Zeigler v. GeoVera Specialty Insurance Company

Filing 24

ORDER granting 23 Motion to Stay Case Pending Completion of Appraisal. This case is STAYED pending appraisal, and the Clerk must add a stay flag to the file and ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSE THE CASE. The parties are DIRECTED to file a joint report on the status of appraisal on or before August 12, 2024, and every ninety days thereafter until appraisal has ended. Within 15 days of a signed appraisal award, the parties are DIRECTED to jointly notify the Court of (a) what issues, if any, remain for the Court to resolve; (b) whether the stay needs to be lifted; and (c) how this action should move forward. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kyle C. Dudek on 5/13/2024. (CGW)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA FORT MYERS DIVISION MICHAEL ZEIGLER, Plaintiff, v. Case No.: 2:24-cv-358-JES-KCD GEOVERA SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant. / ORDER This is an insurance dispute stemming from Hurricane Ian. The parties now agree that their dispute should go to appraisal. (Doc. 23.) When an insurance policy contains an appraisal provision, “the right to appraisal is not permissive but is instead mandatory, so once a demand for appraisal is made, ‘neither party has the right to deny that demand.’” McGowan v. First Acceptance Ins. Co., Inc., 411 F. Supp. 3d 1293, 1296 (M.D. Fla. 2019) (quoting United Cmty. Ins. Co. v. Lewis, 642 So. 2d 59, 60 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994)). And like other stipulations about dispute resolution, the Court enforces contractual appraisal provisions by non-dispositive order. See Positano Place at Naples II Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Empire Indem. Ins. Co., No. 2:21-cv-181-SPC-MRM, 2022 WL 714809, *2 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 10, 2022). The parties agree that appraisal is appropriate, so their request will be granted. Further, the parties seek a stay. The Hurricane Ian Scheduling Order contemplates such relief during appraisal. (Doc. 4 at 2.) Thus, the case will be stayed. All deadlines and events in the Hurricane Ian Scheduling Order (Doc. 4) are suspended. The parties have agreed that the appraisal award will be delineated and itemized “in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Policy.” Because the parties agree, this request will be granted too. According, it is hereby ORDERED: 1. The Joint Stipulation to Stay Case Pending Completion of Appraisal (Doc. 23) is GRANTED. 2. This case is STAYED pending appraisal, and the Clerk must add a stay flag to the file and ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSE THE CASE. 3. The parties are DIRECTED to file a joint report on the status of appraisal on or before August 12, 2024, and every ninety days thereafter until appraisal has ended. 4. Within 15 days of a signed appraisal award, the parties are DIRECTED to jointly notify the Court of (a) what issues, if any, remain for the Court to resolve; (b) whether the stay needs to be lifted; and (c) how this action should move forward. 2 ENTERED in Fort Myers, Florida on May 13, 2024. Copies: All Parties of Record 3

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