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Who Is An Essential Party To An Automobile Lawsuit?

Insurance Co. of State of Pennsylvania v. Ramirez, __ So. 3d __, 2016 WL 2908445 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016)

The insurer filed a motion to join an essential party in an automobile accident action. The trial court denied the motion, and the insurer asked the higher court, the 4th District Court of Appeals, to review. The appellate court denied to review the ruling stating: “The party sought [wanting] to be joined was also injured in the accident. The trial court did not depart from the essential requirements of law in determining that the other injured person was not indispensable [required]. See Phillips v. Choate, 456 So. 2d 556, 558 (Fla. 4th DCA 1984). The other injured person had not filed suit. Even if he had, he cannot be considered indispensable [required], where it is not a departure from the essential requirements of law to deny consolidation [merging] of two claims arising out of the same accident. See Pages v. Dominguez, 652 So. 2d 864, 867 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995)

Florida law defines “indispensable parties” to a lawsuit as “persons who have not only an interest in the controversy [dispute], but an interest of such a nature that a final decree cannot be made without either affecting that interest, or leaving the controversy in such a condition that its final termination may be wholly inconsistent with equity and good conscience. See Phillips.

Read the entire opinion here:

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Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.
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