Arguments slated in Citizens Insurance dispute

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments Sept. 8 in an appeal by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. in a dispute stemming from damage caused by Hurricane Frances in 2004.

The court on Tuesday scheduled the arguments, as the state-backed Citizens seeks to overturn a ruling last year by the 5th District Court of Appeal.

The Brevard County cases involves questions about whether Citizens could be required to pay for lost rental income from damaged apartment buildings. The dispute involves damage sustained by nine apartment buildings owned by Manor House, LLC, Ocean View, LLC and Merritt, LLC, according to court records.

After Citizens initially made payments of $1,927,747 and $345,192, the property owners filed a lawsuit that led in 2010 to Citizens paying an additional $5.5 million.

The property owners filed another lawsuit that, at least in part, sought “extra-contractual damages” related to lost rent because of the delay in paying the claims.

A circuit judge ruled in favor of Citizens on the issue, but a panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal last May overturned that ruling “so that the parties may litigate all issues related to Manor House’s (the property owners’) claim of lost rent.”