Court does not allow State Farm insured to provide late answer to Requests for Admissions: case dismissed
Kerstin Cole sued her auto insurer, State Farm, after it denied her PIP benefits. State Farm served her with Requests for Admission, which require answers, under the Court Rules, within 28 days. If Requests are not answered, they are deemed admitted by the Court. Cole's attorney claimed he could not contact Cole when answers were due and failed to ask the Court for an extension of time. Ultimately, more than seven months passed before the attorney asked the Court for permission to file late answers. Although the Court of Appeals noted that seven months remained in the discovery period, and that justice would be better served if Cole were allowed to respond to the Requests, it denied her request to file late answers. The panel agreed with the trial court that the passage of time suggested that Cole's failure to respond was not merely "inadvertent" and therefore, since it smacked of intentionality, irremediable. Cole's claim for PIP benefits was permanently dismissed.