The order denying defendant's motion to vacate was affirmed because the insurer's obligation to defend and indemnify defendant was a debt owed to defendant by the insurer and was subject to attachment.