final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Lower
Tribunal No. 14-27810 Migna Sanchez-Llorens, Judge.
Labrador & Drake, P.A., and Orlando D. Cabeza, Frank L.
Labrador, and Angel Castillo, Jr., for appellant.
& Case, LLP, and Raoul G. Cantero and Christopher W.
Swift-Perez, for appellee Infinity Auto Insurance Company.
ROTHENBERG, C.J., and EMAS and LUCK, JJ.
Marin ("Marin"), the plaintiff below, appeals the
final order granting Infinity Auto Insurance Company's
("Infinity") motion to enforce settlement and
dismissing with prejudice the action filed by Marin against
Infinity's insured, Ricardo Valdes Blanco
("Blanco"), subject to the terms of the settlement
agreement. Because the undisputed material facts support the
trial court's finding that the parties entered into a
valid settlement agreement, we affirm.
October 2014, Marin filed an automobile negligence action
against Blanco. Thereafter, Infinity was permitted to
intervene for the sole purpose of allowing it to seek
enforcement of an alleged settlement agreement reached by
Marin and Blanco prior to Marin's filing of the
automobile negligence action. The facts relating to the
automobile accident and the alleged settlement agreement are
December 24, 2013, Marin was injured in an automobile
accident allegedly caused by Blanco, an Infinity
policyholder. Marin was treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital
("JMH") and discharged from JMH on January 16,
2014. Thereafter, Infinity sent Marin's then-attorney,
Jason Deitch ("Deitch"), a letter tendering the
$10, 000 bodily injury policy limit to settle Marin's
bodily injury claim against Blanco. The letter included a
standard release and a $10, 000 check made payable to Marin,
Deitch, and JMH. In the letter, Infinity also explained that
it included JMH on the check because JMH appeared to have a
lien for the medical services provided by JMH to Marin.
Infinity, however, offered to reissue the check if the lien
had been resolved. Deitch did not respond to Infinity's
letter or cash the check.
subsequently retained a new attorney, and on April 7, 2014,
Marin's newly-retained attorney, Jose Francisco
("Marin's attorney"), notified Infinity in
writing that he had been retained to represent Marin and
demanded that Infinity tender its full policy limits. The
letter stated: "It is my understanding that your insured
has $10, 000 in available liability coverage, which I am
requesting that your company tender by delivering the
settlement draft to my office by the close
of business on April 28, 2014." (emphasis added). The
demand letter also included medical records from JMH
documenting Marin's treatment.
April 25, 2014, Infinity responded by sending Marin's
attorney a letter, which specifically stated that Infinity
"agree[d] to meet [Marin's] settlement demand."
The letter also included a $10, 000 check made payable to
Marin, Marin's attorney, and JMH; a release; and an open
invitation to submit modifications to the settlement draft.
The letter again explained that JMH had been listed as a
payee on the settlement check because JMH appeared to have a
lien for the medical services it had provided to Marin.
However, Infinity offered to reissue the check if the lien
Infinity had included JMH as a joint payee on the settlement
check, Marin's attorney treated the payment as a
counteroffer and rejected the settlement payment on April 30,
2014. Infinity and Marin's attorney exchanged letters
discussing whether a settlement had been reached, and
thereafter, Infinity twice reissued the check without
including JMH as a co-payee. Marin's attorney rejected
Marin's attorney's rejection of the checks issued by
Infinity, Infinity filed a motion to enforce the settlement.
Following a hearing, the trial court granted the motion and
dismissed with prejudice Marin's action filed against