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Florida Second DCA rules that defendant could not file valid proposal for settlement upon a plaintiff added in an amended complaint until 90 days elapsed from the time of the filing of the amended complaint

On March 17, 2021, in Arizone, et al. v. Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., No. 2D18-1116, the Florida Second DCA ruled that a defendant’s proposal for settlement against a plaintiff in a property insurance breach of contract case was invalid because it was served on the plaintiff fewer than 90 days after the commencement of the action against her, in violation of Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.442(b). The defendant argued that the operative date for the commencement of the action should have been the earlier date that another plaintiff had filed the original complaint in the case (the co-plaintiff did not become a party until an amended complaint was filed). The Second DCA noted that the Third and Fourth DCAs addressed similar issues involving amended complaints and found that the date of filing of the amended complaint was determinative under Rule 1.442(b). See Regions Bank v. Rhodes, 126 So. 3d 1259, 1259 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013);Design Home Remodeling Corp. v. Santana, 146 So. 3d 129, 132-33 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014).