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August 2016

Miami Appellate Team Wins Appeal Interpreting Florida Insurance Statutes

Miami partner Joseph A. Sacher and associate Christopher A. Noel, along with assistance from senior counsel Capri Trigo and law clerk Andrew Schindler, recently won at Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal in a case challenging a trial court’s repeated dismissals of Appellant’s complaints, based on statutory grounds.

Appellant took an appeal after Ms. Trigo successfully obtained three dismissals, including an ultimate dismissal with prejudice, based on Appellant’s failure to file his claims within the applicable statute of limitations. Appellant claimed that under Florida law, the insurance appraisal process tolled the statute of limitations applicable to property damage claims because it served as a quasi-judicial arbitral process.

On appeal, the Gordon & Rees team argued that Florida insurance law is clear, and that the insurance appraisal process had no affect on the applicable statute of limitations for property damage claims, as the parties to the insurance appraisal process were different from the parties to the lawsuit. Further, the Gordon & Rees team argued that Appellant’s claim for damages accrued at the time he knew or should have known of the damages, rather than at the conclusion of the insurance appraisal process, which was Appellant’s contention.

Ultimately, the Fourth District agreed with Gordon & Rees’s argument, and affirmed the trial court’s dismissal with prejudice of Appellant’s third amended complaint.

Joseph A. Sacher
Capri Trigo