Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal Rules 627.71052, Florida Statutes, Applies Retroactively
By Douglas M. Cohen
In Cole v. Universal Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal held that Fla. Stat. Section 627.70152, which requires a presuit notice of intent to initiate litigation be filed as a condition precedent to filing suit under a property insurance policy, applies to all suits filed after the July 1, 2021, effective date.
Appellant filed suit against his homeowner’s insurance company for breach of contract. The month before appellant filed suit, the notice of intent to initiate litigate statute, 627.70152, was enacted. Appellant did not file the notice of intent to initiate litigation. The trial court dismissed the suit without prejudice due to appellant’s failure to comply with the newly enacted presuit requirements. On appeal, the 4th DCA rejected appellant’s argument that the statute affected substantive rights and should not be applied retroactively, finding that the changes were procedural, and that the legislature expressed a clear intent for the statute to apply retroactively. Accordingly, the 4th DCA affirmed dismissal of the suit without prejudice.