374 So.2d 517 (Fla. 1979), 56,094, Everglades Marina, Inc. v. American Eastern Development Corp.

Docket Nº:56,094.
Citation:374 So.2d 517
Party Name:EVERGLADES MARINA, INC., and Switzerland General Insurance Company, a Foreign Corporation, Appellants, v. AMERICAN EASTERN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, a Florida Corporation, and Thomas E. O'Donnell, Appellees.
Case Date:July 26, 1979
Court:Supreme Court of Florida
 
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Page 517

374 So.2d 517 (Fla. 1979)

EVERGLADES MARINA, INC., and Switzerland General Insurance Company, a Foreign Corporation, Appellants,

v.

AMERICAN EASTERN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, a Florida Corporation, and Thomas E. O'Donnell, Appellees.

No. 56,094.

Supreme Court of Florida.

July 26, 1979

Rehearing Denied Sept. 28, 1979.

Page 518

Gerald M. Walsh and Mark R. Boyd of Gerald M. Walsh & Associates, Fort Lauderdale, for appellants.

G. Morton Good of Smathers & Thompson, Miami, for appellees.

OVERTON, Justice.

The Court has before it for appropriate answer the following questions certified from the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, pursuant to section 25.031, Florida Statutes (1977), and Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.510:

A. Under Florida law, are damages intentionally caused by criminal acts of the insured excluded from the liability of Switzerland General under its insurance policy even though the policy contains no express clause excluding such liability?

B. If there is such an exclusion of liability for damages intentionally caused by the criminal acts of the insured, are damages that are the necessary and probable consequence of a criminal act of the insured, which is intended to cause an injury or loss otherwise covered by the insurance policy (i. e., to the building), excluded from coverage, where the insured knew or should have known that the additional damage would result from said act?

American Eastern Development Corp. v. Everglades Marina, Inc., 587 F.2d 810 (5th Cir. 1979). For our response, we rephrase question one as follows:

Does the public policy as established by the laws of Florida prohibit third-party beneficiaries of an insurance policy from recovery of benefits because the loss was intentionally caused by criminal acts of the insured when the insurance policy contains no express clause excluding such liability?

We answer the question in the negative and find the third-party beneficiaries to be covered by the policy.

The record certified to us reflects the following relevant facts: The appellees, American Eastern Development Corporation (American Eastern) and Thomas E. O'Donnell (O'Donnell), each owned pleasure boats which were stored in dry storage racks inside a building owned and operated as a marina by Everglades Marina, Inc. (Everglades). Monroe Spodek was president and sole stockholder...

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