Southern District Court Rules that Non-Specific Civil Remedy Notices are Invalid

July 9, 2020 by on News

In Pin-Pon Corp. v. Landmark American Insurance Company, 2020 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 100072 June 5, 2020), Judge Middlebrooks ruled that the Plaintiff had failed to satisfy a condition precedent to filing a statutory bad faith action and dismissed the Plaintiff’s bad faith complaint.

The Plaintiff suffered losses in Hurricane Frances and filed claims against Landmark. Suit was filed by the Plaintiff and resulted in a judgment for $2,935,642.37. After years of litigation and an appeal, Plaintiff filed a statutory bad faith case seeking to collect on the judgment. Landmark moved to dismiss the bad faith complaint arguing that the three Civil Remedy Notices that had been filed over the course of eight (8) years were defective. Judge Middlebrooks granted Landmark’s Motion to Dismiss and held that because none of the three CRNs complied with the statute, the Plaintiff had not met the condition precedent to filing a bad faith case.

The court noted § 624,155(3) sets forth five (5) pieces of information which must be included in a CRN along with fifteen (15) requirements noted on the DFS created form that “must be stated with specificity.”

Plaintiff filed three (3) CRNs and the court found each CRN deficient as follows:

CRN #1

  •  Wrong Plaintiff and Insured listed
  • Omitted email address for Complainant
  • Omitted address for the Insurer

CRN #2

  • Listed same email address for both Complainant and Insurer
  • Omitted address for Insurer

CRN #3

  • Listed incorrect address for Complainant
  • Omitted address for Insurer

The court held that the “statute requires that all fields on the CRN form must be stated with specificity, and as this statute is strictly construed, I find that none of Plaintiff’s CRNs are compliant with the statutory requirements.” Plaintiff asserted DFS did not return the CRNs for lack of specificity to which the court noted the failure of DFS to return Plaintiff’s CRNs did not establish that the CRNs complied with the statutory requirements. “The statute states that the Department ‘may’ return a CRN that does not contain the required information.”

Jane Anderson
Shareholder / Practice Group Leader
Direct: 904.353.0952

Pamela J. Nelson
Direct: 904.493.3764

Comprehensive Services

Many cases overlap several areas of law. As a full service law firm, we are able to recognize how one legal discipline impacts another. We work as a team on complex issues that require knowledge of a variety of state and federal laws. This multi-disciplinary approach allows clients to receive the large-firm advantage of access to multiple attorneys in a wide scope of practice areas as well as the hands-on customer service offered by a boutique law firm. In addition to civil litigation, employment law, workers’ compensation defense, commercial law, construction law and appeals, our firm also handles professional liability claims.

Our bilingual staff is available to assist with immigration matters, including consular and removal defenses.