Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Federal Judge Dismisses Homeowners' Medical Monitoring Claim

ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 31 dropped a couple's claim seeking medical monitoring after an allegedly dangerous insulation product was installed in their home, ruling that the plaintiffs' claims are too general (Robert Gibson, et al. v. Lapolla Industries Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-646, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Alleged Abercrombie & Fitch Pirate Websites Hit With Temporary Restraining Order

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) was granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) by a Florida federal judge on Jan. 31 against the operators of 128 websites that the clothing manufacturer and retailer claims have been selling counterfeit versions of its goods (Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. v. 7starzone.com, et al., No. 0:14-cv-60087, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12211).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Florida's Legislation Bars Cigarette Smoker's Lung Cancer Claim

WILMINGTON, Del. - Florida's 2005 asbestos legislation bars a cigarette smoker's lung cancer claim, a Delaware judge held Jan. 29 (In re: Asbestos Litigation; Ira Fluitt and Regina Fluitt v. Advanced Auto Parts Inc., et al., No. N12C-07-241 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Florida's Legislation Bars Cigarette Smoker's Lung Cancer Claim

WILMINGTON, Del. - Florida's 2005 asbestos legislation bars a cigarette smoker's lung cancer claim, a Delaware judge held Jan. 29 (In re: Asbestos Litigation; Ira Fluitt and Regina Fluitt v. Advanced Auto Parts Inc., et al., No. N12C-07-241 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurer's Coverage Action In Favor Of Garnishment Proceeding

ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 28 dismissed an insurer's declaratory judgment action in favor of an underlying garnishment proceeding involving the same issues of coverage regarding an insured's construction defects in an apartment complex (Federal Insurance Co. v. Hamptons at Metrowest Condominium Association Inc., et al., No. 13-1087, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10315).

Mealey's Insurance - Excess Policy Was Not Triggered, Panel Rules, Reverses $1.3M Ruling Against Insurer

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 24 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's $1.3 million judgment against an excess insurer in a Florida property manager's lawsuit seeking excess coverage for Hurricane Wilma damage, finding that Florida's insurable interest statute bars recovery beyond the property manager's revenue stream from the damaged property (Banta Properties Inc. v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., No. 12-14186, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1419).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Appeals Panel Allows Bad Faith Suit Against State-Created Insurer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 23 found that although a nonprofit insurer created by the Florida Legislature is generally immune from lawsuits, the insurer's statutory immunity "does not extend to the 'willful tort' of failing to attempt in good faith to settle claims as provided by" the state's bad faith statute (Perdido Sun Condominium Association Inc. v. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., No. 1D13-1951, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 696).

Federal Judge Denies Summary Judgment In FDIC's Appraisal Suit

ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Jan. 2 denied the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s motion for partial summary judgment in its suit against a loan appraiser, finding that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the defendants breached their oral agreement related to an appraisal report (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Kardos Appraisal & Consulting Corp., et al., No.12-0756, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7774).

11th Circuit: Standing Not Lacking In Copyright Case

ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge erroneously concluded that the estate of an original member of the 1970s pop musical group K.C. and the Sunshine Band lacked statutory standing to sue for infringement of the musical work "Spank," the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 22 (Ronald Smith Jr. v. Henry Casey, et al., No. 13-12351, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1139).

Florida Jury Awards $5 Million To Smoker In Engle Progeny Verdict

MIAMI - A Florida jury on Jan. 17 awarded $5 million to a smoker who blamed his 40-year Marlboro habit for the development of coronary heart disease (Antonio Cuculino v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2010-62733-CA-01, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud., Miami-Dade Co.).

2 Dog Bite Injuries Constitute 2 Occurrences, Appeals Panel Majority Says

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The majority of the Fifth District Florida Court of Appeal on Jan. 17 determined that two separate dog bites that occurred during one attack constitute two separate occurrences because the policy language at issue is susceptible to two different meanings (Crystal L. Maddox v. Florida Farm Bureau General, et al., No. 5D12-3577, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 497).

Judge: Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Settlement For Building Code Violations

ORLANDO, Fla. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify an insured for a $1.8 million settlement for building code violations because there was no evidence that non-excluded property damage occurred during the policy periods, a Florida federal judge held Jan. 17 (Trovillion Construction & Development Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. and Casa Jardin Condominium Association Inc., No. 12-914, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6265).

Florida Judge Grants Injunction In Trademark Dispute

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 14 ordered several defendant websites accused of infringement to refrain from using the "Under Armour" trademark (Under Armour Inc. v. 51nfljersey.com et al., No. 13-62809, S.D. Fla.).

Psychology Expert Nixed In Florida False Imprisonment, Civil Rights Lawsuit

ORLANDO, Fla. - Expert testimony about the psychological injury suffered by a man handcuffed and detained by police for 30 minutes without arrest lacks a discernible methodology, a federal magistrate judge in Florida held Jan. 13 in excluding the opinion (John Olin v. Jerry Demings, et al., No. 6:12-cv-1455-Orl-28TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3892).

Judge: Fact Issues Exist As To Whether Broker, Insured Had A 'Special Relationship'

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal judge found Jan. 13 that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether a "special relationship" existed between an insurance broker and a condominium association insured, denying the broker's renewed motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit arising from damage caused by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne (Tiara Condominium Association Inc. v. Marsh USA Inc., No. 08-80254, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3677).

Breach Of Duty Claim Survives Against Insurer Over Construction Defect Claims

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A condominium association sufficiently pleaded a claim for breach of duty against an insurer regarding denied coverage for a default judgment against an insured contractor over construction defect allegations, a Florida federal judge ruled Jan. 9 (Redfish Key Villas Condominium Association v. Amerisure Insurance Co., No. 13-241, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2478).

High Court Will Not Review ERISA Benefit And Disclosure Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 denied a plan participant's petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a health plan insurer did not abuse its discretion in calculating benefits and that the insurer was not liable for penalties for failing to disclose documents it relied on in calculating the amount of the benefit (Brian Fox v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc., No. 13-342, U.S. Sup.).

Limitations Statute Did Not Expire On Insurer's Legal Malpractice Suit, Panel Says

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The statute of limitations for an insurer's legal malpractice lawsuit did not expire because an underlying construction defect case had not reached its finality when the parties entered a settlement agreement, a Florida appeals panel held Jan. 8, in reversing and remanding a trial judge's ruling (Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. Conroy, Simberg, Ganon, Krevans, Abel, Lurvey, Morrow & Schefer, P.A., et al., No. 4D12-3251, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).

Title Insurer Owes No Coverage For Property Dispute, Florida Panel Says

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Because an insured caused its property to become landlocked when it subdivided its property, a title insurer had no duty to defend the insured in an underlying dispute arising out of the property subdivision, the Fourth District Florida Court of Appeal said Jan. 8 (Palm Beach Polo Holdings Inc. v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co., Nos. 4D11-4660, 12-231, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 153).

Jury Finds No Bad Faith By GEICO In Third-Party Claim By Accident Victim

ORLANDO, Fla. - Following a three-day trial in Florida federal court, a jury on Jan. 9 found that an insurer did not act in bad faith by failing to settle a third-party settlement demand by a woman injured in an auto accident caused by the insurer's policyholder (Lorinda Tanaka v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 6:11-cv-02002, M.D. Fla.).

Judge: Fact Questions Exist Over Insurer's Good Faith In Release Indemnity Clause

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Questions over whether an insurer acted in good faith in including an indemnification clause in a release form and in purportedly refusing to remove that clause are best left for a jury, a Florida federal judge held Jan. 6, denying the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Government Employees Insurance Co. v. Janet Prushansky, No. 9:12-cv-80556, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1456).

Panel: Failure To File Proof Of Loss For Debris Removal Completely Bars Recovery

ST. LOUIS - Insureds' failure to file a proof of loss for their debris removal costs stemming from a 2011 flood is a complete bar to their recovery under a federal flood insurance policy, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 7, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insureds (Thomas Dickson v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, No. 13-1863, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 237).

11th Circuit Deems Insureds' Claims Over Florida Subsidized Reinsurance Abandoned

ATLANTA - Plaintiffs in a putative class action failed to address some of a trial court's alternative holdings for dismissing their claims related to their insurer's purported failure to offer lower rates in compliance with a Florida subsidized reinsurance law, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Jan. 7, finding that these abandoned issues doomed their appeal (David Sapuppo, et al. v. Allstate Floridian Insurance Co., No. 13-11558, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 228).

Florida Appeals Court Affirms Tobacco Verdict But Notes Conflict On Repose

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The First District Florida Court of Appeal on Jan. 3 affirmed all aspects of a $730,000 tobacco wrongful death verdict but certified to the state's Supreme Court conflict with another district on a jury instruction regarding the statute of repose (R.J. Reynolds v. Carolyn Hiott, Nos. 1D12-5956 and 1D12-6008, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 100).

Florida Appeals Panel: Notice Properly Given To Medical Defendants

LAKELAND, Fla. - The Second District Florida Court of Appeal on Jan. 3 overturned summary judgment for two defendants in a medical malpractice action, concluding that the plaintiffs' claims were not time-barred (Frances Young, et al. v. Naples Community Hospital Inc., et al., No. 2D12-3679, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 71).