State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Bishop

750 So. 2d 101 (1999)

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State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Bishop

Florida District Court of Appeal
750 So. 2d 101 (1999)

Facts

In 1991, Michael Bishop (defendant) was injured in an automobile accident. Bishop had an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) insurance policy through State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm) (plaintiff). In 1995, Bishop sued the other driver (the tortfeasor) for damages. In 1998, approximately seven years after the accident, Bishop’s lawsuit against the tortfeasor settled and the tortfeasor’s insurance company tendered a policy-limit payment to Bishop. Immediately after, Bishop filed a claim under his State Farm UM policy. State Farm denied the claim, stating that it was filed outside the five-year statute-of-limitations period for filing UM claims. Bishop sued State Farm to enforce the UM policy, arguing that his pending lawsuit against the tortfeasor tolled the statute of limitations. State Farm countered, arguing that the statute of limitations was not tolled because the UM policy did not forbid Bishop from filing a UM claim before the conclusion of his underlying pending lawsuit against the third-party tortfeasor. The trial court ruled for Bishop, holding that Bishop’s pending lawsuit tolled the statute of limitations. State Farm appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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