Leesfield Scolaro win on appeal against Insurance Carrier

Leesfield Scolaro wins reversal of trial court order finding that the parties had settled the case. Dwight Grant was horribly injured by a drunk driver that was speeding away and trying to elude the police. He rear-ended the vehicle in which Dwight was a passenger. After reviewing the case, partner Tom Scolaro made a 20-day demand to the Defendant and his insurance carrier to tender their $100,000 policy limits. The carrier refused, instead responding with a counter-offer of policy limits in addition to a hold harmless agreement, confidentiality agreement and a general release for all persons and entities rather than just the driver and carrier. This counter offer was rejected and Defendant moved to enforce the settlement arguing that since they had offered the policy limits, there was a legal settlement. The trial court ruled that there was a legal settlement. Leesfield Scolaro with co-counsel Ross & Girten argued that the insurance carrier’ response did not constitute an acceptance of our demand. The 4th District Court of Appeal agreed and reversed the trial Court order. The Court held that since the settlement documents contained more than just the usual settlement terms, there was no enforceable settlement.

Defendants sought to appeal this decision in the Supreme Court of Florida. On January 4, 2010, the Supreme Court of Florida declined to accept jurisdiction and the Defendant’s petition for review was denied.