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Florida Supreme Court Rules Against Insurer in Equitable Subrogation Case

“The Supreme Court correctly recognized that liability insurers and the people they insure cannot leave a person uncompensated after negligently injuring them, then expect to get paid back,” said Ms. Rodante told Law 360. “Deadbeat debtors don’t get to use ‘equitable’ subrogation.” Swope, Rodante P.A. Partners, Angela Rodante and Dale Swope, teamed up with Hendrik Uiterwyk, John Hamilton, and Barbara… Read More

Supreme Court of Florida Approves Waiver of Future Negligence

Occasional carnival-goers, infrequent go-cart drivers, and once-in-a-while horse-back riders beware. . . That should be the warning on the newest opinion on exculpatory agreements in Florida. I’m sure everyone at one point or another has participated in some “dangerous” activity like hang-gliding or canoeing or horse-back riding and been given one of those “release” things to sign. Usually what they… Read More

Say What You Mean To Say (When Serving Proposals for Settlement)

PFS’s must strictly comply with Florida Statute 768.79 and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442. In addition, the offeree must be able to independently evaluate his/her respective claim, irrespective of other parties’ decisions. An offer conditioned on an event entirely out of the offeree’s control, like the tender of a settlement check by the offeree’s insurance company, is considered an… Read More

“Facebook Privilege”

The Privacy Interest That Doesn’t Exist, but Most People Think They Have In the last decade or so, Facebook and other social media has taken over as the main way many people in the U.S. communicate. Forty years ago, people would share their vacation photos with friends using slide projectors. They would wish their friends “happy birthday” with a Hallmark… Read More

Settlement Defense Squashed; Bad Release to Blame

A few weeks ago, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a new settlement defense case.  Scott Thompson was a passenger in a car that spun out of control; the resulting accident caused the deaths of everyone in the car.  Thompson’s father, as personal representative of his son’s estate, made an offer to GEICO Insurance Company to… Read More

Discovery Developments: Building a Double Standard For Plaintiffs’ Treating Physicians

The Fourth District released a decision in August 2014 that breaks dangerous new ground regarding discovery directed toward non-parties.  In Brown v. Mittelman, No. 4D14-1748, 2014 WL 4209207 (Fla. 4th DCA Aug. 27, 2014), the court’s decision denying certiorari permits defendants to subpoena financial and billing records from plaintiffs’ treating doctors – even if there is no evidence that an… Read More

Clarity Returns to Litigating Damages for Uninsured Motorist Claims: No More Damages Do-Overs for the Insurance Company

Insurance companies and injured plaintiffs have been battling over uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist claims on several fronts for decades.  In the last two years, however, considerable uncertainty sprang up around litigating damages.  When you have gone to trial on a UM contract claim, and a jury has determined the defendant’s liability and the plaintiff’s damages, can the insurance company… Read More