Zurich Insurance Group Faces Suspension of Business Operations in Florida Over
Non-payment of Outstanding Attorneys' Fees and Costs, says Searcy Denney
Searcy Denney and FalconTrust Win Court Order Forcing State Regulator to Take
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 27, 2014
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan.27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --South Florida law firm
Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA (Searcy Denney) announced that,
on behalf of its client FalconTrust Group, Inc., a suit has been filed
directing the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) to revoke
certificates of authority issued to Zurich U.S. and related entities unless
Zurich adequately responds within 20 days of the date of service.
According to the ruling issued on January 6, 2014 by Florida's 2^nd Judicial
Circuit Court in Leon County, Zurich must show good cause why, pursuant to
state statutory mandates, the Court should not issue a Writ of Mandamus
directing the OIR to revoke Zurich's current licenses, and to not issue new
certificates of authority. At issue is Zurich's continuing failure to pay the
legal fees and expenses in a related case in which Zurich was found to have
breached a multi-million dollar commission agreement with FalconTrust.
If Zurich fails to show good cause – or to meet all its obligations incurred
as a result of FalconTrust's lawsuit – the company and its affiliates will be
precluded from doing business in the state of Florida. Searcy Denny's
Complaint seeking the Writ of Mandamus was filed on December 20, 2013 in
FalconTrust Group, Inc. v. Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Zurich
U.S., et al. (Case No.: 2013 CA 003541).
The underlying case, FalconTrust Group, Inc. v. Zurich U.S., et al. (Case No.
07-06199 CA 40), originated in early 2007 when FalconTrust sued Zurich for not
paying commissions due FalconTrust. Following an eight-day jury trial in
December 2010, the jury concluded that FalconTrust was entitled to
$7,592,029.00 in commissions. The award was set-off by monies previously
deducted by FalconTrust, and on January 10, 2012, the court entered final
judgment in favor of FalconTrust for $1,961,695.85.
On September 28, 2012, the trial court also granted FalconTrust's motion for
attorneys' fees and costs. It is those fees and costs that have remained
outstanding beyond the allowable time limits stipulated by the applicable
statute. Zurich paid the judgment itself in October 2013, but failed to pay
the associated attorneys' fees and costs. The time limit stipulated by Florida
law for payment of the associated fees and costs has now elapsed.
"We thank the Court for its faithful adherence to the letter and spirit of the
statute," said attorney Jack Scarola, the Search Denney name-shareholder who
represents FalconTrust. "They've sent a clear message, that the most powerful
insurers in the market must also meet their obligations under the law."
Related companies subject to the court-ordered suspension include Zurich
American Insurance Company, Zurich American Insurance Company of Illinois,
American Zurich Insurance Company, and American Guarantee and Liability
For further information, contact Justin Wilson at 202.973.1324 or
About Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA
A nationally recognized trial law firm, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart &
Shipley, P.A. is committed to protecting victims of negligence, defective
products and corporate wrongdoing. Over the past 35 years, the firm has
represented clients in courtrooms throughout Florida and across the nation.
SOURCE Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA
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