Florida High Court Delays Ruling on Citizens’ Immunity

November 16, 2012

The Florida Supreme Court has put off a decision on whether Citizens Property Insurance Corp. can use its status as a state-backed entity to avoid lawsuits.

The high court ruled in a 5-2 opinion on Thursday that Citizens prematurely appealed a trial judge’s denial of its sovereign immunity claim before a final judgment in a Pensacola case.

The justices also said their ruling applies only to bad-faith lawsuits against Citizens. They declined to decide whether it should apply in other sovereign immunity cases.

Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine holding governments cannot be sued. Florida has partially waived immunity for judgments of up to $300,000 per incident under a law that went into effect in 2011. Before then the limit was $200,000 per event.

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