What's Hot in Workers' Comp
The workers’ compensation insurance policy cancellation was not valid because a condition precedent had not been met, and promissory estoppel applied because the employer relied on the certificate of insurance.
The claimant appealed and Jones Construction Co., the contractor, cross appealed the judge’s non-final order ruling that the claimant was employed by Central Florida Siding Pros, LLC, a subcontractor, and statutorily employed by Jones and that neither carried workers’ compensation coverage.
The claimant and Jones Construction raised three arguments on appeal, but the First District Court of Appeal only found one warranting discussion. The claimant and Jones Construction argued that the judge erred in concluding that there was no coverage with NorGuard Insurance Company because the policy was not properly canceled and/or NorGuard was estopped to deny coverage to Central Florida Siding Pros based on the theory of promissory estoppel. The First District Court of Appeal disagreed and affirmed the lower court’s finding.
NorGuard provided coverage to Central Florida Siding through Paychex. Neither the claimant nor Jones Construction was a party to this insurance contract. NorGuard issued a notice of cancellation of the policy on January 24, 2018, with an effective date of February 10, 2018. Despite the impending cancellation, Paychex issued a certificate of insurance for Central Florida Siding to Jones Construction on February 6, 2018, indicating that the policy had gone into effect previously on February 29, 2017, and would expire on April 29, 2018. The judge ruled that the policy was not in effect on the date of the claimant’s accident because NorGuard had canceled it for nonpayment of premium two months before the date of the accident. This ruling meant that the general contractor (Jones Construction) was the statutory employer.
The First District Court of Appeal rejected the arguments, contending that the policy cancellation was not valid because a condition precedent had not been met and that promissory estoppel applied because Jones Construction had relied on the certificate of insurance.
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