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June 18, 2022

Kelley Kronenberg Partner Jake Huxtable Convinces Fourth District Court of Appeals To Affirm Lower Court’s Complete Dismissal of Assignment of Benefits Lawsuit

Kelley Kronenberg Partner and Business Unit Leader, Jake D. Huxtable, successfully argued before the Fourth District Court of Appeal and convinced the court to uphold and affirm the lower court’s final order dismissing a third-party contractor’s lawsuit with prejudice and deeming our client, United Property & Casualty Insurance Company (“UPC”), the prevailing party in the lawsuit.

In The Kidwell Group, LLC A/A/O Kivovitz v. United Property & Casualty Ins. Co., No 4D21-2843 (Fla. 4th DCA June 15, 2022), a third-party contractor brought suit against UPC for breach of contract pursuant to an Assignment of Benefits (“AOB”) agreement that was attached to the complaint, and upon which the third-party contractor’s legal standing relied.  Based on the date the AOB was executed, both the lower court and appellate court concluded that the AOB was subject to, and governed by, the new AOB reform law, codified as Fla. Stat. §627.7152 (2019).

In affirming the trial court’s dismissal with prejudice of the AOB contractor’s complaint, the Fourth District Court of Appeals concluded that the AOB agreement attached to the complaint failed to comply with, and violated, subsections 627.7152(2)(a)(1) & (2)(a)(4). These subsections require an assignment to be in writing and executed by the assignor and assignee, and contain written, itemized, per unit cost estimate of the services to be performed by the assignee. At issue was whether the AOB company satisfied these provisions by providing the insured with an invoice which it attached to the Complaint which was unexecuted and dated five (5) days after the AOB was executed. Specifically, the Fourth District held that “the statute’s plain language requires that at the time the assignment of benefits is signed, the assignor must be provided with a list of the itemized services to be performed by the assignee, as well as the costs thereof.”

The issues presented on appeal in this case involving the AOB reform law was a matter of first impression in the Fourth District Court of Appeal.  Based on the skilled and fervent efforts of Kelley Kronenberg Partner, Jake Huxtable, the dismissal and final judgment obtained on behalf of our client in the trial court was upheld and affirmed on appeal.

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ABOUT KELLEY KRONENBERG

Kelley Kronenberg is a multi-practice business law firm with over 400 employees, more than 200 attorneys, and 12 locations throughout Florida and the United States. Founded in 1980, the firm is one of the fastest-growing law firms in Florida and amongst the largest in the U.S. The firm serves all types and sizes of public and private companies, including small businesses and individuals nationwide. Kelley Kronenberg has been recognized amongst the “Largest U.S. Law Firms” by the National Law Journal’s NLJ 500, Law 360 400, and Florida Trend in 2020, “America’s Top Corporate Law Firms” by Forbes and “Top 10” in NLJ’s “Women’s Scorecard” 2019. The firm has been the recipient of many accolades most recently including: “Best Multi-Practice Business Law Firm – USA,” Acquisition International; “Business of the Year,” “Top 100 Private Companies,” “Top Law Firms,” and “Largest Law Firms,” South Florida Business Journal; “Largest Law Firms,” Tampa Bay Business Journal, Orlando Business Journal,  and Jacksonville Business Journal; “Biggest Law Firms in Florida,” Florida Trend; “Top 100 Law Firms,” South Florida Business & Wealth; Florida’s Largest Law Firms,” American Lawyer’s, Daily Business Review “Review 100;” and “Best Law Firms,” U.S. News – Best Lawyers®. The firm earned the 2021 Ragan’s Top Places to Work and Top Workplaces USA award by Energage and “Top Workplaces for Communication, Top Workplaces for Clued-In Leaders, Top Workplaces for Top Leaders, and Top Workplaces for Innovation.” Kelley Kronenberg has also been recognized as a “Top Workplace” by the Sun-Sentinel and a “Best Place to Work” by the South Florida Business Journal for two consecutive years.  For more information, visit www.kklaw.com.
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