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Florida Appeals Court Reverses Appraisal Ordered In Storm Suit

On July 20, 2022, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded a trial court’s decision compelling the parties to proceed with appraisal and staying litigation until that appraisal was completed. Florida’s appellate court held that trial court erred in granting the motion to compel appraisal without first conducting an evidentiary hearing to determine compliance with post loss obligations. About The Authors

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Court’s Opinion Provides Guidance on Protecting a Claims Handling Manual as a Trade Secret

In Chavez v. Std. Ins. Co., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203610 (N.D. Tex. Oct. 30, 2020), Judge David C. Godbey considered a variation on a common scenario that arises in first party cases.  Typically, the insured/plaintiff wants an insurer’s claims handling manual to use against the insurer in proving claims under Texas Insurance Code Chapter 541 and the DTPA.  However, as Judge Godbey explained, such manuals are not automatically discoverable.  Also, insurers can significantly increase the chances that a court will protect such manuals from unrestricted discovery and use in litigation by providing certain affidavit evidence. The plaintiff in Chavez was receiving long-term disability benefits from Standard Insurance Company (“Standard”).  Standard terminated Chavez’s benefits after a medical examination.  Litigation ensued. 

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About The Property Insurance Law Observer
For more than four decades, Cozen O’Connor has represented all types of property insurers in jurisdictions throughout the United States, and it is dedicated to keeping its clients abreast of developments that impact the insurance industry. The Property Insurance Law Observer will survey court decisions, enacted or proposed legislation, and regulatory activities from all 50 states. We will also include commentary on current issues and developing trends of interest to first-party insurers.
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