final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
of Certiorari to the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County
Lower Tribunal No. 09-92831 Pedro P. Echarte, Jr., Judge.
Bill, Boles, Palmer & Duke, Michel A. Morgan, B. Richard
Young, Adam A. Duke and Cody S. Pflueger, for petitioner.
Brodsky Fotiu-Wojtowicz and Alaina Fotiu-Wojtowicz; Michael
S. Olin, for respondent.
SALTER, EMAS and LOGUE, JJ.
General Insurance Company, a defendant below, petitions this
court for a writ of certiorari, following the trial
court's orders, which: 1) permitted plaintiff Katherine
Martinez to add GEICO as a party defendant to Martinez's
negligence claim against GEICO's insured, arising out of
an automobile accident; 2) permitted Martinez to amend her
complaint to add a third-party bad-faith claim against GEICO;
and 3) abated, rather than dismissed, Martinez's
unaccrued and premature third-party bad-faith claim against
grant the petition and quash the orders under review because,
under these circumstances and given our existing precedent,
abatement (rather than dismissal) of a third-party bad-faith
claim filed in contravention of the express requirements of
the nonjoinder statute (section 627.4136, Florida Statutes
(2016)), constitutes a departure from the essential
requirements of the law, and results in irreparable harm that
cannot be remedied on appeal.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
facts material to this petition do not appear to be in
dispute: On February 12, 2009, Katherine Martinez sustained
injury when the car she was riding in was struck by a car
being driven by Diana Guevara. Guevara was insured under a
policy issued by GEICO. That policy provided bodily injury
coverage in the amount of $10, 000 per person and $20, 000
filed a one-count negligence complaint against Guevara in
2009. In October 2016, Martinez filed a motion to amend her
complaint to add GEICO as a party defendant to the action and
to add a third-party bad-faith claim against GEICO. The trial
court granted the motion, and Martinez filed an amended
complaint, adding GEICO as a party defendant and pleading a
count for third-party bad-faith against GEICO.
moved to dismiss the third-party bad-faith count, and at the
hearing on the motion to dismiss, Martinez conceded that the
bad-faith claim against GEICO was unaccrued and premature
because, pursuant to the nonjoinder statute, the bad-faith
claim had not yet accrued and would not accrue unless and
until Martinez first obtained a settlement or verdict against
Guevara on the underlying negligence claim.
trial court denied the motion to dismiss, and instead, abated
the action to await resolution of Martinez's underlying