The coffee-swilling in the bunker has reached fever pitch this morning, as the Florida Supreme Court has just reversed the 3d DCA on the retroactive application of PIP pre-suit statutory notice requirements.
Although the statute was intended to be applied retroactively, it impairs vested rights and imposes substantial new burdens:
In agreeing with the insureds that the statute cannot be applied retroactively, we conclude that the most problematic provisions of the statute are those which (1) impose a penalty, (2) implicate attorneys’ fees, (3) grant an insurer additional time to pay benefits, and (4) delay the insured’s right to institute a cause of action.Basically the 3d messed up in finding the statute to be merely procedural, as opposed to substantive:
Based on our above analysis, we conclude that the statutory presuit notice provision is not “procedural” and should not be given retroactive application. Consequently, we conclude that the Third District erred in holding that requiring the insureds to comply with the presuit notice requirements of the statute did not “violate the general rule against retrospective operation.” Menendez, 979 So. 2d at 331.You can read Judge Rothenberg's original opinion here.
(Big props to Bob Tilghman btw.)