Sunshine State Court Action Against SBA Dismissed; Administrative Proceeding Commenced
Feb 4, 2011
The matter involving the State Board of Administration (“SBA”)’s disallowance of insureds’ attorney fees paid as a result of negotiated settlements and court judgments and paid insureds’ public adjuster fees, as reimbursable losses under the 2005 Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Reimbursement Contract of Sunshine State Insurance Company (“Sunshine State”), is no longer in the courts.
On January 24, 2011, the Leon County Circuit Court dismissed Sunshine State’s Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, without prejudice, on the grounds that Sunshine State’ had failed to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing its court action.
Separately and prior to the dismissal of the Leon County Court action, Sunshine State instituted an administrative proceeding by filing a Petition for Hearing with Florida’s State Board of Administration. On January 21, 2011, the administrative proceeding was referred to the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings for disposition.
In the administrative proceeding, Sunshine State has requested that the administrative hearing officer reverse or modify the SBA’s determination that an insured’s attorneys fees as a result of a negotiated settlement or court order are “extra contractual obligations,” “loss adjustment expenses,” and/or are “indirect losses.” Sunshine State, however, has not challenged the SBA’s determination regarding public adjuster expenses in this particular administrative proceeding.
No date has been set for the hearing on Sunshine State’s administrative petition.
Colodny Fass will continue to monitor this matter and provide reports, as warranted.
Should you have any questions or comments please contact Katie Scott Webb (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Colodny Fass.