Tom Moody and Zachary Sonenblum Granted Dismissal for Insurer Client Based on Insured’s Failure to Comply with Fla. Stat. 627.70152

July 18, 2022 / News

Clausen Miller attorneys Tom Moody and Zachary Sonenblum recently defended their client against a two-count complaint for breach of contract and declaratory relief in Florida’s Circuit Court of the Fourth Judicial Court in Duval County, FL.

Judge Bruce R. Anderson agreed with Zach’s argument that the §627.70152 pre-suit notice requirement is a procedural condition precedent to filing suit, and that plaintiff’s failure to provide notice required dismissal of the lawsuit. The Judge declared that the Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation Requirement per Fla. Stat. 627.70152(3)(a) is a procedural condition precedent that must be applied. Additionally, in issuing the ruling, Judge Anderson “severed” section (3)(a) from the rest of Fla. Stat. 627.70152 and specifically refrained from issuing any ruling regarding whether any other portions of the statute are procedural or substantive in nature.

In April 2022, the plaintiffs sued Olympus Insurance Company alleging in count one that the defendant breached the terms of its homeowner insurance policy by failing to respond to a pre-suit settlement demand when their property suffered a loss in December 2020. In count two, the plaintiffs also argued that Florida Statute 627.70152 requiring notice of intent should not apply as their insurance policy was in place prior to the enaction of the statute in July 2021.

The defense moved to dismiss the complaint as the plaintiffs did not comply with the pre-suit notice requirements mandated by the Florida statute. The defense also moved to dismiss count two of the Complaint for declaratory relief due to plaintiff’s failure to state a cause of action and for lack of jurisdiction. The judge granted the defense’s motion and dismissed the complaint in its entirety without prejudice. 

As a partner, Tom focuses his practice on civil litigation defense, with an emphasis on first party property disputes. Tom also has extensive experience successfully representing civil defendants in matters including insurer bad faith, commercial premises liability, professional liability and malpractice, governmental entity liability, pre-suit coverage analysis, admiralty and maritime claims, wrongful death claims, and personal injury claims.

Zach focuses his practice on civil litigation defense, with an emphasis in the area of first party property disputes. He is also experienced at insurance defense litigation.

ABOUT CLAUSEN MILLER P.C.
Clausen Miller is an insurance and defense law firm recognized as one of the top 10 Insurance Practice firms in the nation. Clausen Miller has offices in Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York; Orange County and San Francisco, California; Florham Park, New Jersey; Michigan City, Indiana; Appleton, Wisconsin; Stamford, Connecticut; Tampa, Florida; and London, England with affiliates located in Belgium, France, and Italy. Clausen Miller represents large commercial and personal lines insurance carriers, including reinsurers, throughout the United States and in Europe. Clausen Miller’s attorneys generally practice in all areas of Insurance Coverage, all areas of Professional Liability and Casualty Defense, Subrogation, and Appeals.

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