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RECENT RELEASES - FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

INSURANCE--COMMERCIAL GENERAL LIABILITY--DUTY TO DEFEND--CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS. In response to a question certified by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Court held that for the purpose of a provision in a general liability policy issued to a general contractor that the insurer has a duty to defend the insured against any "suit" seeking damages, the notice and repair process set forth in chapter 558, Florida Statutes, is a suit because the chapter 558 presuit process is an "alternative dispute resolution proceeding" as included in the policy's definition of a suit.
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TORTS--PRODUCT LIABILITY--TOBACCO--COMPARATIVE FAULT. The Court found "that the comparative fault statute does not apply to Engle progeny cases in which the jury finds for the plaintiff on the intentional torts such that the compensatory damage awards in those cases are not subject to reduction." The Court further held that the district court erred in finding that the punitive damages award in the case at issue was unconstitutionally excessive and in finding that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied the defendant's motion for remittitur.
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QUO WARRANTO--GOVERNOR. The Court held that the use of a petition for writ of quo warranto is not appropriate to prohibit the Governor from filling judicial vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court where the Governor has merely declared an intent to appoint replacements, but no appointments have yet been made.
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