Client Alerts & Publications

The Supreme Court of Florida Ruled That Chapter 558 Is A “Suit” Under Standard Commercial General Liability Insurance Policies

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Peckar & Abramson, P.C. is proud to represent the Appellant, Altman Contractors, Inc., in an appeal pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit adverse to Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company. Today, December 14, 2017, and following oral arguments, the Florida Supreme Court held that
the pre-suit notice of claim process under Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes is a “suit” as defined by standard Commercial General Liability Insurance Policies, and thus, could require insurance companies to provide their insured contractors a defense through that process and prior to the commencement of formal litigation or arbitration.

As counsel for the insured general contractor, P&A argued that the attorneys’ and consultants’ fees incurred as a result of the Chapter 558 notice of claim should be paid by the insurance carrier as part of its duty to defend. Prior decisions by the Florida Supreme Court support this position, and having the insurance carrier’s participation during the Chapter 558 process will promote the statute’s stated policy of encouraging settlement and reducing litigation.

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