Court orders new trial in Florida hurricane case

State law will not recognize breaches of contract against insurance companies

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A federal appellate court has reversed a $7.2 million judgment and ordered a new trial in a Florida hurricane insurance case.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeal issued the ruling Thursday in Atlanta based on a May opinion by the Florida Supreme Court.

The case stemmed from Hurricane Wilma in 2005. A federal jury ruled for Chalfonte Condominium Apartment Association of Boca Raton in a lawsuit against its insurer, Australia-based QBE Insurance Corp.

The Florida high court ruled state law does not recognize a breach of implied warranty against insurance companies based on failure to investigate a claim within a reasonable time.

The state justices also ruled customers cannot sue for violating a law that requires insurance policies to include warnings of large deductibles in oversize, boldface type.

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