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CNA International Reinsurance Co. v. Phoenix

Florida District Court of Appeal
678 So. 2d 378 (1996)


Facts

Jude Nile (Nile) was a corporation owned by River Phoenix (defendant) and his mother, Arlyn. Nile entered into an agreement with Scala Productions (Scala) to loan out Phoenix, who was an actor, for the purpose of filming a movie called Dark Blood. Nile also entered into an agreement with Geffen Pictures (Geffen) to loan out Phoenix for the purpose of filming a movie called Interview with the Vampire. Both agreements contained a general obligation not to do anything that would deprive the parties of their benefits. Scala and Geffen obtained insurance policies pertaining to the movie productions from CNA International Reinsurance Company, Ltd. (CNA) (plaintiff) and American Casualty Company (American) (plaintiff). Phoenix died due to an overdose of illegal drugs prior to the completion of both movies. CNA and American issued payments under the policies and became subrogated to the claims that Scala and Geffen had against Phoenix. CNA and American sued Phoenix for breach of the actor-loanout agreements. Arlyn, as the personal representative of Phoenix’s estate, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuits. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, and CNA and American appealed to the Florida District Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Joanos, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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