ROIG Attorney Wins Summary Judgment

May 17, 2016

Veresa Jones Adams, an attorney in the Deerfield Beach office of ROIG Lawyers, was successful in getting a critical Motion for Final Summary Judgment granted in a case centering on the deductible in PIP cases. Veresa’s success ended the lawsuit in favor of client State Farm. What made Veresa’s win more amazing is the judge in the case had always ruled against State Farm in previous cases focused on the deductible.

In South Florida Medical Center v. State Farm, Veresa argued that charges for medical services to an injured automobile accident victim should be applied to a $1,000 deductible. In similar prior lawsuits, the judge had ruled that State Farm misapplied the deductible because it used the costs in the fee schedule for the deductible, not the actual billed price.

This case was different, however, because the plaintiff’s bills were received first and were less than the deductible. The plaintiff, however, threw another kink in the case: The plaintiff further argued that by applying the deductible, State Farm had waived its right to fight RRN (that the services received were reasonable, related to the accident and medically necessary).

Veresa had her work cut out for her. The plaintiff, who had 10 orders from other judges ruling against State Farm in similar cases, filed a 68-page Cross Motion for Summary Judgment. Veresa battled for nearly four hours in two hearings on March 28 and May 16.

Putting in some extra legwork, Veresa obtained transcripts of oral arguments in the Florida Supreme Court case United Automobile v. Rodriguez to support her argument that State Farm had not waived its right to fight RRN. She also obtained deposition transcripts from Third DCA case Coral Gables Chiropractic v. United Automobile, the case the plaintiff was using to say State Farm had waived its RRN rights.
The hard work paid off. Buried deep in the adjuster’s deposition was the fact that United had stipulated to waiving its rights in that case—supporting Veresa’s argument in her case.

In the end, the judge denied the plaintiff’s Cross Motion for Summary Judgment and granted Veresa’s Motion for Final Summary Judgment, which was crafted by Shanelle Romilus, an attorney in the Deerfield Beach office of ROIG Lawyers.