Florida Court of Appeals Holds Underlying Tort Case Must Resolve Before Third-Party Spoliation Action Can Be Litigated

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The Amerisure case should act as notice to all subrogation professionals that the relief afforded in a spoliation claim may not be available until after the trial of the underlying action.

December 4, 2018
Lian Skaf - The Subrogation Strategist

In Amerisure Ins. Co. v. Rodriguez, 43 Fla. L. Weekly 2225 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App., Sept. 26, 2018), the Third District Court of Appeals of Florida addressed whether a third-party spoliation claim should be litigated and tried at the same time as the plaintiff’s underlying tort case. The court held that since the third-party spoliation claim did not accrue until the underlying claim was resolved, the spoliation cause of action could not proceed until the plaintiff resolved his underlying claim.

The underlying matter in Amerisure involved a personal injury claim by plaintiff Lazaro Rodriguez. While working as an employee for BV Oil, Inc. (BV), Mr. Rodriguez was knocked from the top of a gasoline tanker he was fueling at a gasoline storage warehouse owned by Cosme Investment (Cosme). Mr. Rodriguez filed a personal injury lawsuit against Cosme. He also collected worker’s compensation benefits from Amerisure Insurance Company (Amerisure), BV’s worker’s compensation carrier, while his lawsuit was pending.

Mr. Skaf may be contacted at skafl@whiteandwilliams.com


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