Tampa Court Declines to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Car Accident Victim PIP Payments

In AA Suncoast Chiropractic Clinic, PA v. Progressive America Ins. Co., a group of Florida chiropractic clinics filed a class action lawsuit against an insurance company, claiming the insurer breached its contract when it failed to reimburse the medical providers for the care each provided following various motor vehicle collisions.

Under Florida law, motorists are required to carry no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of $10,000 in order to pay for emergency medical treatment. According to the group of chiropractic clinics, the insurer reclassified the treatment each insured person at issue received as non-emergency care after the insureds were treated. As a result, the insurance company allegedly opted to reduce the PIP policy limits to $2,500, pursuant to Section 627.736 of the Florida Statutes. After doing so, the insurer denied full payment to the clinics. In their complaint, the group of clinics sought both declaratory and injunctive relief.

In response to the case, the insurer filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit for failing to state a claim on which relief may be granted. When considering the company’s request, the Middle District of Florida first stated it was required to assume any facts alleged in the plaintiffs’ complaint were true. Despite this, the Tampa court said it was not obligated to assume any legal conclusions were accurate when reviewing the insurer’s motion.

Next, the court addressed the insurance company’s contention that the chiropractic clinics’ claims were contrary to the legislative policy behind Florida’s PIP statute. According to the court, it was premature to address statutory construction at the motion for dismissal stage.  After that, the Tampa court turned to the insurance company’s request to dismiss the class allegations. The court stated the case law on which the insurer relied did not involve the same legal issue. Additionally, the court said the insurer’s motion on the issue of collective action was premature, since a class was not yet certified.

Finally, the Middle District of Florida examined the insurance company’s argument that the claims identified in the plaintiffs’ complaint should be dismissed because the clinics failed to comply with the pre-suit notice requirements enumerated in Section 627.736(10). The Tampa court stated such notice was not required because the clinics requested declaratory and injunctive relief in lieu of damages.

Ultimately, the Middle District of Florida denied the insurer’s motion to dismiss the chiropractic clinics’ complaint.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a South Florida car accident, you are advised to speak with a hardworking Miami personal injury lawyer as soon as you are able.   To discuss your right to recover damages with an experienced Florida motor vehicle crash attorney soon, call the dedicated advocates at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. at (305) 448-8585 or contact us through our website.

Additional Resources:

AA Suncoast Chiropractic Clinic, PA v. Progressive America Ins. Co., Dist. Court, MD Florida 2016

More Blog Posts:

Florida Appeals Court Holds Section 57.105 Does Not Entitle Defendant to Privileged Information, February 25, 2016, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

Florida Hearing Indicates Takata Concealed Evidence of Airbag Defect, February 22, 2016, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

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