Insurance

Insurance

Cases

Government Employees Insurance Co. v. Krawzak,
675 So. 2d 115 (Fla. 1996).»
Travelers Insurance Co. v. Lexington Insurance Co.,
478 So. 2d 363 (Fla. 5th DCA 1985).»
United Pacific Ins. Co. v. Berryhill,
620 So. 2d 1077 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993).»

Supreme Court required disclosure of party defendant status of an uninsured motorist insurance carrier to jury.

Susan Krawzak, who was rear-ended by an automobile driven by the Defendant, sued the Defendant and her uninsured motorist carrier. The jury found that Ms. Krawzak was not permanently injured and denied her all relief. Ms. Lippincott successfully represented Susan Krawzak on appeal before the Fourth District Court of Appeal, and the Florida Supreme Court.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled in Krawzak v. Government Employees Insurance Co., 660 So. 2d 306 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995), that Ms. Krawzak was entitled to a new trial because the jury instruction on permanent injury was incorrect. In addition, the court held an uninsured motorist carrier who is properly sued must be disclosed to the jury as a party defendant.

The insurance company appealed to the Florida Supreme Court and Ms. Lippincott again represented Ms. Krawzak. The Supreme Court upheld the Fourth District’s decision awarding Susan Krawzak a new trial.

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Protected decision that placed responsibility on two insurance companies for the same loss.

Two insurance companies were involved in litigation regarding responsibility for the same loss. On appeal Ms. Lippincott effectively represented Lexington Insurance Company.

The Travelers’ policy contained both an excess and escape clause that were mutually repugnant. Travelers argued the excess clauses of both policies cancelled each other out, and their escape clause governed, making the entire loss fall on Lexington.

The Fifth District Court of Appeal held it would not tolerate such gamesmanship and that the insurance companies were both responsible on a pro rata basis in accordance with their respective coverage.

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Reversed treble damage and attorney fee award against insurance company.

Berryhill purchased a car from a defunct auto dealer and sued to collect damages for odometer fraud on a motor vehicle dealer bond issued by United Pacific Insurance Company. The trial court awarded treble damages and attorney fees to Berryhill. Ms. Lippincott effectively represented United Pacific on appeal.

The Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed the awards of treble damages and attorney fees, and held the bond covered only actual damages, not fees and penalties.

The Florida Supreme Court later ruled in Caufield v. Cantele, 837 So. 2d 371 (Fla. 2002) that the specific basis for attorney fees did not have to be pled, abrogating that part of the Berryhill decision. However, the result for the Berryhill parties remained the same.

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