Megan Fox purchased a $3.3 million Malibu mansion from Cynthia Pett-Dante (who’s best known as Brad Pitt’s manager LOL) in 2016. Shortly thereafter, Fox realized that property had serious problems, (trigger warning Floridians, we’re going somewhere dark today). The property was full of MOLD and required at least $500,000 in remedial work. Been there, done that!
Megan filed a $5 million lawsuit against Pett-Dante. Despite claiming that the property had given her “chronic migraines” and “constant stress,” a Judge ruled against Fox and granted Pett-Dante a summary judgment, essentially dismissing Fox’s case.
It turns out, Fox ignored the advice of her real estate lawyer (we’ll give him a shout-out!), Joseph D’Onofrio, who described the property as a “nightmarish, ill-advised and risky” purchase. Megan also admitted to not reading vital emails or inspection reports that disclosed the mansion’s condition. LOL. when asked during her testimony, she said: “(No), because I pay other people to read them and tell me what’s in them and advise me on what I should do or not do.” Hhhhhm, yes, you PAY them, but do you LISTEN to them?
The two settled on $100,000, one-fiftieth of the amount Fox demanded.
Yes, there’s an obvious lesson here, but what else we learn from this situation? Well, we in Florida know; there’s no talk of mold without talk of property insurance. This is a great time to check in on the Florida property insurance laws.
More than 100 new laws passed during the 2021 legislative session and hit the books on July 1, 2021. In my opinion, the most interesting centered around property insurance. An insurance package (SB 76) will have the most impact; the rules (1) Allow for larger annual rate increases for customers of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Companies. (2) Prevent contractors (roofers) from soliciting homeowners to file insurance claims. (3) Change the attorney fees structure in lawsuits against insurers. (4) Reduce the time to file claims from three to two years.
Historically, the insurance company would pay for the attorney fees of the Homeowner. Can you imagine how annoying it would be to pay for the other side’s attorney fees in their lawsuit against you. So, the new rules limit those attorney fees paid by the insurance company, and I expect, greatly reduce the number of cases surrounding property insurance. We’ll see how this plays out for us, but it’s important for us to know about these changes.
So there we have it. We learn that it may be a good idea to listen to the advice of the people hired and that the Florida property insurance rules have changed recently.
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