FPCA Homeowners Division: Florida Senator Mike Fasano Issues Affadavit on Sinkhole-Related Provisions of CS/CS/CS/SB 408
May 26, 2011
Florida Property and Casualty Association Homeowners Division Members:
It has come to the attention of Colodny Fass that certain plaintiffs’ attorneys have secured an affidavit recently executed by Florida Senator Mike Fasano that purports to establish the legislative intent surrounding certain provisions of CS/CS/CS/SB 408 (“SB 408”) specifically relating to the definition of “structural damage” in regard to sinkholes. A copy of the affidavit is attached for your reference. We anticipate that the plaintiffs bar will attempt to use this document in litigation to thwart the application of certain provisions of SB 408 to certain claims. However, current Florida case law holds that affidavits of single legislators are of dubious relevancy in establishing legislative intent and are generally not admissible in court. See Department of Legal Affairs v. Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club, Inc., 434 So.2d 879 (Fla. 1983); South Carolina Insurance Co. v. Kokay, 398 So.2d 1355 (Fla. 1981); McLennon v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 366 So.2d 811 (Fla. 4th DCA 1979); Security Feed & Seed Co.v. Lee, 138 Fla. 592 (Fla. 1939).
We wanted to bring your attention to this matter. Please contact Colodny Fass with any specific questions or concerns.