Blackboard Specialty Insurance Company, etc. v. YTech-1428 Brickell, LLC
A Florida Appellate Court ruled recently that an appraisal award must be confirmed by a trial court only by a motion made in the context of an existing lawsuit. The plaintiff in this action filed a petition with the trial court asking the court to ratify their appraisal award, which the trial court confirmed. Upon appeal, the reviewing court ruled that under Florida law, a trial court’s ratification of an award by petition is only proper for arbitration awards, and not for appraisal awards. The Florida District Court of Appeal remanded the case to the trial level, allowing the petitioner an opportunity to re-file their petition as a complaint. This complaint will relate back in time to when the original petition was filed to meet the requirements of confirming an appraisal award under Florida Law. While the judgment against the insurer was technically reversed with this decision, the insured will soon re-file so that the posture of the confirmation of the appraisal award is in accordance with applicable procedural law, which will most likely be enforced against the insurer regardless.