An insurance company sued for alleged bad faith refusal to settle appealed an order from a trial court. That is not news. The carrier's contention was newsworthy, though:
The carrier contended that it had a "right to remove" the bad faith lawsuit from State Court to Federal Court.
Building on the "right to remove" premise, the carrier contended that when the trial court in that case entered an order abating the bad faith lawsuit rather than dismissing the bad faith lawsuit, the carrier's "right to remove" was deeply infringed and so the order was illegal; in other words, all the trial court could do (despite settled Florida law to the contrary) was to dismiss and never to abate since abatement destroyed the carrier's "right to remove" the case to Federal Court.
On appeal to Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal, the appellate court said "no". The trial court's order was correct. The appellate court acknowledged that although it had ruled in several previous cases "that an order which prevented removal of a [bad faith] case to federal court constituted irreparable harm and departed from the essential requirements of law," they did not make that a bright-line rule which applies every time in every case.
Far from it, that decision was distinguished in the present case. The appellate court wrote that although there was "irreparable harm" here, the insurance company failed to show "that the trial court departed from the essential requirements of law." Far from it. Here, "the trial court's abatement of the bad faith action in lieu of dismissal" is supported by the law.
The trial court's order of abatement stands. Safeco Insurance Co. v. Beare, 2014 WL 4626851 (Fla. 4th DCA September 17, 2014).
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