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Florida Fifth DCA rules that Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.442 proposal for settlement provisions were applicable in small claims PIP case

On October 15, 2021, in Central Florida Medical and Chiropractic Center v. Progressive American Insurance Company, No. 5D21-29, the Florida Fifth DCA ruled in a small claims PIP case that the defendant’s proposal for settlement was valid even though Fla. R. Civ. P 1.442 was not expressly invoked in the proposal. In seeking to invalidate the proposal for settlement, the plaintiff relied on Florida Small Claims Rule 7.020, which provides that only certain rules of civil procedure apply in small claims cases, and Rule 1.442 is not on the list. However, the Fifth DCA noted that Rule 1.442 expressly applies to all proposals for settlement authorized under Florida law and states that it “supersedes all other provisions of the rules and statutes that may be inconsistent with this rule.” The Court concluded that because Rule 1.442 by its very terms applies to actions filed in small claims court, the defendant insurance company was not required to expressly invoke Rule 1.442 for its proposal for settlement to be enforceable.

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