Alan Fiedel Partner





  • Florida Supreme Court Rejects Recreational Marijuana Constitutional Ballot Amendment Initiative

    Florida Supreme Court Rejects Recreational Marijuana Constitutional Ballot Amendment Initiative

    April 23, 2021

    The Florida Supreme Court has refused to sign off on a proposed ballot title and summary, defeating an effort to place a question on the ballot next year that would permit “adults 21 years or older to possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason,” as well as allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell it.

  • Florida Legislature to Consider Bill Protecting Rights of Medical Marijuana Users

    Florida Bill Aims to Protect Medical Marijuana Users from Workplace Discrimination

    November 21, 2019

    A proposed Florida bill highlights the inherent conflict between the rights of the individual to accept and undergo treatment for legitimate medical conditions in contradiction to employers’ desire to have a “drug-free” working environment in order to maintain certain standards of work quality and safety.

  • Modification of Florida Law Imposes New Requirements on the Use of Child Safety Restraint Seats

    Florida’s New Law on Child Safety Restraint Seats

    February 18, 2015

    Effective January 1, 2015, a new law in Florida takes a step in the right direction by modifying the state’s child safety restraint seat laws and providing for $60 fines and three points on the driver's licenses of offenders. Parents and caregivers should be aware that the law is the minimum requirement that must be followed.

  • Florida Supreme Court Rules an Insured Can Use Payments from a Third Party to Satisfy a Self-insured

    FL: “Made Whole Doctrine” Applied to Favor Insured

    March 17, 2014

    In a recent case, the Florida Supreme Court applied the “made whole doctrine” standard contract law to favor the insured over the insurer. However, if a policy contains a provision spelling out how any subrogation recovery obtained from a third party will be shared between an insurer and its policyholder, the terms of the insurance contract should prevail.

  • Florida Enacts Law to Protect Design Professionals

    Florida Enacts Law to Protect Design Professionals

    May 10, 2013

    This new Florida statute provides the conditions under which a design professional may not be held individually liable for damages resulting from negligence under a professional services contract. The protection under this statute does not apply to lawsuits by third parties against the individual design professional and does not cover claims for personal injuries against the design professional. 

  • Eleventh Circuit Mandates Insurers’ Strict Statutory Compliance with Florida Claims Administration Act When Denying Coverage

    July 26, 2012

    The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s judgment denying an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on no duty to defend or indemnify its insured in connection with hurricane repair work, and granting in part and denying in part a cross-motion for summary judgment filed by plaintiff. The insurer was estopped from denying coverage because the insurer failed to adequately comply with the procedures set forth in Fla. Stat. § 627.426.

  • No Common Law First-Party Bad Faith Action in Florida

    June 6, 2012

    The Florida Supreme Court recently concluded that there is no common law first-party bad faith action in Florida and that the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing” does not exist as a separate claim from a statutory bad faith claim in the first-party insurance claims in Florida.
  • Florida Sinkhole Problem Prompts Lawmakers to Act

    February 15, 2012

    The Florida Senate banking and insurance committee passed a broad property insurance bill, ss. 627.706-627.7074, F.S., in February 2011 that would no longer require companies to offer comprehensive sinkhole insurance to Floridians. Coverage would be required only for “catastrophic ground collapse,” which means that a house is literally sucked into the ground. Proponents felt the bill would help reduce the rampant fraud that causes insurance companies to raise rates on consumers. But opponents saw it as the end of sinkhole insurance in Florida.
  • Florida "Crashworthiness" Bill Becomes Law

    July 2011

    On Thursday, June 23, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law the heavily debated Senate Bill 142. The new law is retroactive, meaning it applies to pending cases.
  • Florida "Crashworthiness" Bill One Step Closer to Law

    May 2011

    Both houses of the Florida Legislature have passed a bill that would allow defendants in "enhanced injury" product liability cases to present evidence relating to the fault of anyone whose negligence may have contributed to an underlying accident. Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign the bill into law.
  • "Crashworthiness" Bill Passed by Florida State Senate

    April 2011

    A bill pending in the Florida Legislature could change the litigation landscape in product liability cases where the "crashworthiness" of a motor vehicle is involved.
  • Florida Supreme Court determines no bad faith by an insurer where it did not cause damages claimed by its insured, nor were damages incurred beyond the policy limit

    May 2010

    Florida third party claimants may bring common law bad faith actions against insurers under limited circumstances, including the rendering of an excess judgment against an insured or by assignment.  In a case recently determined by the Florida Supreme Court, Pamela Perera v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, No. SC08-1968, the court, in essence, found that bad faith does not exist in a vacuum—that without the causation of damages, a carrier's alleged bad faith conduct is not actionable.

  • Florida: Should plaintiffs pay for frivolous suits?

    February 2010

    Parties, but not their attorneys, could be spared sanctions for frivolous litigation if they do not understand their cases were baseless under House Bill 449, which cleared the Florida House of Representatives Civil Justice and Court Committee in January 2010.

  • Florida legislature reaffirms exemption for surplus lines carriers

    June 2009

    Whereas domestic insurers are regulated by Chapter 627 of the Florida Statutes, it was assumed that this chapter did not apply to surplus line insurers.  Following two 2008 court rulings in Florida, which created an ambiguity as to how many surplus lines insurers are regulated in contrast to domestic insurers, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 853 during the 2009 Legislative Session, which was signed into law by Governor Charlie Crist on June 11, 2009.

Additional Publications

"Florida Sinkhole Problem Prompts Lawmakers to Act," Wilson Elser Client Alert, February 2012. 
“Florida ‘Crashworthiness’ Bill Becomes Law,” Wilson Elser Client Alert, July 2011.
“Florida ‘Crashworthiness’ Bill One Step Closer to Law,” Wilson Elser Client Alert, May 2011.
“Crashworthiness’ Bill Passed by Florida State Senate,” Wilson Elser Client Alert, April 2011.
“Florida: Should Plaintiffs Pay for Frivolous Suits,” Wilson Elser Client Alert, February 2010.
“Florida Legislature Reaffirms Exemption for Surplus Lines Carriers,” Wilson Elser Client Alert, June 2009.
“Florida Repeals Doctrine of Joint & Several Liability,” Wilson Elser Client Alert, April 2006.
“Asbestos & Silica Compensation Fairness Act-FL,” Wilson Elser Construction Liability Newsletter, October 2005.
“Florida Enacts Contractor Notice Bill,” WEMEDIA, Spring 2004.
“Florida Supreme Court Mandates a Statement of Insured Client’s Rights,” Wilson Elser General Liability/Toxic Tort Newsletter, Fall 2003.
“Florida Supreme Court Abandons Constructive Notice Requirements in Slip-&-Fall Cases,” Wilson Elser General
Liability/Toxic Tort Newsletter, Summer 2002.