April 12, 2023Share
Kelley Kronenberg Secures Summary Final Judgment Precluding Recovery
Kelley Kronenberg Attorney, Joseph Petrella, assisted by Partners, Kimberly O’Neill and Katherine Koener, secured a victory for our client by prevailing on Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court agreed with Mr. Petrella’s averments that the Assignment of Benefits was invalid pursuant to Fla. Stat. 627.7152 and Plaintiff lacked standing as the policy was void ab initio.
In this case involving an allegation of damages as a result of Hurricane Irma, an AOB company made a claim on behalf of a named insured. During the claim investigation, our client discovered the named insured lied on his application for insurance, resulting in the policy being voided. More than one month after it was voided, Plaintiff formed an AOB contract with the named insured.
Our investigation revealed that the AOB was noncompliant with Fla. Stat. 627.7152(2)(a)(4). First, the contract did not contain an itemized estimate. Plaintiff attempted to circumvent the requirement by attaching an affidavit of Plaintiff’s Corporate Representative with a “preliminary estimate” attached. Plaintiff referred to the preliminary estimate as a separate document from the AOB contract. The preliminary estimate was never provided to our client.
Additionally, Plaintiff did not have standing as they did not take any rights to insurance benefits when the AOB contract was executed because, at that time, the policy was already voided. Plaintiff incorrectly argued there was an issue of material fact of whether the policy should have been voided and whether the named insured materially misrepresented in his application. The Court found their argument missed the real issue–that the policy was voided when they executed the AOB, effectively assigning rights that did not exist at that time.
Joseph Petrella’s victory averted the damages of $12,000.00 being sought and Plaintiff’s total demand of $20,000.00. Moreover, Mr. Petrella placed our client in an excellent position to defend the four additional claims being maintained by this named insured.