I recently talked about the burden of proof when it comes to an all-risk property insurance policy. This article is important for insureds that have a property insurance claim and are dealing with certain insurance coverage issues with their property insurer. The case at-issue discussed in the article dealt with an appeal of the jury instructions that were read to the jury. Specifically, the issue was whether the trial court applied the right burden of proof in the jury instructions. This issue is reviewed under a de novo standard of appellate review. See Jones v. Federated National Ins. Co., 43 Fla. L. Weekly D164a (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) citing Daniels v. State, 121 So.3d 409, 413 (Fla. 2013).
The appellate court found the the trial court’s jury instructions were erroneous meaning the case was remanded back to the trial court for a new trial (with correct jury instructions regarding the burden of proof).
It is important to note that at the charging conference between counsel and the judge to discuss the jury instructions that will be read to the jury, the insured’s lawyer objected to the jury instructions that the judge was going to read to the jury. This charging conference is important and, as the insured’s lawyer did in this case, it is crucial to object to any jury instruction that is incorrect and/or applies the wrong burden of proof.
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