June 21, 2023

Kelley Kronenberg Secures Final Judgment on the Pleadings Against Repeat-Plaintiff, The Kidwell Group

Kelley Kronenberg First-Party Property Attorney, Nadine Mathieu, prevailed on Defendant’s Motion for Final Judgment on the Pleadings, securing a complete defense ruling and shutting down repeat-plaintiff, The Kidwell Group’s efforts to recover. The Honorable Judge R. Scott Ritchie of Florida’s First Judicial Circuit presided over the proceedings.  

Plaintiff in this case sought costs for a microbial assessment under an Assignment of Benefits contract. On behalf of our client, Nadine Mathieu, argued the assignment was invalid and non-compliant with Florida Statutes, specifically §627.7152. Ms. Mathieu asserted the AOB failed to contain a written, itemized, per-unit cost estimate of the services to be performed by the assignee. Additionally, she averred the AOB contained a rescission fee and an administrative fee, in violation of the statute. 

In reviewing the facts before it, the Court agreed with Ms. Mathieu finding the document provided by Plaintiff was an invoice, not an estimate. Furthermore, despite Plaintiff’s argument that the title of the document bears no consequence, the document’s contents established it as an invoice insomuch as it requested payment, set forth a payment due date, and contained specific payment terms.  

The Court was also persuaded by Ms. Mathieu’s argument that the document’s inclusion of a rescission fee was in clear violation of the express requirements of subsection §627.7152(2)(a)(2), noting the ability to rescind a contract is illusory. Finally, the judge concluded the AOB’s inclusion of a provision allowing Plaintiff to recover the cost of collections plus a finance charge for delinquent payments, was considered an “administrative fee,” thereby violating the applicable statute. On these bases, the Court entered final judgment in favor of the defendant, also reserving jurisdiction to determine Defendant’s entitlement to attorney’s fees and costs, as the prevailing party.  

Ms. Mathieu’s exceptional legal representation and attention to detail resulted in a resounding victory for our client. The judge’s ruling is a testament to Ms. Mathieu’s legal expertise and her unwavering commitment to securing a favorable outcome for our client.