Tampa Court Dismisses Case Against Insurer’s Parent Company: Patoo Enterprises, Inc. v. Landmark American Ins. Co.

611693 morguefile alvimannThe United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa has dismissed a lawsuit that was filed against the parent company of an insurer. In Patoo Enterprises, Inc. v. Landmark American Ins. Co., a licensed transportation broker purchased a commercial liability insurance policy from Landmark American Insurance. In addition to this general liability policy, the company also purchased an umbrella policy from Commerce and Industry Insurance Company. Commerce’s parent company is American International Group, Inc. (AIG). While both insurance policies were in effect, the transportation broker and its parent company were sued following a motor vehicle collision. In response to the lawsuit, the transportation companies filed a claim under both insurance policies. After the insurers denied both claims, the transportation companies filed a lawsuit against Landmark, Commerce, and AIG seeking a declaratory judgment in their favor. AIG then filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit alleging the court lacked jurisdiction against the company and that the transportation companies failed to state a claim on which relief may be granted.

Initially, the federal court stated a motion to dismiss a lawsuit must be viewed in the most favorable light possible to the party who is opposing the motion. Because of this, the court said it is required to assume anything alleged in a complaint is true for purposes of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. According to the court, dismissal is only appropriate where a plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to demonstrate the party is entitled to relief. Although an AIG employee denied the transportation companies’ claims under the umbrella policy on an AIG letterhead, AIG is a separate company from Commerce. Since AIG did not issue the umbrella policy, the company asserted it should not be required to defend itself despite that the transportation companies argued AIG was a proper party to the lawsuit.

Ultimately, the Middle District of Florida agreed with AIG. According to the court, only Commerce would be required to provide coverage if the transportation companies were entitled to relief under the umbrella policy. Because of this, AIG’s motion was granted and the case against the insurer was dismissed.

If you suffered a personal injury in a Miami car accident, you may be entitled to collect damages for your harm. The caring personal injury attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. may be able to help. To discuss your personal injury case with a skilled car accident lawyer, contact Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. through our website or give us a call today at (305) 448-8585.

Additional Resources:

Patoo Enterprises, Inc. v. Landmark American Ins. Co., Dist. Court, MD Florida 2014

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