Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc. v. Tzadik Acquisitions, LLC—(J. Gordo; 3DCA; 2/1/23).
This is a breach of fiduciary duty and negligence claim, but the appeal is mostly about a motion to transfer venue.
- In 2017 Tzadik Acquisitions, LLC, (“Tzadik”), was sued in a wrongful death claim after Alfred Lance III, was shot and killed while present as a business invitee on Tzadik’s Kings Trail Apartments property in Duval County. Tzadik had previously hired Brown & Brown, which represented itself as an insurance expert, to plan and manage Tzadik’s insurance requirements…. As the wrongful death action proceeded, Tzadik learned Kings Trail was not covered by the insurance policies it had previously obtained with assistance from Brown & Brown. As a result, Tzadik was forced to pay the wrongful death suit out of pocket.
Tzadik then sued Brown & Brown in Miami-Dade for botching the duty to obtain coverage. Brown & Brown moved to transfer venue to Duval County, but the trial court denied the motion. Brown & Brown appealed. The DCA noted that the standard is abuse of discretion. The panel noted that section 47.011, Fla. Stat., provides that actions shall be brought 1) in the county where the defendant resides; 2) where the cause of action accrued; or 3) where the property in litigation is located. The panel also noted that it is the prerogative of the plaintiff to select the venue, and when the choice is based on one of the three statutory alternatives, it will be honored. The representations Brown & Brown made to Tzadik regarding coverage took place in Miami-Dade, the policies were entered in Miami-Dade, and Tzadik made its wrongful death payment from its Miami-Dade office. There was no abuse of discretion, and the motion was denied.