Coverage Team Prevails in Declaratory Judgment Action

March 14, 2023 by on News

Kansas R. Gooden, Josh Hartley, and Jennifer Kerwin recently prevailed in a declaratory judgment action in the Southern District of Florida.

They filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that the carrier did not have a duty to defend or indemnify for an incident involving a now infamous rage road incident in Miami. The named insured was driving his brother-in-law, a well-known telenovela star, and his family to the Miami International Airport when he cut another vehicle off. The driver of the other vehicle exited his vehicle and then started banging on the insured’s vehicle. The insured exited the vehicle and exchanged words. The two men then retreated to their vehicles. However, the telenovela star exited the vehicle, ran up to the other driver, and punched him. The other driver fell and hit his head, eventually dying from his injuries. The incident was caught on camera.

Our Team moved for summary judgment arguing that the incident was not accident under the terms of the policy, among other arguments. The federal judge agreed and entered summary judgment in the carrier’s favor. The carrier does not have a duty to defend or indemnify the claims of the Estate.

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 Appellate Practice Group Leader. 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 one of the only attorneys who has argued back-to-back cases on the same day before the Florida Supreme Court. Ms. Gooden often handles cases of first impression, and those involving insurance coverage and bad faith issues.

Joshua J. Hartley
Direct: 904.341.5951

About Joshua J. Hartley:

Josh Hartley concentrates his practice on insurance defense litigation, focusing primarily on automobile liability, coverage disputes, wrongful death, and bad faith. He has significant experience defending insurance companies in all aspects of litigation, including appeals, in both state and federal court.

His experience includes litigating both first- and third-party coverage and liability issues for auto, homeowners, umbrella, and professional malpractice policies. Mr. Hartley regularly advises insurers regarding their potential extra-contractual liability in the handling of property damage, bodily injury, and uninsured motorist claims. He also assists insurers with pre-suit claims handling issues, including formulating coverage opinions and responding to time demands or civil remedy notices of insurer violation. Mr. Hartley has successfully defended numerous insurance companies from claims of bad faith and unfair claims handling practices.

Jennifer P. Kerwin
Senior Associate
Direct: 321.326.7412

About Jennifer P. Kerwin:

Jennifer P. Kerwin is a senior associate working remotely out of Melbourne, Florida.  She is a seasoned trial lawyer with extensive jury trial experience in both the civil and criminal arenas.  Jennifer focuses her practice on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.  Jennifer has experience in litigation with first and third-party issues on behalf of insurance companies nationwide.  Prior to joining the firm, Jennifer handled a plethora of insurance defense matters both as staff counsel for a Fortune 100 insurance company as well as retained counsel for a large insurance defense firm.

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