February 23, 2024

Kelley Kronenberg Partner Secures Dismissal of First-Party Property Insurance Case

Kelley Kronenberg Partner, Alan Swindoll, secured a notable victory representing an insurance company in a first-party property insurance case. At the heart of the dispute was the validity of an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contract, with the plaintiff seeking damages totaling approximately $24,000.00. Alan’s strategic maneuvering led to a successful Motion to Dismiss, resulting in the Court’s decision to grant the motion with prejudice. 

The crux of the case rested on the plaintiff’s alleged breach of the Assignment of Benefits contract, countered by Alan’s assertion of an invalid assignment. Alan meticulously argued that the plaintiff’s assignment of benefits ran afoul of Fla. Stat. § 627.7152(7)(a) and (b), asserting that it unfairly burdened the insured with responsibilities beyond what the statute permitted. According to the statute, the insured’s obligations were limited to the deductible, betterment, or work performed prior to rescission—not depreciation, as stipulated in the assignment. 

Despite vigorous arguments from the plaintiff’s counsel contesting Alan’s interpretation, the judge sided with Alan’s position, affirming that any violation of Fla. Stat. § 627.7152 could render an assignment agreement null and void. 

The Court’s ruling—a resounding Order of Dismissal with Prejudice—underscored Alan’s argument that the plaintiff could not rectify the deficiencies in the assignment of benefits post facto. Without a valid assignment agreement, the plaintiff lacked the legal standing to pursue further litigation against the defendant insurance company.