Appellate Win – Automobile Accident – Broward County

Board-Certified Appellate Partner, Michael Rosenberg, of the Plantation office, obtained a per curium opinion with citation, affirming a trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of a well-known automobile insurance carrier. The carrier disclaimed coverage after an automobile accident based on the insured’s material misrepresentations made on her insurance application that had the carrier known about the true facts, it would not have accepted the risk and issued the policy of insurance.

The medical provider filed suit for PIP benefits, arguing that an agent for the insurance company had filled out the injured party’s insurance application and that the answer that the agent recorded was not the injured party’s answer. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court disagreed with the medical provider’s position and entered summary judgment in favor of the insurance carrier, finding that an applicant for insurance benefits has a duty to learn and understand the contents of the application before signing it.

On appeal, the medical provider argued the trial court applied the wrong law and asserted that there is no duty to read an application for insurance in anticipation of an agent’s fraud, negligence, or mistake. The medical provider also contended that the trial court precluded parol evidence to show that the agent recorded a false answer. The Third District Court of Appeal rejected the medical provider’s arguments in toto and affirmed in favor of the insurance carrier.

The Third District Court of Appeal’s per curiam opinion with citation reaffirms the legal principle that: (1) an insurance company can disclaim PIP coverage in the event of a material misrepresentation; and (2) the failure to read a written contract is not a defense unless that person can show circumstances that the person was prevented from reading the contract or that the person was induced to not read the contract. The Third District Court of Appeal has ordered the trial court to enter final judgment in favor of CSK’s client insurance carrier and granted conditional entitlement to its appellate attorney’s fees.

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