May 14, 2024 | Legal Alerts

Review of Privileged Materials at Deposition

Please take note that the Third District recently issued an opinion that may impact how you defend corporate representative depositions in first-party property cases. In the past some of us may have asserted that documents within the claims file are privileged, while at the same time allowing our corporate representative to review those same documents during the deposition to refresh his/her recollection pursuant to a protective order.   

May 9, 2024 | Verdicts and Settlements

William Mitchell and Jesse Dyer Secure Summary Judgment in a First Party Property Case

Partner William Mitchell, Sr. and associate Jesse Dyer obtained final summary judgment in a first party property claim on behalf of a major Florida homeowners insurance carrier. The claim arose from damages originating from a defective shower pan for which the Insurer denied coverage based on exclusions for long term seepage and leakage and pre-existing damages.  The Insureds’  argued that the cause of loss was a collapse of the subfloor below the 2nd story shower and therefore covered under the policy. However, after multiple hearings on the Insurer’s Motion the Court ruled that the Insureds failed to establish that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether or not the loss fell under the clear and unambiguous policy provision involving coverage for losses caused by collapse and that the Insurer had established that the damages were not covered under the policy of insurance. 

April 29, 2024 | Legal Alerts

Florida Supreme Court Rules on Billed Amount

On April 25, 2024, the Florida Supreme Court issued its decision in Allstate Insurance Company, et. al, v. Revival Chiropractic, LLC, SC2022-0735.    More than a year after oral argument, the Court finally and definitively ruled on “Billed Amount” concluding “…the provisions of both the statute and the policy support Allstate’s payment of 80% of the amount of the charges submitted.”  Id.  Although Revival made its way to the Florida Supreme Court by way of certified question posed by the United States Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit, the Billed Amount issue has pervaded Florida state courts and PIP suits for well over half a decade.  As expressed by the Court, “the question for decision is whether the insurer here may pay 80% of a charge submitted by a provider even when that reimbursement amount is less than the amount that would be reimbursable under the limitations of the statutory schedule of maximum charges.”  In no uncertain terms, the Court found the Allstate policy expressly authorized such a payment and nothing in the PIP statute prevented payment in accordance with Allstate’s policy.  

April 12, 2024 | Verdicts and Settlements

Summary Judgment Secured in Engineering Services Case Not Covered Under Policy

Noelia Vaccaro, an attorney in the firm’s first party practice group, and Amy Klotz, an attorney in the firm’s appellate litigation support division, prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in a case involving the services of an engineer the insured retained after reporting the loss. They argued that the services the plaintiff performed were not covered under the policy because defendant did not constitute a cost to repair or replace the damaged property, as the plaintiff merely prepared a report that contained no narrative — i.e., no observations, analysis, conclusions, or recommendations — and, instead, consisted primarily of photographs.