Florida Record

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Appeals court remands case of woman who alleged her memory interfered with testimony

State Court

By Carrie Bradon | Dec 18, 2019

General court 06

MIAMI — The Florida Third District Court of Appeal, ruling on a woman's appeal after her memory allegedly interfered with her testimony in court, has vacated the order and remanded the case involving an insurance dispute to the trial court for additional proceedings.

Irma Perez had filed an appeal Nov. 13 in the Third District against SafePoint Insurance Company seeking the dismissal of her circuit court lawsuit against the defendant.

The appeal states Perez sustained water damage from a roof leak Feb.7, 2015, for which she submitted a repairs estimate for $23,089.47. The suit says SafePoint investigated the claim and decided that the damages were not covered under the plaintiff’s insurance as rain-related damages are covered only if “a covered peril first damages the building causing an opening in a roof or wall and the rain . . . enters through this opening.” 

In response to the defendant’s denial of the claim, Perez filed a lawsuit in November 2015, alleging the defendant had failed to pay her claim. SafePoint took the plaintiff’s deposition in July 2016 and moved to a final summary judgment in January 2017. Perez's counsel then filed an affidavit that was signed by the plaintiff’s daughter, which included a statement by the plaintiff. 

Perez and her daughter filed in opposition to SafePoint’s motion for summary judgment and the defendant moved to strike the affidavits and dismiss the plaintiffs' lawsuit for fraud. The trial court heard the motion for fraud in February 2018 and followed with a hearing. Perez testified at the hearing that she did not know several facts and details about her original claim.

The plaintiff, who was 83 at the time, was taking medication and allegedly suffered from memory issues. The defendant’s motion to dismiss the cause for fraud was granted by the trial court and the plaintiff’s motion for rehearing was denied. 

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Florida Third District Court of Appeal