Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., No. 81-2727

CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtHENDRY
Citation424 So.2d 36
PartiesWilliam Bruce THOMAS, Appellant, v. LUMBERMENS MUTUAL CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellee.
Decision Date30 November 1982
Docket NumberNo. 81-2727

Page 36

424 So.2d 36
William Bruce THOMAS, Appellant,
v.
LUMBERMENS MUTUAL CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellee.
No. 81-2727.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Third District.
Nov. 30, 1982.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 14, 1983.

Page 37

Joe N. Unger, Miami, for appellant.

Kimbrell, Hamann, Jennings, Womack, Carlson & Kniskern and A.H. Toothman and John W. Wylie, Miami, for appellee.

Before HENDRY, BASKIN and FERGUSON, JJ.

HENDRY, Judge.

Appellant William Thomas, plaintiff below, appeals from a final judgment upon a jury verdict for Lumbermens in an action seeking excess coverage for Lumbermens' bad faith in negotiating settlement of Thomas' accident claim.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence shows that Thomas was severely injured on April 2, 1978 while a passenger in an automobile owned by Lumbermens' insured, Teodora J. Torres, and driven by Torres' son, Victor. Following the accident Lumbermens' claim representative twice sent no fault benefit applications and medical authorization forms to Thomas along with requests to contact the insurer. Thomas failed to ever contact Lumbermens or to return the forms, and subsequently filed suit alleging negligence. Pending trial, negotiations for settlement proceeded. Interrogatories mailed to Thomas through counsel were never answered. Around this same time, Lumbermens received a report from the Southeast Index Bureau indicating the possible extent of Thomas' injuries. Following receipt of this report, Lumbermens unsuccessfully sought medical confirmation of the injuries from Thomas and his attorney. Thomas' attorney did offer, however, to allow Lumbermens to review the files at his office. An independent adjuster for Lumbermens contacted the attorney's office on twenty-three occasions to set up an appointment to review the files, but never received a response.

In the meantime, discovery pleadings were served on Thomas' attorney seeking production of bills and medical reports. Thomas' deposition, scheduled for October 23, 1978, was cancelled by his attorney, and on October 24, 1978, Thomas offered to settle the claim for the policy limits. Unable to verify Thomas' injuries or expenses, Lumbermens refused the offer, which was later withdrawn. After moving for discovery sanctions, Thomas served responses to discovery including production of medical data. Upon review of this data, Lumbermens offered judgment of the policy limits. Thomas refused this offer and the cause proceeded to trial, resulting in an $810,000 verdict for Thomas.

Following judgment, the Torres assigned their rights against Lumbermens for excess to Thomas who sued the insurer alleging bad faith due to Lumbermens' failure to settle the claim for policy limits when it had the opportunity. Lumbermens defended, alleging Thomas' attorney failed to provide medical information or produce Thomas for examination in an attempt to set up the bad faith action. Following an extensive trial, the jury returned a verdict for Lumbermens. Thomas' post-trial motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict was denied, and the final judgment appealed herein was entered.

On this appeal, Thomas raises three issues. He contends the trial court erred in (1) denying his motion to set aside the jury verdict when there was no evidence upon which the verdict could be sustained; (2) refusing to permit testimony of an intended rebuttal witness; and (3) denying his requested jury...

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19 practice notes
  • American Physicians Ins. Exchange v. Garcia, No. D-1239
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • March 9, 1994
    ...the rule the dissent proposes, on closer analysis neither case turns on that proposition. In Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Casualty Co., 424 So.2d 36, 39 (Fla.App.1982), the appellate court affirmed a judgment based on a jury verdict for the insurer, but in dictum suggested that an insurer may ......
  • King v. Gov't Emps. Ins. Co., No. 13-14794
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 4, 2014
    ...of the insurer in determining whether it has breached its duty to negotiate in good faith." Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 424 So. 2d 36, 38 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1982); see also Dadeland Depot, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 483 F.3d 1265, 1276 (11th Cir. 2007). Ther......
  • Travelers Indem. Co. v. Royal Oak Enterprises, No. 5:02 CV 58 OC 10GRJ.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • January 21, 2004
    ...1339 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995); DeLaune v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 314 So.2d 601, 602 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975); Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 424 So.2d 36, 38 (Fla. 3d DCA 22. AIU Ins. Co. v. Block Marina Invest., Inc., 544 So.2d 998, 1000 (Fla.1989). 23. Id. A coverage defense would include, for......
  • Michl v. General Elec. Co., No. 87-755
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 21, 1988
    ...281 (Fla.1986); 3-M Corp.--McGhan Medical Reports Div. v. Brown, 475 So.2d 994 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985); Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 424 So.2d 36 (Fla. 3d DCA 1982); Coral Plaza Corp. v. Hersman, 220 So.2d 672 (Fla. 3d DCA), cert. denied, 229 So.2d 867 (Fla.1969); see also Robison v. Fai......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • American Physicians Ins. Exchange v. Garcia, No. D-1239
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • March 9, 1994
    ...the rule the dissent proposes, on closer analysis neither case turns on that proposition. In Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Casualty Co., 424 So.2d 36, 39 (Fla.App.1982), the appellate court affirmed a judgment based on a jury verdict for the insurer, but in dictum suggested that an insurer may ......
  • King v. Gov't Emps. Ins. Co., No. 13-14794
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 4, 2014
    ...of the insurer in determining whether it has breached its duty to negotiate in good faith." Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 424 So. 2d 36, 38 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1982); see also Dadeland Depot, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 483 F.3d 1265, 1276 (11th Cir. 2007). Ther......
  • Travelers Indem. Co. v. Royal Oak Enterprises, No. 5:02 CV 58 OC 10GRJ.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • January 21, 2004
    ...1339 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995); DeLaune v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 314 So.2d 601, 602 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975); Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 424 So.2d 36, 38 (Fla. 3d DCA 22. AIU Ins. Co. v. Block Marina Invest., Inc., 544 So.2d 998, 1000 (Fla.1989). 23. Id. A coverage defense would include, for......
  • Michl v. General Elec. Co., No. 87-755
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 21, 1988
    ...281 (Fla.1986); 3-M Corp.--McGhan Medical Reports Div. v. Brown, 475 So.2d 994 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985); Thomas v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 424 So.2d 36 (Fla. 3d DCA 1982); Coral Plaza Corp. v. Hersman, 220 So.2d 672 (Fla. 3d DCA), cert. denied, 229 So.2d 867 (Fla.1969); see also Robison v. Fai......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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