Boyd & Jenerette Secures Victory as Summary Judgment Obtained in Insurance Coverage Dispute is Affirmed on Appeal

February 12, 2024 by on News

Boyd & Jenerette was recently victorious in multiple levels of the federal court system.  Kristen M. Van der Linde and Amanda L. Kidd successfully obtained a summary judgment in favor of an insurance carrier in a coverage dispute brought in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.  In 2017, Plaintiff went to watch his friend bale hay at a rural property.  The friend owned a John Deere tractor, which was hitched to the hay baler.  The tractor unexpectedly “took off” injuring both the friend and the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff sought UM benefits under his automobile policy.   He claimed coverage for injuries sustained due to a “vehicle used in the business of farming or ranching.”  The District Court granted the carrier’s summary judgment finding that the tractor was not used in the business of farming when the accident occurred.  Undisputedly, the friend was bailing hay for personal use, not as part of a farming business.

The Plaintiff appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  Kansas R. Gooden handled the appeal for our client.  The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the summary judgment.  It held that the phrase “vehicle used in the business of farming” referred to the activity for which the vehicle was used when the accident occurred.  It further held that, in this case, there was insufficient evidence for a jury to reasonably find that the tractor used was “used in the business of farming.”

Kristen M. Van der Linde
Shareholder / Practice Group Leader
Direct: 904.493.3766

About Kristen M. Van der Linde

Kristen Van der Linde devotes her practice exclusively to the defense of cases and appeals involving trucking liability, automobile liability, premises liability, wrongful death, bad faith, negligent security, and coverage issues. She is admitted to practice law in Georgia as well as Florida.

Ms. Van der Linde is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by The Florida Bar, which means that she is an expert in civil litigation before state and federal courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators. 

She frequently lectures on a wide range of topics including adjuster ethics, handling wrongful death claims, and bad faith litigation for continuing educational credit to insurance professionals.

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Kansas R. Gooden
Shareholder / Practice Group Leader
Direct: 305.537.1238

About Kansas R. Gooden

Kansas R. Gooden, a Board Certified Appellate Specialist and AV Rated attorney, serves as the firm’s General Counsel and Appellate Practice Group Leader.  Ms. Gooden currently works remotely for the firm in Miami. Through her remote work, she efficiently and cost-effectively serves her client’s needs.

Ms. Gooden has extensive experience handling all types of civil appellate proceedings in the Florida Supreme Court, all Florida District Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  She is often retained in cases at or headed to the Florida Supreme Court or is retained to develop statewide litigation strategy to effectuate change in the common law.  She is one of the only attorneys—and likely the only woman—who has argued back-to-back cases on the same day before the Florida Supreme Court.

Many of Ms. Gooden cases are those of first impression, and those involving insurance coverage and bad faith issues.  Clients trust Ms. Gooden to handle their high-profile appellate litigation.

In addition to handling appeals, she also provides litigation and trial support to attorneys throughout the state. She is often called upon to attend trials and hearing to assist in preserving the error for later appeal.

Ms. Gooden is highly involved in the state and local bar associations and has served in many leadership roles.   Ms. Gooden served as the President of Florida Defense Lawyers Association, the statewide civil defense bar, in 2021-2022.  She still chairs the organization’s Amicus Committee and has since 2017.  On behalf of the organization, she authors and co-authors amicus briefs in important cases impacting tort, litigation, and insurance issues.

Ms. Gooden is the Chair of the Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section.  She has been active in the Appellate Practice Section for over a decade. She has served on the Executive Council and previously chaired the CLE Committee for several years.

Ms. Gooden also currently serves on the Florida Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education. This committee oversees the certification committees and CLE accreditation for the bar.  She previously served on and chaired the Florida Bar’s Appellate Board Certification Committee, which writes and grades the appellate board certification test. The examination tests an applicant’s knowledge of state and federal appeals in the areas of civil, criminal, administrative, worker’s compensation, probate, and family law. The committee also examines the fitness of the candidates for board certification and those applying for recertification.

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Amanda L. Kidd
Direct: 386.319.1026

About Amanda L. Kidd

Amanda Kidd is a partner who works for the firm in Pensacola, FL. She focuses her practice in the areas of first and third-party bad faith insurance litigation, insurance coverage disputes, and automobile liability defense. Amanda has significant jury trial practice, including experience in both state and federal courts on multimillion dollar bad faith and coverage lawsuits on behalf of major insurance carriers.

Amanda also has significant experience in the areas of Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) / No-Fault litigation, as well as in workers’ compensation defense. She is admitted to practice law in both Florida and Kentucky.

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