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GEICO General Insurance Company v. Perez, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1909a (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 17, 2016) involved GEICO insureds', Ricardo Perez and Luz Perez, claim that their GEICO auto policy provided stacking uninsured motorist coverage. This claim was one of six counts in the Perezes' complaint against GEICO. The trial court's order finding the GEICO policy provided stacking uninsured motorist coverage was deemed to be a non-final order. That notwithstanding, GEICO appealed.

In analyzing rule 9.110(m) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, which provides for appeals of non-final orders that determine the existence or nonexistence of insurance coverage in cases in which a claim has been made against an insured which is disputed by the insurer, the 3d DCA found that the rule applies to appeals of third-party claims (claims asserted against an insured where his/hers/its insurer disputes or denies coverage), but does not apply to first-party claims by an insured seeking uninsured motorist coverage. Accordingly, the 3d DCA granted the Perezes' motion to dismiss GEICO's appeal as premature.

 


This summary was prepared by Dean Hewitt of our firm.


Dean Hewitt

 

 

41 Fla. L. Weekly D1909a

 

Insurance -- Uninsured motorist -- Appeals -- Appeal of order which adjudicated only claim that policy provided stacked uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is premature where intertwined counts remain pending -- Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.110(m) provides for interlocutory appeals for third-party claims, and not for first-party claims seeking UM/UIM benefits

GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellant, vs. RICARDO PEREZ AND LUZ PEREZ, his wife, Appellees. 3rd District. Case No. 3D16-1601. L.T. Case No. 14-4053. Opinion filed August 17, 2016. An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Rodney Smith, Judge. Counsel: Shutts & Bowen LLP, and Frank A. Zacherl and Jake Monk, for appellant. Silverstein, Silverstein & Silverstein, P.A., and Gregg A. Silverstein; The Powell Law Firm, P.A., and Brett C. Powell, for appellees.

(Before ROTHENBERG, FERNANDEZ and SCALES, JJ.)

(PER CURIAM.) Appellant GEICO General Insurance Company appeals an order of the trial court, captioned "Final Declaratory Judgment as to UM/UIM Coverage." We grant Appellees Ricardo Perez and Luz Perez's motion to dismiss GEICO's appeal as premature.

The order adjudicates only one count of Appellees' six-count complaint, to wit: Appellees' claim that GEICO's insurance policy provided stacked uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for a November 29, 2013 crash. The remaining counts of Appellees' complaint are intertwined with, and are not independent of, the adjudicated count. Irrespective of how the order is captioned, the order is non-final and non-appealable; related claims remain pending between the parties. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co. v. Pruitt, 122 So. 3d 484, 487 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013).

We agree with Appellees that rule 9.110 (m) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure (which provides for appeals of non-final orders that determine the existence or nonexistence of insurance coverages in cases in which a claim has been made against an insured and coverage is disputed by the insurer) is inapplicable to vest us with jurisdiction to review the order on appeal. Rule 9.110 (m) provides for interlocutory appeals for third-party claims, and not for first-party claims seeking UM/UIM benefits. Workmen's Auto Ins. Co. v. Franz, 24 So. 3d 638, 640 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009); USAA Cas. Ins. Co. v. Jones, 946 So. 2d 1127, 1128 (Fla. 1st DCA 2006).

Appeal dismissed.





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