370 So.2d 1211 (Fla.App. 2 Dist. 1979), 78-1526, Occidental Fire & Cas. Co. of North Carolina v. Stevenson

Docket Nº:78-1526.
Citation:370 So.2d 1211
Opinion Judge:Author: Grimes
Party Name:OCCIDENTAL FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY OF NORTH CAROLINA, Appellant, v. Donald L. STEVENSON d/b/a Stevenson Insurance, Appellee.
Attorney:Chris W. Altenbernd of Fowler, White, Gillen, Boggs, Villareal & Banker, P. A., Tampa, for appellant.
Case Date:May 09, 1979
Court:Florida Court of Appeals, Second District
 
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Page 1211

370 So.2d 1211 (Fla.App. 2 Dist. 1979)

OCCIDENTAL FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY OF NORTH CAROLINA, Appellant,

v.

Donald L. STEVENSON d/b/a Stevenson Insurance, Appellee.

No. 78-1526.

Florida Court of Appeals, Second District.

May 9, 1979

Page 1212

Chris W. Altenbernd of Fowler, White, Gillen, Boggs, Villareal & Banker, P. A., Tampa, for appellant.

Donald G. Jacobsen of Lane, Massey, Trohn, Clarke, Bertrand & Smith, P. A., Lakeland, for appellee.

GRIMES, Chief Judge.

This is an appeal from a final judgment determining that appellee (Stevenson) is entitled to recover attorney's fees from appellant (Occidental) on the basis of a cross-claim for indemnity filed by Stevenson against Occidental.

On May 9, 1976, a Mack truck was involved in an automobile accident. Prior to March 25, 1976, this truck had been owned by Peace River Valley Trucking, Inc., a corporation in which James A. Hughey had an interest. Peace River Valley Trucking, Inc. sold the truck to Thomas W. Harris on March 25, 1976, and Harris, in turn, leased the truck to Hughey. Prior to March 25, 1976, Occidental had issued a policy of insurance on this truck with Hughey as the named insured. Hughey had obtained the insurance policy through Stevenson's insurance agency. This insurance continued in effect through the date of the accident.

After the accident Harris made a claim against Occidental for damages to the truck. Occidental claimed that it had never been informed of the fact that the truck was now owned by Mr. Harris and leased to Mr. Hughey and denied coverage because Hughey did not own the truck as stated in the policy when the accident occurred. A provision in the policy provided that the insurance agreement would not apply if the vehicle became subject to a bailment not specifically declared in the policy.

Harris then brought suit against Hughey, Occidental and Stevenson. He alleged that Hughey had agreed to provide insurance for the truck. Harris further alleged that Hughey had told him that he had advised Occidental through Stevenson of the transfer of the truck to Harris and the lease back arrangement to Hughey. He alleged alternatively that Stevenson was either an independent insurance broker or that he was Occidental's general agent. Harris contended that he was entitled to recover the damages to his truck from one or more of the defendants, depending upon the agency relationship...

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