Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals recently held that, despite a jury finding that the homeowners intentionally misrepresented material facts, the insurer was required to pay attorney fees after the insurer lost its counter-claim against the homeowners.
In Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. v. Bascuas, 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 15183 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. Oct. 14, 2015), there was a finding of fact, in the trial court, that the homeowners lied to the insurer. The homeowners lost their main case, but the insurer also lost its counterclaim for unjust enrichment. Despite losing their main case and a finding that they had lied, the court awarded the homeowners attorney’s fees under Fla. Stat. § 627.428.
On appeal, the Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals affirmed the fee award to the homeowner as required under Fla. Stat. § 627.428, noting that there was no fraud exception in the statute and that making such an exception would be a job for the legislature.
For more information, read our recent article Court Affirms Fees Award for Chasing Coverage Despite Policyholder Fraud, published in Florida’s Daily Business Review.