Roig Lawyers’ Jessica Martin Guides State Farm to Key Win

April 6, 2016

Jessica Z. Martin, a partner in the Deerfield Beach office of Roig Lawyers, successfully defeated a lawsuit against Roig Lawyers client/insurer State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. in Miami-Dade County Court. Martin was able to show that State Farm properly rescinded a policy of automobile insurance issued to its insured based on a material misrepresentation made to State Farm in obtaining the insurance policy.

Martin’s motion for summary judgment on behalf of State Farm was granted Dec. 9, 2015, by Judge Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer.

Christian Gonzalez received an insurance policy from State Farm on Jan. 27, 2009, which provided PIP coverage for a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass. That same day, Gonzalez was allegedly involved in an automobile accident; a subsequent claim for PIP benefits was submitted to State Farm for medical services by a medical provider.

State Farm claimed that when Gonzalez applied for the insurance policy, he presented a false insurance card for United Automobile Insurance Co. (UAIC). The insurance card showed that Gonzalez’s car was insured from July 2008 to July 2009, and Gonzalez added that he had been insured by UAIC for the past 2½ years.

State Farm said Gonzalez would have been ineligible for the insurance policy if his car had not been insured continuously for the previous 12 months. Because of that misrepresentation, State Farm rescinded the policy and refunded the premiums paid by Gonzalez.

The Court ruled, “A material representation in an application for insurance is an absolute defense to the enforcement of the policy.” Where a material misrepresentation is established, the Court added, “There would be no insurance coverage for the subject accident.”

The Court retained jurisdiction for determining any motion by State Farm for attorney fees and costs.

Martin’s case was Ma-R Medical Center, Inc. a/a/o Christian Gonzalez v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 09 04385 SP 26 (03).