Frequently Asked Questions
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Why is this a class action?
- Why is there a Settlement?
- Who is included in the Settlement Class?
- What does the Settlement provide?
- What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?
- How do I file a claim?
- How much money will I receive from the Settlement and when will I receive my payment?
- How is the Recalculated Interest Amount determined?
- What am I giving up by being a Settlement Class Member and receiving a cash Settlement Payment?
- Can a personal representative make a claim for a deceased Settlement Class Member?
- How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
- How do I get out of the Settlement?
- If I optout can I still get anything from the Settlement?
- If I do not opt out, can I sue the Defendants or those released by the Settlement for the same thing later?
- What is the difference between objecting and opting out?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
- May I speak at the Hearing?
- Do I need to attend to the Hearing?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- How do I get more information?
What is this lawsuit about?
The case is known as Gulf Coast Injury Center, LLC A/A/O Jordan Rimert v. Esurance Property and Casualty Insurance Company, pending as Case No. 21-CA-002738 of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in and for Hillsborough County, Florida. The entity that sued is called the Plaintiff and the Esurance Property and Casualty Insurance Company and Esurance Insurance Company (“Esurance” or “Defendants”) who were sued are called the Defendants.
This is a class action lawsuit. The Plaintiff who sued Esurance claims that Esurance failed to pay statutory interest required by Florida Statutes § 627.736(4)(d) in connection with overdue payment of personal injury protection ("PIP") benefits under certain policies of insurance issued by Esurance. Esurance denies all allegations of fault, wrongdoing or liability. The Court has not decided who is right.Back To Top
Why is this a class action?
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called the “Class Representatives” (in this case, Plaintiff Gulf Coast) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people are “Settlement Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement.Back To Top
Why is there a Settlement?
After extensive litigation, the Plaintiff and Esurance have agreed to a Settlement. The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiff or Esurance. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Plaintiff and Esurance avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and if the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class Members will receive the benefits described in the Notice. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Esurance did anything wrong. Esurance denies all legal claims in this case. Plaintiff and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.Back To Top
Who is included in the Settlement Class?
You are a Settlement Class Member if you were an insured or an assignee who submitted a claim for Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits under an Esurance Auto Policy for medical treatment and who received benefit payment on or after March 30, 2016, through December 21, 2021, where (1) Defendants paid the claim outside the 30 day PIP time limit; (2) Defendants’ Policy did not specify a rate of interest for Overdue PIP Benefits; and (3) Defendants calculated and paid interest on Overdue PIP Benefit payments at a fixed rate without annual adjustment.
Assignee of a Settlement Class Member. If you are an assignee of a Settlement Class Member, as determined under the law of the state of the assignment or the state identified in the assignment as governing, your rights under the Settlement will be the same as though you were the Settlement Class Member.Back To Top
What does the Settlement provide?
Settlement Class Members are eligible to submit a Claim Form to receive a cash Settlement Payment if a claim for Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits under an Esurance Auto Policy for medical treatment was submitted and the incorrect amount of interest was paid on or after March 30, 2016, through December 31, 2021.
The Settlement provides that Esurance will pay Settlement Class Members a cash Settlement Payment for the unpaid interest after Claim Forms are received and processed and the unpaid interest amount is calculated.Back To Top
What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?
If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class or have other questions about the Settlement, call toll-free 1 866-516-8962, or write to Gulf Coast Injury Center v. Esurance Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 2480, Portland, OR 97208-2480, for more information. Please do not contact the Court, Esurance, or your insurance agent. Your insurance agent will not have information about this Settlement and will not be able to assist you.Back To Top
How do I file a claim?
To be eligible to receive a cash Settlement Payment, you must complete and submit a valid, signed Claim Form by December 31, 2023. If you do not submit a valid, signed Claim Form by the deadline, you will not receive a payment.
Claim Forms must be filed online or mailed and postmarked on or before December 31, 2023, to: Gulf Coast Injury Center v. Esurance Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 2480, Portland, OR 97208-2480.
Please read the Claim Form carefully, follow all the instructions and provide all the information required. If you have questions about how to file your Claim Form that cannot be answered by the Notice or by reviewing the information on this Settlement website, please call the Claims Administrator at 1-866-516-8962.Back To Top
How much money will I receive from the Settlement and when will I receive my payment?
The amount of a cash Settlement Payment a Settlement Class Member may receive will vary depending on the Recalculated Interest Amount. The Recalculated Interest Amount will be determined by recalculating interest payable on an Overdue PIP Benefits payment, which will be determined after claims have been reprocessed.
Cash Settlement Payments will be made after the Court grants “final approval” to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved. If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.Back To Top
How is the Recalculated Interest Amount determined?
The Recalculated Interest Amount will be determined as follows.
- The initial interest rate to be applied to the Overdue PIP Benefits payment is set at the rate established under Fla. Stat. § 55.03 for the quarter in which the payment became overdue.
- If the payment remained overdue as of January 1 for the following year, the applicable interest rate would then be adjusted and begin accruing as of January 1 at the rate in effect on January 1. That rate would remain in effect for the rest of the year, only to be readjusted again the following January 1 if still due and owing.
- The Recalculated Interest Amount will then be the sum of accrued interest, adjusted annually, if necessary, for the entire period an Overdue PIP Benefits payment remained overdue.
- The Class Member will be entitled to recover pursuant to this Settlement ninety percent (90%) of the difference between the amount of interest previously paid on the Overdue PIP Benefits payment (“Original Interest Payment”) and the Recalculated Interest Amount (the “Settlement Payment Amount”).
What am I giving up by being a Settlement Class Member and receiving a cash Settlement Payment?
Section 42 of the Settlement Agreement contains the complete text regarding the Release of Claims and what Settlement Class Members give up unless they exclude themselves (opt out) from the Settlement, so please read it carefully. Unless you exclude yourself (opt out) from the Settlement, you cannot sue the Defendants or others as detailed in the Settlement Agreement, Section 42 for claims resolved by this lawsuit.Back To Top
Can a personal representative make a claim for a deceased Settlement Class Member?
Yes. If you are a Settlement Class Member’s Administrator/Administratrix or Executor/Executrix of such Settlement Class Member’s estate, or an agent or representative of the Settlement Class Member’s estate, who sufficiently demonstrates authority to act on behalf of the estate, you may submit a Claim Form or receive a cash Settlement Payment on behalf of a deceased Settlement Class Member. If no estate is open, the claim may be made by a person authorized to obtain the decedent’s property under an applicable small estate statute in accordance with the statute’s procedure.Back To Top
How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not like any part of it.
To object, you must submit a letter or written document—Notice of Intent to Object or Intervene—that includes the following to the extent known:
- A heading which refers to the case—Gulf Coast Injury Center v. Esurance;
- Your name, address, telephone number and signature as the Class Member or of your counsel filing the objection or intervention request;
- A statement whether you the objector or intervener intends to appear at the Final Settlement Hearing, either in person or through counsel, and, if through counsel, identifying counsel by name, address and phone number;
- A detailed statement of the specific legal and factual bases for intervention and for each and every objection, and, if through counsel, a legal memorandum in support of the objection or intervention; and
- A list of any witnesses, along with the expected testimony of each such witness, and photocopies of exhibits which the objector intends to introduce at the Final Settlement Hearing.
You must file your objection with the Court by October 30, 2023, with copies to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel, received by October 30, 2023, at the following addresses.
Clerk of the Court Class Counsel Defense Counsel Clerk of the Court
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court
800 East Twiggs Street
Tampa, FL 33602
Lawrence M. Kopelman
7900 Peters Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Demesin & Dover, PLLC
1650 SE 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Peter Valeta, Esq.
123 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
How do I get out of the Settlement?
To opt out of the Settlement, you must submit a written opt-out request, which must include all of the following:
- A clear statement that you wish to be excluded from the Settlement. The statement should be similar to the following sentence: “I wish to exclude myself from the Class in Gulf Coast Injury Center v. Esurance case.”
- Your printed name, address, and telephone number.
- Your signature (or your/Settlement Class Member’s personal representative). A written signature is required (an electronic signature is not sufficient).
- If the person, entity, or organization seeking to opt out is a Settlement Class Member’s personal representative (estate representative) or is an assignee, a statement of such fact and a brief explanation of its status and authority.
Requests to opt out must be mailed to the following address and postmarked by October 15, 2023:
Gulf Coast Injury Center v. Esurance Claims Administrator
P.O. Box 2480
Portland, OR 97208-2480
Attorneys for Settlement Class Members may submit a written request to opt out on behalf of a Settlement Class Member, but such a request must also contain the personal signature of the Settlement Class Member (or personal representative of the Settlement Class Member).
Subject to the right of an assignee of a Settlement Class Member, no person or entity or other Settlement Class Member may opt out in the interest of, or on behalf of, any other Settlement Class Member.
You cannot opt out by telephone or by email.Back To Top
If I opt out can I still get anything from the Settlement?
No. If you opt out, you are telling the Court you do not want to be part of the Settlement. You will not get a Settlement Payment from the Settlement Fund if you opt out. If you opt out, do not submit a Claim Form.Back To Top
If I do not opt out, can I sue the Defendants or those released by the Settlement for the same thing later?
No. Unless you opt out, you give up any right to sue the Defendants and others as detailed in the Settlement Agreement, Section 42 for the claims resolved by this lawsuit. You must opt out to start or continue with your own lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendants. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately.Back To Top
What is the difference between objecting and opting out?
Objecting is telling the Court you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class (meaning you do not opt out). Opting out is telling the Court you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you opt out, you cannot object to the Settlement.Back To Top
Do I have a lawyer in the case?
Yes. The Court has appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel” to represent all Settlement Class Members:
Class Counsel Lawrence M. Kopelman
7900 Peters Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Demesin & Dover, PLLC
1650 SE 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
You will not be charged for these lawyers. You do not need to hire your own lawyer. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.Back To Top
How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, which will not exceed $75,000 in total to be paid by Esurance, not by Settlement Class Members. Payment of these fee and cost awards will not reduce Settlement Class Members’ cash Settlement Payments.Back To Top
When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court has scheduled a Final Fairness Hearing on November 1, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., at the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in and for Hillsborough County, 800 E. Twiggs St., Tampa, FL 33602. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the home page for updates. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Settlement Class. The Court will also consider the requests by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and costs and determine if an incentive award should be granted to the Class Representative. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at the hearing. The Judge will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. It is unknown how long these decisions will take.Back To Top
May I speak at the Hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must send a letter stating that it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear in the Gulf Coast Injury Center v. Esurance case, Case No. 21-CA-002738”, which must include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. The Notice of Intention to Appear must be postmarked by October 30, 2023, and be sent to the Clerk of the Court, Class Counsel and Defense Counsel at the addresses listed in FAQ 12. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself.Back To Top
Do I need to attend the Hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Judge may have. But you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed/submitted your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You also may pay your own lawyer to attend the hearing, but it is not necessary.Back To Top
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing and do not file a Claim Form, you will be deemed a Settlement Class Member, and you will not get any money from this Settlement. If you are a Settlement Class Member and do not exclude yourself, then you will not be able to start a lawsuit against the Defendants or others as detailed in the Settlement Agreement, Section 42 for claims resolved by this lawsuit.Back To Top
How do I get more information?
You can visit the Important Documents tab to view the Settlement Agreement and other important documents. You may also call toll-free 1-866-516-8962 or write to Gulf Coast Injury Center v. Esurance Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 2480, Portland, OR 97208-2480.Back To Top