Michael Lynott of MMP&S’s Miami office and Jennifer Noud-Duarte of MMP&S’s Boca Raton office obtained two favorable settlements for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) on the eve of one trial and the first day of another.
The night before a four-day jury trial in the Seventeenth Circuit Court of Broward County, MMP&S negotiated a nominal settlement after successfully challenging Plaintiffs’ experts. Plaintiffs alleged that Citizens breached its contract by denying a claim for damages allegedly caused by a sudden, one-time bathroom plumbing leak due to a failed drain line. Plaintiffs had a receipt for the plumber who trenched and replaced the failed drain line, some of the damages were discarded, and some of the damages were removed and placed outside in the elements over an extended period of time. Plaintiffs replaced the drain line after the loss occurred and prior to Citizens’ field adjuster’s inspection of the property. MMP&S prevailed on a motion to strike Plaintiffs’ expert plumber who replaced the drain line who failed to appear for multiple depositions. Plaintiffs’ counsel then retained a general contractor and a public adjuster as experts. MMP&S moved to strike Plaintiffs’ replacement experts on the grounds that they did not meet Daubert qualifications. As a result, we were able to settle this claim for a nominal amount the night before the Daubert hearing and the first day of trial.
Employing a similar strategy, MMP&S negotiated a nominal settlement just before jury selection in what was to be a four-day trial in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade County. Plaintiffs alleged that Citizens breached its contract by denying a claim for damages allegedly caused by a sudden, one-time air conditioning leak. During the pre-trial hearing before voir dire on Defendant’s Daubert motion to strike Plaintiffs’ expert, Plaintiffs’ counsel requested a brief recess as it appeared that the judge was leaning towards striking Plaintiffs’ expert or severely limiting Plaintiffs’ expert’s testimony due to not meeting Daubert qualifications as well as testifying to a policy exclusion regarding a constant and repeated seepage leak for the past two years due to Plaintiffs not fixing a failed float switch. MMP&S was able to settle this claim as well as potential future claims related to this air conditioning unit.