Since 1912, the Florida Supreme Court has allowed for the divisibility of an insurance contract when there has been a dispute as to a breach of conditions under one portion of coverage and conformity to provision under another. Harfod Fire Ins. Co. v. Hillis, 64 Fla. 8, 59 So. 785 (1912). However, that case also made a distinction between cases with fraud or misrepresentation and those without. Id. At 786. So what happens if an insured makes a material misrepresentation or commits fraud when asserting a claim for different coverages under a policy?
On January 3, 2018, the Third District Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred in abating, rather than dismissing a third party bad faith claim filed in the underlying negligence action against the insured. See GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, v. KATHERINE MARTINEZ, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D86a.
The Third DCA recently held that a trial court erred in giving an adverse instruction based on a corporation’s failure to locate former employees in response to a 1.310(b)(6) deposition of a corporate representative. Bechtel Corp. v. Batchelor, 43 Fla. L.Weekly D40 (Fla. 3d DCA, December 27, 2017). The appellate court acknowledged that the rule requires the corporate representative to prepare for matters that are “reasonably available” whether from documents, former employees or other sources.
Plaintiffs filed an action against Tower Hill consisting of three counts: breach of contract; declaratory judgment based on a wear and tear/marring exclusion in the insurance policy; and declaratory judgment seeking declaration that Tower Hill may not unilaterally determine the Actual Cash Value of the loss.
Attorney Chioma Deere presented on Electronic Discovery Project Management (EDPM) at the Everything eDiscovery seminar in October 2016. This brief presentation discussed the useful ways in which EDPM can ensure that attorneys, paralegals, and their firms are equipped to request and receive ESI in an efficient and repeatable manner. In the video, Chioma Deere walks through the steps to conduct electronic discovery from a project management standards perspective that allows for a repeatable, understandable, and defensible process.
The U.S. Southern District of Florida has made amendments to its local rules, effective December 1, 2017. One of these amendments includes changes to Rule 16.1(b)(2)(k) regarding what the parties must include in their pretrial scheduling reports when it comes to electronic discovery. Pursuant to the amended local rules, during the parties Rule 26(f) conference, they must now discuss, and include in their report, any issues about:
(i) disclosure, discovery, or preservation of electronically stored information, including the form or forms in which it should be produced;
With Robert Gregory
In State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. All Family Clinic of Daytona Beach, Inc., the circuit court in Volusia County ruled that an insurance carrier does not waive defenses related to reasonableness of charges by utilizing an auto-pay process when issuing payment.
Miami- Dade County v. Wanda Jones, No. 3D16-226, 2017 WL 5162706, at* 1 (Fla. 3rd DCA Nov. 8 2017).
In Mora v. Lancet, PX-16-960, 2017 WL 4618461 (D. Md., October 16, 2017), a federal court determined that an insurance company failed to prove that it was prejudiced by a doctor’s failure to cooperate in the defense of a medical malpractice. The Plaintiff in the underlying action filed a wrongful death claim against a doctor. The doctor moved back to Pakistan and failed to cooperate with his insurer. The insurer did not provide a defense and a default was entered. After the default, the insurer intervened for limited purpose of defending the damage portion of the case.
On August 20, attorney Chris Waggener gave a talk about access to the courts at the DeGroodt Public Library in Palm Bay, FL. The talk was entitled "Access to the Courts" and was open to the public.