I. STATE APPELLATE DECISIONS

  1. FLORIDA
    • Ake v. U.S. Sugar and Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. (Fla. 1st DCA). Workers’ compensation; timeliness of appeal. Claimant’s Notice of Appeal filed February 7, 2013 challenging a “final evidentiary order” entered February 6, 2012 dismissing with prejudice his claims for permanent total disability (PTD) dismissed as untimely. The February 6, 2012, order was a final appealable order under Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.180(b)(1), which order was not appealed within 30 days of rendition. In the context of a workers’ compensation case, an order that decides all issues then ripe for adjudication is considered to be a “final order”, even if the order does not represent an end to all judicial labor in the case, and even where additional claims not then ripe for adjudication remain pending. The Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC), by finally ruling on the PTD benefits in the February 2012 order, and by not ruling on unmediated claims for temporary disability benefits (TDB) and directing that such claims proceed to mediation (an unmet condition precedent to the conduction of a merit hearing on the claims), entered an order that finally adjudicated all claims ripe for adjudication, reserving upon those claims not ripe for adjudication.
    • Boston v. Publix Super Markets, Inc. et al. (Fla. 4th DCA). Worker's compensation immunity. Appeal by decedent’s estate of trial court’s final summary judgment in favor of Employer and Employee. Employer entitled to immunity under section 440.11, Fla. Stat. because Employer’s conduct was not virtually certain to produce injury or death, thus failing to meet the statutory exception to immunity. However, as to the Employee, material issues of fact remained as to whether Employee was grossly negligent, an exception to employee statutory immunity under section 440.11(1), Fla. Stat. Summary judgment in favor of Employee reversed and remanded for further proceedings on the claim of gross negligence.
    • Citizens v. Zunjic (Fla. 3d DCA). Homeowners’ insurance; appraisal. Trial court order compelling insurer to appraisal improper. Insurance policy appraisal clause required, as a condition precedent, that the parties enter into a written agreement setting forth the terms of the appraisal. Insured failed to respond to insurer concerning proposed appraisal agreement and never executed an appraisal agreement. Florida law does not require an insurer to participate in appraisal absent a written agreement between the two parties. What is appraised and whether a party can be compelled to appraisal depend on the contract provisions.
    • Gira v. Wolfe (Fla. 2d DCA). Automobile insurance; settlement. Auto insurance; settlement; conditions of claimant’s offer. Where claimant’s offer of settlement to insurer was conditioned on disclosure of the name and coverage of each known insurer by the insured and her insurance agent, but insured did not provide such information before the deadline for the insurer to accept claimant’s offer expired, no enforceable settlement agreement was formed.
    • Phillips-Huter v. Amstaff HR (Fla. 1st DCA). Workers' compensation. Order of Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) denying entitlement to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits reversed. The JCC erred in applying section 440.093, Fla. Stat., to this case because section 440.093, Fla. Stat., presents the test for compensability of psychiatric injuries, and, here the Employer/Carrier did not challenge compensability of Claimant’s psychiatric injury.
    • Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Johnson (Fla. 1st DCA). Homeowners’ insurance; misrepresentation. Trial court erred in granting summary judgment which found that based on the policy language, the insurer was required to prove at trial that the insured’s misrepresentation concerning her criminal history was intentional and that the insurer was entitled to rescind the insurance contract based only upon the commission of an intentional misrepresentation which was material to the acceptance of the risk. The First District Court of Appeal found that the insurance policy at issue did not impose a more stringent standard for voiding a policy that provided by section 627.409, Fla. Stat. Under the policy at issue and under section 627.409(1), Fla. Stat., a misrepresentation need not be fraudulently or knowingly made but need only affect the insurer’s risk or be a fact, which, if known, would have caused the insurer not to issue the policy or not issue it in so large an amount.
  2. GEORGIA
    • St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company v. Hughes (Ga. Ct. of App., 2nd Division). Commercial excess and umbrella insurance. Trial court properly denied insurer’s cross-motion for summary judgment that Indiana law applied and properly granted insured’s employee’s motion for partial summary on limited issue whether insurance policy (Policy) provides UM coverage. At the time of the accident, Georgia’s Uninsured Motorist Statute applied to excess and umbrella insurance and required that any motor vehicle liability policy issued or delivered by an insurer licensed in Georgia upon any motor vehicle then principally garaged or principally used in Georgia contain an endorsement or provisions providing the insured Uninsured Motorist coverage. The insured was licensed in Georgia, the vehicle involved in the accident was principally garaged in Georgia, and there was no written rejection of UM benefits for the Policy. Furthermore, the Policy’s UM exclusion was void because it conflicted with the plain terms of O.C.G.A. § 33-7-1.

II. FEDERAL APPELLATE DECISIONS

  • No opinions reported.

III. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW/AGENCY DECISIONS

  1. FLORIDA
  2. GEORGIA
    • No Georgia agency decisions reported.

IV. NOTICES OF ADMINISTRATIVE RULEMAKING PROCEEDINGS

  1. FLORIDA
  2. GEORGIA
    • Proposed Regulation Chapter 120-2-103 – Certificates of Insurance. The purpose of the proposed rule is to implement recent changes to the Insurance Code aimed at ensuring that property and casualty certificates of insurance accurately reflect underlying policies. Following a public hearing and receipt of written comments, the Georgia Office of the Commissioner of Insurance entered an Order adopting amendments to Proposed Regulation Chapter 120-2-103, effective May 22, 2013. Click here for a copy of the adopted rule.

V. MEETING NOTICES OF INTEREST/MISCELLANEOUS