Underwriters at Lloyds v. City of Lauderdale Lakes, No. 57815

CourtFlorida Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMcDONALD; ENGLAND
Citation382 So.2d 702
PartiesUNDERWRITERS AT LLOYDS and Frank A. Stuart, M.D., Petitioners, v. CITY OF LAUDERDALE LAKES, a Municipal Corporation, and Jay Clide Miller, Respondents.
Decision Date03 April 1980
Docket NumberNo. 57815

Page 702

382 So.2d 702
UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYDS and Frank A. Stuart, M.D., Petitioners,
v.
CITY OF LAUDERDALE LAKES, a Municipal Corporation, and Jay Clide Miller, Respondents.
No. 57815.
Supreme Court of Florida.
April 3, 1980.

Page 703

Ricardo J. Cata, of Fleming, O'Bryan & Fleming, Fort Lauderdale, for petitioners.

Edna L. Caruso, West Palm Beach, for respondents.

McDONALD, Justice.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal has certified the following question as being of great public interest:

DOES THE DECISION IN STUART V. HERTZ BAR A SEPARATE LAWSUIT BY THE INITIAL TORTFEASOR AGAINST A SUCCESSOR TORTFEASOR WHO AGGRAVATES THE ORIGINAL INJURIES?

373 So.2d at 946. Pursuant to article V, section 3(b)(3), Florida Constitution, we have accepted jurisdiction.

Paula Bissonette sustained back injuries in an automobile accident caused by an employee of the City of Lauderdale Lakes. Allegedly, her injuries were exacerbated by her doctor, who, it is claimed, negligently performed an unsuccessful laminectomy and fusion of Ms. Bissonette's spine.

After settling with the victim for all injuries flowing from the accident and her treatment thereof, the City of Lauderdale Lakes instituted an action for indemnification against the doctor. Because of our decision in Stuart v. Hertz, 351 So.2d 703 (Fla.1977), the city attempted to amend its complaint to sue the doctor under a theory of subrogation. The trial court denied the city's motion to amend and granted summary judgment for the defendant insurance company. An appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeal ensued. The district court reversed, distinguishing the instant controversy from Hertz.

In Hertz, this Court held that third-party indemnity actions against subsequent tortfeasors are inappropriate. That decision was premised on the traditional doctrine that an initial tortfeasor may not benefit

Page 704

from his own wrong by bringing a third-party claim against a doctor whose alleged malpractice aggravated the victim's injuries. Our concern was that such third-party claims would hamper the litigation process for the aggrieved victim by attaching "a complex malpractice (case) in order to proceed with a simple personal injury suit." 351 So.2d at 706. Allowing such expansion would foreclose the victim's ability to control the nature and course of the suit.

The initial tortfeasor is subject to the total financial burden of the victim's injuries, including those directly attributable to a doctor's...

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50 practice notes
  • Northern Utilities Div. of K N Energy, Inc. v. Town of Evansville, No. 89-30
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • December 10, 1991
    ...rights against a successor tort-feasor where augmented injury existed was pursued in Underwriters at Lloyds v. City of Lauderdale Lakes, 382 So.2d 702 (Fla.1980). The court recognized, which we appropriately apply Subrogation is an equitable doctrine whereby the initial tortfeasor/defendant......
  • Kumar Corp. v. Nopal Lines, Ltd., No. 83-2317
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 15, 1985
    ...loss, Kumar would thus be subrogated to Nava's claims against the appellees. 8 See Underwriters at Lloyds v. City of Lauderdale Lakes, 382 So.2d 702 (Fla.1980); Trueman Fertilizer Co. v. Allison, 81 So.2d 734 (Fla.1955); Lovingood v. Butler Const. Co., 100 Fla. 1252, 131 So. 126 (1930); Mey......
  • Kemper National P & C Companies v. Smith
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • October 20, 1992
    ...R. & G. Orthopedic Appliances v. Curtin, 596 A.2d 530 (D.C.App.1991) (indemnity); Underwriters at Lloyds v. City of Lauderdale Lakes, 382 So.2d 702 (Fla.1980) (subrogation); Gertz v. Campbell, 55 Ill.2d 84, 302 N.E.2d 40 (1973) (indemnity); Hunt v. Ernzen, 252 N.W.2d 445 (Iowa 1977) (in......
  • National R.R. Passenger v. Rountree Transport, No. 00-13811.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • March 26, 2002
    ...not dispute that, as subrogee of S&S, it steps in the shoes of S&S, the subrogor. See Underwriters at Lloyds v. Lauderdale Lakes, 382 So.2d 702, 704 14. It is true that the Florida Supreme Court's answer to our certified question in section II.A.3 may be dispositive of whether AHA's......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
50 cases
  • Northern Utilities Div. of K N Energy, Inc. v. Town of Evansville, No. 89-30
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • December 10, 1991
    ...rights against a successor tort-feasor where augmented injury existed was pursued in Underwriters at Lloyds v. City of Lauderdale Lakes, 382 So.2d 702 (Fla.1980). The court recognized, which we appropriately apply Subrogation is an equitable doctrine whereby the initial tortfeasor/defendant......
  • Kumar Corp. v. Nopal Lines, Ltd., No. 83-2317
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 15, 1985
    ...loss, Kumar would thus be subrogated to Nava's claims against the appellees. 8 See Underwriters at Lloyds v. City of Lauderdale Lakes, 382 So.2d 702 (Fla.1980); Trueman Fertilizer Co. v. Allison, 81 So.2d 734 (Fla.1955); Lovingood v. Butler Const. Co., 100 Fla. 1252, 131 So. 126 (1930); Mey......
  • Kemper National P & C Companies v. Smith
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • October 20, 1992
    ...R. & G. Orthopedic Appliances v. Curtin, 596 A.2d 530 (D.C.App.1991) (indemnity); Underwriters at Lloyds v. City of Lauderdale Lakes, 382 So.2d 702 (Fla.1980) (subrogation); Gertz v. Campbell, 55 Ill.2d 84, 302 N.E.2d 40 (1973) (indemnity); Hunt v. Ernzen, 252 N.W.2d 445 (Iowa 1977) (in......
  • National R.R. Passenger v. Rountree Transport, No. 00-13811.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • March 26, 2002
    ...not dispute that, as subrogee of S&S, it steps in the shoes of S&S, the subrogor. See Underwriters at Lloyds v. Lauderdale Lakes, 382 So.2d 702, 704 14. It is true that the Florida Supreme Court's answer to our certified question in section II.A.3 may be dispositive of whether AHA's......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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