DEFENDANT’S PROPOSAL FOR SETTLEMENT SERVED ON SECOND PLAINTIFF ELEVEN DAYS AFTER FIRST PLAINTIFF ADDED HER TO THE SUIT, WAS PREMATURE AND UNENFORCEABLE – – THE DATE FOR DETERMINING TIMELINESS WAS THE DATE THE SECOND PLAINTIFF ACTUALLY COMMENCED HER ACTION
Arizone v. Homeowners Choice Property and Cas., 46 Fla. L. Weekly D584 (Fla. 2nd DCA March 17, 2021):
The husband plaintiff originally filed suit pursuant to his homeowners’ policy after the insurer denied coverage of the claim. Five months later, plaintiff filed an amended complaint to add his wife.
A mere eleven days after that, the insurer then served proposals for settlement on both the husband and the wife. After a jury verdict in favor of the insurer, the insurance company moved for attorney’s fees against both plaintiffs, which the trial court granted.
The date for determining whether a proposal for settlement is timely when served on a plaintiff is the date that the plaintiff commences his or her own action. Thus, even in a pending case, a defendant (or a plaintiff as the case may be) must wait the requisite time under Rule 1.442 to serve a proposal. To properly serve a plaintiff, a case must be pending for 90-days before the proposal may be served.