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Case No

2016CC003718

Location

Palm Beach

History:

Eduardo Paez v. Windhaven Insurance Co., 2016CC003718, (Palm Beach). This was a dispute over insurance benefits. The case was noteworthy for a decision concerning language barrier and the application of a previous decision from the 15th judicial circuit concerning language barrier. I represented the Plaintiff, Eduardo Paez, who had been denied benefits under an automobile insurance policy purchased by him. The insurance carrier attempted to justify the denial of benefits based on representations made by the Plaintiff at the time he applied for insurance benefits at an insurance agency where no person spoke his language, Spanish. Plaintiff claimed that he was as truthful as possible under the circumstances, but the insurance company maintained its denial based on a material misrepresentation. Following a contentious Motion for Summary Judgment presented by the Defendant, the Plaintiff prevailed and the Motion was denied after the Plaintiff argued that when language barrier is an issue, the applicant of an insurance policy is entitled to rely on an insurance agent’s superior knowledge and position to properly complete the insurance application when the applicant is unable to understand its contents, and that material misrepresentation requires a finding of fact. (Analysis derived from a prior 15th Judicial Circuit case – Seminole Casualty Insurance Co. v. Isabel Hernandez, 10 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 263a)(Circuit Court Palm Beach County 2003). Although the case never went to trial, it was resolved following the denial of the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The decision date was May 3, 2017.