April 8, 2024

Kelley Kronenberg Secures Victory with Dismissal in Hurricane Claim

Kelley Kronenberg Practice Partner, Esmee Vera-Benavidez, strategically filed a Motion to Dismiss, leading our firm’s First-Party Property Insurance Division to a significant victory before the Honorable Judge Kristina Lightel in Escambia County, Florida.  

The case stemmed from a claim for Assignment of Benefits (AOB) related to a hurricane claim, with damages sought amounting to $40,000.00. However, through meticulous legal strategy and expertise, Esmee successfully filed a Motion to Dismiss for failure to comply with Florida Statute section 627.7152. 

The crux of the victory lay in the Court’s meticulous examination of the AOB documentation. Judge Lightel’s ruling highlighted critical inconsistencies within the AOB, notably the price list contained within the AOB did not consist of a written, itemized, per-unit cost estimate of the services to be performed as required in Florida Statute §627.7152(2)(a)(5).  Further, Judge Lightel’s ruling noted the discrepancies regarding the document’s pagination. Furthermore, the purported estimate failed to meet the stringent requirements outlined in Florida Statute §627.7152(2)(a)(4), as it overestimated the scope of services and included non-relevant items, such as “driveway.” 

Importantly, the Court underscored the distinction between engaging in pre-suit negotiations and waiving challenges to standing. It emphasized that insurers’ participation in pre-suit negotiations is a statutory obligation, distinct from challenging the legal right of another party to bring a lawsuit. The ruling clarified that standing to sue is a fundamental jurisdictional requirement, not a procedural formality. 

Ultimately, the Court granted the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss with prejudice, signaling a definitive victory for our client. This dismissal with prejudice signifies finality, barring the plaintiff from resubmitting the same complaint and solidifying our triumph in the courtroom.