Colodny Fass Litigators Honored by Daily Business Review as 2014 Insurance Litigation Department of the Year for South Florida
Apr 9, 2014
Colodny Fass was among the select elite South Florida law firms that was honored by the Daily Business Review as having the 2014 Litigation Department of the Year. The Firm’s Litigation Division was selected for the award’s insurance category and was recognized at an April 16th reception at the JW Marriott Miami.
In its judging, the Daily Business Review noted that when faced with protracted, complicated or daunting threats to its clients, the Firm’s Insurance Litigation Department exercised creativity and gritty lawyering to prevail in almost a dozen significant client cases.
One such case in 2013 involved the dismissal of a statewide class action by chiropractors involving Personal Injury Protection insurance claims against an insurance carrier client. Colodny Fass Shareholders Maria Elena Abate and Amy Koltnow used creative strategy and an aggressive stance to conclude more than a decade of the plaintiff’s stalling. The Colodny Fass team alleged the plaintiff’s filings were fraudulent, arguing they should be stricken from the docket and the case dismissed. Colodny Fass litigators successfully forced an evidentiary hearing on class certification to demonstrate the plaintiff’s claim was meritless.
The trial court issued an order in August 2013 denying class certification. The judge called the case “woefully deficient” and admonished the plaintiff and its counsel for failing to adequately and swiftly prosecute the case, as well as failing to obtain any relevant evidence to support its claims.
“I am honored to work with such a dedicated, talented and highly creative team here at Colodny Fass,” said Abate, who serves as Managing Partner of the Firm’s Litigation Division. “We strive to provide a strategic, high quality result for our clients. Insurance litigation can be a complex practice, particularly in Florida, but we are always up for the challenge.”
Colodny Fass’ Litigation Division also prevailed in a case related to sinkhole damages – also handled by Abate and Koltnow. The Firm’s attorneys argued for their client, an insurance carrier, and combatted opposing counsel’s argument that any damage to a structure obligates an insurance carrier to conduct “full subsidence” testing to rule out the existence of sinkhole activity. They obtained a favorable judgment regarding the meaning of the phrase “structural damage to the building” in the context of a sinkhole loss.
Circuit court judge John Radabaugh granted summary judgment in the insurance carrier’s favor, thereby confirming the clarifying purpose of the new amendments to Florida’s sinkhole related statutes. The ruling not only served the interests of Colodny Fass clients, but insurance carriers statewide.
Colodny Fass represents insurance industry clients in all areas of complex commercial, regulatory and insurance litigation, as well as appellate work for institutional clients with a heavy emphasis on insurance-related matters. Additionally, it works closely with a variety of state-run joint underwriting associations and guarantee funds and was instrumental in the creation of the Florida and Louisiana residual property markets.
The Firm has been recognized internationally for several years as one of the top insurance law firms by Reactions, an international insurance publication, and has also been named in Chambers USA among the top insurance law firms in Florida since 2011.
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass.