Sarasota, Fla. Circuit Court Awards $16M Judgment to FCCI in Suspected Fraud Case

June 10, 2005

A Sarasota, Fla. Circuit Court awarded FCCI Insurance Company a $16,174,977 judgment last week in a civil action dating back to 2002.

The judgment against S&H Drywall of Inverness, Fla. and Premier Enterprises Unlimited of Tallahassee comes after an internal investigation conducted by FCCI’s Special Investigations Unit revealed inaccurate and incomplete information was provided to FCCI when the companies were obtaining workers’ compensation insurance from FCCI, a Sarasota-based property and casualty commercial insurance provider.

FCCI alleged that S&H and Premier misrepresented the nature of the construction work they did; understated the number of their employees; and failed to disclose true payroll figures, thus preventing FCCI from collecting the correct amount of premium.

“This is a victory for insurance companies across the state fighting fraud in the industry,” Joe Keene, FCCI executive vice president said. “We are quite pleased with the result after a long road of litigation.”

The partial summary judgment issued by Circuit Court Judge Deno Economou included a triple premium award of nearly $4,000,000 and an additional $12,276,810 as statutory damages pertaining to the difference of premium that the companies paid FCCI compared to what they should have paid.

Additionally, FCCI is to be compensated $93,888 for unreimbursed costs relating back to some of the undisclosed employees.

S&H and Premier have 30 days to file an appeal.

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