Levine v. Dade County School Board

442 So. 2d 210 (1983)

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Levine v. Dade County School Board

Florida Supreme Court
442 So. 2d 210 (1983)

Facts

When Robert Levine (plaintiff) was a high-school student in Dade County, he was severely beaten by other students during school hours while on school grounds. More than three years later, Levine brought a personal-injury lawsuit against the Dade County School Board (DCSB) (defendant), alleging negligent supervision. Before filing the lawsuit, Levine provided written notice of his claim to DCSB; however, Levine failed to timely file the statutorily required notice-of-claim with the Florida Department of Insurance. Because Levine filed his lawsuit after the expiration of the three-year statutory notice deadline, he was unable to provide timely notice to the Department of Insurance. Instead, Levine submitted an affidavit from the Department of Insurance stating that the department had no role or financial interest in Levine’s claim against DCSB. The Department of Insurance only acted as a recordkeeper and reporter for claims against school districts; it did not defend school districts and did not have any financial interest in the outcome of claims against school districts. The trial court dismissed Levine’s complaint with prejudice for failing to fulfill the statutory notice requirements. Levine appealed, arguing that his failure to provide a notice-of-claim to the Department of Insurance should not preclude his claim against DCSB because the department was not affected or prejudiced by the lack of notice. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal. The appellate court then certified a question to the Florida Supreme Court about whether a petitioner who had failed to provide the requisite notice to the Department of Insurance could maintain a claim against a state agency if the department had no role or interest in defending the state agency.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Boyd, J.)

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