Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Order Denying Attorneys Fees To Prevailing Party Reversed

In Point East Four Condominium Corp., Inc. v. Zevuloni & Associates, Inc. (4D09-3221), the Fourth District reversed the trial court's order declining to award prevailing party attorneys fees.  The court described the facts as follows:
The Condominium Association hired Zevuloni & Associates as a public insurance adjuster to handle its claim for benefits under a casualty insurance policy. The contract for adjustment provided for a fee of 10% of the proceeds recovered by the Association.  There has never been any recovery of insurance benefits by the Association. Nevertheless the public adjuster sued the Association for its fee.
After the trial court granted the associations motion to dismiss, it denied the associations motion for prevailing party attorneys fees as provided in the contract.   The court stated:
The adjuster’s suit for fees without any recovery by the insured Association was meritless and was properly dismissed. The Association was undeniably the prevailing party in that action.
 Because "Courts have no discretion to decline to enforce this kind of contractual attorneys fees provision," the order denying attorneys fees was reversed.


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