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Tiara Condo. Ass'n v. Marsh & McLennan Cos.

Supreme Court of Florida

March 7, 2013, Decided

No. SC10-1022

Opinion

 [*400]  LABARGA, J.

This case is before the Court for review of a question of Florida law certified by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that is determinative of a cause pending in that court and for which there appears to be no controlling precedent. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(6), Fla. Const. In Tiara Condominium Ass'n, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Co., Inc., 607 F.3d 742, 749 (11th Cir. 2010), the Eleventh Circuit certified the following question to this Court:

DOES AN INSURANCE BROKER PROVIDE A "PROFESSIONAL SERVICE" SUCH THAT THE INSURANCE BROKER IS UNABLE  [**2] TO SUCCESSFULLY ASSERT THE ECONOMIC LOSS RULE AS A BAR TO TORT CLAIMS SEEKING ECONOMIC DAMAGES THAT ARISE FROM THE CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE INSURANCE BROKER AND THE INSURED?

Because the question as certified by the Eleventh Circuit is premised on the continued applicability of the economic loss rule in cases involving contractual privity, we restate the certified question as follows:

DOES THE ECONOMIC LOSS RULE BAR AN INSURED'S SUIT AGAINST AN INSURANCE BROKER WHERE THE PARTIES ARE IN CONTRACTUAL PRIVITY WITH ONE ANOTHER AND THE DAMAGES SOUGHT ARE SOLELY FOR ECONOMIC LOSSES?

We answer this question in the negative and hold that ] the application of the economic loss rule is limited to products liability cases. Therefore, we recede from prior case law to the extent that it is inconsistent with this holding. We begin by discussing the facts and procedural background of this case. We then turn to our analysis.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

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110 So. 3d 399 *; 2013 Fla. LEXIS 343 **; 38 Fla. L. Weekly S 151; 2013 WL 828003

TIARA CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., etc., Appellant, vs. MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC., etc., et al., Appellees.

Prior History:  [**1] Certified Question of Law from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit - Case No. 09-11718-GG.

Tiara Condo. Ass'n v. Marsh & McLennan Cos., 607 F.3d 742, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 10835 (11th Cir. Fla., 2010)

CORE TERMS

economic loss rule, product liability, economic loss, parties, privity of contract, principles, manufacturer, cases, contract law, damages, cause of action, tort law, insurance broker, breach of contract, defective product, tort claim, contractual, warranty, economic damages, remedies, certified question, personal injury, professional services, expectations, barring, negligent misrepresentation, contract principles, strict liability, warranty law, tort action

Torts, Compensatory Damages, Types of Losses, Economic Losses, Products Liability, General Overview, Contracts Law, Damages, Types of Damages, Consequential Damages, Fraud & Misrepresentation, Actual Fraud, Remedies, Theories of Liability, Breach of Warranty, Strict Liability, Negligence, Business & Corporate Compliance, Contracts Law, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Express Warranties, Governments, Courts, Judicial Precedent