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Florida Fourth DCA reverses trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s PIP lawsuit, finding that dismissal without notice or opportunity to be heard violated the plaintiff’s due process rights

On October 27, 2021, in Comprehensive Spine Center, PLLC v. Equity Insurance Company, No. 4D21-517, the Florida Fourth DCA reversed a trial court order which had dismissed a Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP) complaint without giving prior notice or the opportunity to be heard to the plaintiff health care provider. The trial court had granted the plaintiff twenty days to file an amended complaint correcting a failure to attach the assignment of benefits to the complaint as required under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.130, and then dismissed the complaint when the plaintiff did not meet the deadline. There was no language in the order providing that failure to file an amended complaint within the stated timeframe would result in dismissal of the action without further notice. The Fourth DCA concluded that dismissal of the complaint without notice or an opportunity to be heard was a violation of the plaintiff’s due process rights, notwithstanding the fact that the dismissal was without prejudice.