University of Miami v. Great American Assurance Company

112 So. 3d 504 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013). The Firm successfully represented the University of Miami in an important matter of first impression in Florida. After a young child was alleged to have suffered serious injury while attending a summer swim camp hosted on the University’s property, the child’s parents sued both the camp and the University. The camp was insured under a general liability policy issued by Great American Assurance Company, and the University was an additional insured on that policy. Despite the fact that each co-defendant alleged that it was relieved from liability based on the negligence of the other, Great American refused to provide the University separate and independent legal counsel. The University retained the Firm to provide independent counsel and filed a declaratory action for indemnification of attorneys’ fees and costs based on breach of the insurance policy and bad faith. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Great American, and the University appealed. The Third District Court of Appeal reversed that judgment, holding that the two insureds’ allegations of negligence created a conflict that required the insurer to provide separate and independent counsel for each.