Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Judgment On Appraisal Award Reversed Due To Coverage Issues

In Citizens Property Insurance Corporation v. River Manor Condominium Association (4D12-901), the Fourth District reversed a trial court's judgment entered after an appraisal award. In the appeal, Citizens argued "...that the final judgment improperly awarded the appellee damages for: (a) property excluded under its policies, and (b) amounts that should have been deducted from the award by application of defenses the trial court refused to consider."

The Fourth District agreed, at least with regard to the first part of Citizens argument. The Court's twelve page opinion provides the details about the facts, arguments, and reasons for the holding. The ultimate conclusion is copied below:
For the reasons discussed above, we reverse the trial court’s final judgment and remand this cause with directions that the trial court enter a revised final judgment for the amounts set forth in the appraisal award less: 
(i) amounts previously paid; 
(ii) amounts allocated to exterior common elements excluded by the terms of the applicable insurance policies; and 
(iii) amounts awarded in excess of any amount agreed upon by the parties for roof repairs and water extraction for Buildings A and C if, and only if, the trial court concludes – after an evidentiary hearing – that the parties reached a binding pre-appraisal agreement stipulating to the amount owed. 
To the extent the trial court refused to adjudicate Citizens’ claims that amounts awarded were duplicative or represent losses to property the unit owners – as opposed to River Manor – were obligated to insure, the judgment is affirmed. 
The opinion can be viewed HERE


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