Northern District of Florida Rules Bad Faith Insurance Case Was Filed Prematurely

In Mann v. Taylor, a woman was hurt in a traffic collision that was allegedly caused by another driver. As a result of her accident, she filed a negligence lawsuit against the at-fault motorist in a Florida court. The injured woman also sought uninsured motorist benefits from her own automobile insurance company. In addition, the hurt motorist accused the company of refusing to settle her claim in good faith and asked the court to issue a declaratory judgment against the insurer. After the insurer successfully removed the woman’s case to the Northern District of Florida based on diversity of citizenship, the business filed a motion to dismiss or strike portions of the hurt driver’s claims against the company.

First, the federal court stated an injured person may bring an uninsured motorist case against his or her auto insurance company before resolving the individual’s claim against the negligent party. After examining the woman’s complaint, however, the Northern District of Florida found that the injured driver’s request for relief was unclear and ambiguous. Since the claim was not sufficiently pleaded, the court dismissed the hurt woman’s uninsured motorist benefits claim with leave to amend it in the future.

Next, the court addressed the insurer’s assertion that the woman’s bad faith cause of action against the company was premature. According to the court, such a claim is not ripe for consideration before the underlying litigation over the amount of an insurer’s liability has concluded. Since the woman accused the insurer of refusing to settle her claim in good faith prematurely, the federal court dismissed her cause of action with leave to amend within 90 days if necessary.

Finally, the Northern District of Florida dismissed the woman’s request for a declaratory judgment because there was no current case or controversy before the court. Although the court said such a claim would be appropriate if a future bad faith claim arises, such a cause of action may never accrue. After stating the defects of the woman’s declaratory judgment claim could not be cured, the court dismissed the cause of action with prejudice.

Ultimately, the Northern District of Florida dismissed each of the injured woman’s claims against her uninsured motorist insurance carrier but provided her with leave to resubmit two of her causes of action in the future.

If you or someone close to you was seriously injured in a South Florida car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you need a capable lawyer on your side to help you protect your rights. To speak with a personal injury advocate about your traffic wreck injuries, call the hardworking attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. today at (305) 448-8585 or contact us through our website.

Additional Resources:

Mann v. Taylor, Dist. Court, ND Florida 2015

More Blog Posts:

Florida Court Reminds Plaintiffs General Maritime Law Does Not Recognize a Loss of Consortium Cause of Action, February 4, 2015, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

Order Providing Discounted Benefits for Pre-Existing Condition Overturned in Florida Workers’ Compensation Case, February 2, 2015, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

Contact Information