August 21, 2018

Bresky Law Obtains Reversal of Order Granting Summary Judgment

August 17, 2018*

Bresky Law recently assisted a chiropractic care center in obtaining reversal of a county court order granting final summary judgment in favor of an insurance company that our client had sued.

Our client provided medical treatment to an insured patient following a car accident. Our client later sued the patient’s auto insurance company for breach of contract and declaratory relief for benefits owed to our client under the policy.

The insurance company filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that our client’s claim was barred by a class action settlement that had been entered into several years earlier in another Florida judicial circuit. The insurance company simply attached the Final Order Approving Class Action Settlement from the other Florida circuit court, and alleged that our client had not opted out of the class and was bound by it. The trial court granted the insurance company’s motion over our client’s arguments that the insurance company failed to meet its burden to obtain summary judgment.

We represented the chiropractic center on appeal to the circuit court. We argued that the insurance company had failed to meet its burden to show the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Specifically, the Final Order Approving Class Action Settlement contained multiple requirements for a person or entity to be a member of the Settlement Class, such as having received payments based on the statutory rates described in Section 627.736(5)(a)2.a.-f., Florida Statutes (2007-2012). We argued there was no such evidence that our client was a member of the class and that the claims at issue fell within the class action settlement.

The circuit court agreed and reversed the county court’s final summary judgment. The circuit court directed the county court to vacate the order granting final judgment and remanded for further proceedings. The circuit court also granted our client’s motion for appellate attorney’s fees conditioned upon our client prevailing on remand. This favorable result allows our client to pursue its claim in the trial court and potentially obtain an award of attorney’s fees incurred for the appeal.

* Not final until disposition of any timely filed motions for rehearing.