In a ground-breaking decision of an unsettled question of law, the Supreme Court of Florida has held that the determination of damages in an underlying uninsured motorist (UM) action sets the measure of at least one element of damages in a later bad faith action:
[A]n insured is entitled to a determination of liability and the full extent of his or her damages in the UM action before filing a first-party bad faith action. That determination of damages is then binding, as an element of damages, in a subsequent first-party bad faith action against the same insurer so long as the parties have the right to appeal any properly preserved errors in the verdict. The history of first-and third-party bad faith actions, this Court's precedent, and the legislative intent to eliminate the distinction between first- and third-party bad faith claims all support our conclusion. We also conclude that the trial court in this case did not err in retaining jurisdiction to allow the filing of a bad faith cause of action.
Fridman v. Safeco Ins. Co., 185 So. 3d 1214, 1216 (Fla. 2016).
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