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In The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Ramirez, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1169b (Fla. 4th DCA May 18, 2016), the 4th DCA denied a petition for writ of certiorari upon a finding that the trial court in the underlying action had not departed from the essential requirements of the law in denying petitioner's, The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, motion to join an indispensable third party.

The underlying negligence action involved a claim of personal injury arising out of a motor vehicle collision. The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania had sought to join as an indispensable party another person who had been injured in the same accident but had not filed suit. The trial court denied petitioner's motion to join and The Insurance Company sought certiorari review with the 4th DCA.

The 4th DCA denied The Insurance Company's petition and held that the trial court had not departed from the essential requirements of the law, so as to trigger certiorari review, in finding that the injured third party was not indispensable. The third party had not filed suit despite having been injured in the same accident and, even if he had, he would not be considered indispensable if the trial court could properly deny a motion to consolidate separate claims arising from the same occurrence.

In denying petitioner's writ of certiorari, the 4th DCA cited to its earlier decision in Phillips v. Choate, which defined indispensable parties as "[p]ersons who have not only an interest in the controversy, but an interest of such nature that a final decree cannot be made without either affecting that interest, or leaving the controversy in such condition that its final termination may be wholly inconsistent with equity and good conscience." 456 So. 2d at 556 (Fla. 4th DCA 1984), quoting Shields v. Barrow, 58 U.S. 130, 139 (1855).

This summary was prepared by Aaron Eagan of our firm.


Aaron Eagan

 

 

41 Fla. L. Weekly D1169b

 

Civil procedure -- Trial court did not depart from essential requirements of law in determining that a person injured in the same accident was not an indispensable party to instant suit asserting an automobile accident claim

THE INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, Petitioner, v. FRANKLIN RAMIREZ, Respondent. 4th District. Case No. 4D15-3689. May 18, 2016. Petition for writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Michael L. Gates, Judge; L.T. Case No. CACE 14-11158 12. Counsel: Jason B. Trauth and Jason B. Bloom of Lydecker|Diaz, Miami, for petitioner. Michele K. Feinzig and Robin Bresky of Law Offices of Robin Bresky, Boca Raton, for respondent.

(PER CURIAM.) We deny the petition for certiorari from an order denying a motion to join an indispensable party in an automobile accident claim. The party sought to be joined was also injured in the accident. The trial court did not depart from the essential requirements of law in determining that the other injured person was not indispensable. See Phillips v. Choate, 456 So. 2d 556, 558 (Fla. 4th DCA 1984). The other injured person had not filed suit.1 Even if he had, he cannot be considered indispensable, where it is not a departure from the essential requirements of law to deny consolidation of two claims arising out of the same accident. See Pages v. Dominguez, 652 So. 2d 864, 867 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995). (WARNER, STEVENSON and DAMOORGIAN, JJ., concur.)

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1 The other injured person did move to intervene at the same time that petitioner filed a motion to dismiss for failure to join an indispensable party. The trial court denied intervention, but the second injured person did not appeal.



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