Motion for Summary Judgment Granted on Statute of Limitations Grounds
Senior Partner Deborah FitzGerald and Associate Kelly Vogt recently obtained a Summary Judgment in a legal malpractice action in favor of their lawyer client. The action was pending in the 20th Judicial Circuit in Naples, FL.
WLSC was retained by a prominent liability insurance carrier to defend its Insured’s lawyer in a professional malpractice action stemming from a real estate transaction in which the lawyer satisfied a different mortgage than was intended. The prospects for the malpractice carrier were bleak.
Pulling the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, the WLSC team argued the statute of limitations barred the plaintiff’s claims as the plaintiff knew of the negligent act and suffered redressable harm no later than when the plaintiff’s subsequent counsel wrote a letter outlining the damages the plaintiff had sustained and would sustain. The action was filed more than 2-1/2 years after the letter. The Plaintiff argued the statute did not begin to run until he straightened out the mortgages as he might never suffer a loss if the mortgage rate he obtained was lower.
In accepting the Defense’s SOL argument, the Court found the statute was triggered when the mortgage was satisfied and some damage had been incurred as a result, even though the full measure of damage was unknown until much later.
Ms. FitzGerald and Ms. Vogt concentrate in the defense of professionals, including lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers and agents, and appraisers.