Hartford Accident & Indem. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins., No. 15-12781 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Between June 15, 2012, and November 15, 2012, the District Court entered a series of orders granting summary judgment and assessing attorneys’ fees and costs in favor of Crum & Forster in a suit about the scope of an insurance policy under Florida law brought by Hartford. Hartford appealed and the court ordered the parties to take part in a mediation conference. After mediation failed to resolve Hartford's appeal, a second mediation resulted in a conditional settlement agreement. The court granted the parties’ joint motion to stay Hartford’s initial appeal, so the parties could file their motion to vacate those orders in the district court pursuant to Rule 60(b). The district court, invoking the Supreme Court’s U.S. Bancorp Mortgage Company v. Bonner Mall Partnership decision, concluded that there are no “exceptional circumstances” warranting vacatur of the contested orders. The court followed the approach taken by the First and Second Circuits, which embraces the equitable nature of the Supreme Court’s Bancorp inquiry. Therefore, the court concluded that the district court abused its discretion where it misapplied Bancorp because of the exceptional circumstances in this case. Accordingly, the court reversed and vacated.