Case Law Update – December/January


Geico General Insurance Company v. Hollingsworth, et al, 40 FLW D308, 5th DCA, opinion filed January 30, 2015. Automobile Liability – Coverage – Attorney’s fees – Under “Additional Payments” provisions of policy, which provided that insurer would pay all court costs charged to an insured in a covered lawsuit, insurer was obligated to pay attorney’s fees assessed against its insured pursuant to offer of judgment statute.

Mora v. Tower Hill Prime Insurance Company, 40 FLW D262, 2nd DCA, opinion filed January 23, 2015. Homeowners – Sinkhole claim – Rescission of policy – Misrepresentation of condition of home on applications for coverage – Error to enter summary judgment in favor of insurer based on insureds’ negative answer to question whether they had knowledge of any prior repairs made to any structures on insured location for cracking damage where insurer failed to establish beyond factual dispute that the answer to the question in the application was incorrect or a misrepresentation and further failed to establish that the representation was material to the acceptance of insurer’s risk or that true facts would have caused it not to issue policies.


Doering v. The Villages Operating Company, 40 FLW D49, 5th DCA, opinion filed December 19, 2014. Premises liability – Trip and fall – Error to enter summary judgment for defendant in action alleging that plaintiff tripped over a raised wooden plank while walking on a large wharf-like deck owned
by defendant on the basis that the cause of the fall was a common design element where there was factual issue as to whether the cause of plaintiff’s fall was a common design element or the result of poor maintenance.

Paduru, et al v. Klinkenberg, 40 FLW D41, 1st DCA, opinion filed December 17, 2014. Attorney’s fees – Proposal for settlement – Proposal addressed to one defendant which stated that plaintiff would dismiss action against both defendants after second defendant or his agents tenders the proposed settlement amount was invalid – Proposal deprived defendant to whom proposal was addressed of the ability to evaluate and independently act to resolve the case against her.

Workers’ Compensation

City of Miami Beach, et al v. Marten, 40 FLW D75, 1st DCA, opinion filed December 30, 2014. Impairment income benefits – Late payment – Penalties and interest – Judge of compensation claims erred in concluding that IIBs were paid late because payment was made more than 20 days from date of maximum medical improvement for two permanent impairment ratings based on claimant’s workplace injuries where it was undisputed that employer/servicing agents paid IIBs within 20 days of obtaining knowledge of the PIRs assigned by claimant’s independent medical examiner.