Jake D. Huxtable

1550 Southern Blvd., Suite 300
West Palm Beach FL 33406

Phone:  561.686.5005 extension 1315

E-mail:  jake.huxtable@petersonbernard.com

Jake D. Huxtable is a shareholder in the firm's West Palm Beach office.  Mr. Huxtable focuses his practice primarily on the areas of general insurance defense with an emphasis in first party claims and coverage issues, contractor/road liability, motor vehicle liability, construction defect, and premises liability.  Mr. Huxtable also has experience in commercial and civil litigation, including business torts, contract law, regulatory and government investigations, and white-collar defense.  He also has assisted in contract negotiations of professional athletes and NCAA coaches, and is a certified NFL contract advisor currently representing NFL clients.

Mr. Huxtable graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in May of 2016.  During law school, Mr. Huxtable clerked for Dean Mead law firm in their litigation department; was a Summer Associate at McGuireWoods LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina; and served as a legal intern for The Legacy Sports Agency in New York City.  Prior to law school, Mr. Huxtable earned athletic scholarships and participated on the baseball teams at the University of Central Florida (2009-2011) and Jacksonville University (2011-2013), where he was awarded Academic All-American Honors his senior year.

Mr. Huxtable is a member of the Florida Bar and admitted to practice law before the United States District Court for the Northern and Middle Districts of Florida, the Supreme Court of Florida, and all other Florida state courts.

Recent Cases

Jake Huxtable recently won Summary Judgment in a breach of contract case stemming from a first-party insurance dispute where a homeowner and named insured under the insurance policy at issue (the plaintiff) sued Peterson Bernard’s client (the insurance carrier) seeking to recover approximately $60,000 in damages relating to a plumbing leak that purportedly occurred in the home. 
 
After the leak was discovered by the plaintiff, a mitigation company was called out to the property to perform repairs and dry-out services, which included permanent removal of the plumbing pipe that allegedly failed and caused the leak. The pipe was discarded and permanent repairs had been made prior to the insurance carrier having any notice of the loss or actual knowledge that the plaintiff was making a claim. At the time of inspection, the pipe was not available for the insurance company to inspect and the property alleged to have been damage had already been repaired and/or replaced. 
 
As such, the insurance carrier requested that the plaintiff submit to an Examination Under Oath pursuant to the insurance policy, for purposes of further investigating the loss and alleged property damage. The plaintiff, however, refused to comply with the insurance carrier’s request and failed to appear for an Examination Under Oath on three (3) separate occasions. In lieu of cooperating with the insurance carrier’s requests, the plaintiff filed suit without ever having given an Examination Under Oath prior to doing so.
 
Once the lawsuit commenced, Jake Huxtable immediately moved for Summary Judgment on behalf of the insurance carrier, arguing that the plaintiff’s refusal to submit to an Examination Under Oath was a material breach of the insurance policy and precluded coverage. The plaintiff argued that it was unreasonable for the insurance carrier to request an Examination Under Oath, because the plaintiff had already allowed the insurance carrier to inspect the property and take photographs of the property alleged to have been damaged.
 
The Miami-Dade Circuit Court ruled in favor of the insurance carrier and entered Final Summary Judgment against the plaintiff, finding that submitting to an Examination Under Oath upon an insurance carrier’s reasonable request serves as a condition precedent to suit and coverage under the policy, and the plaintiff failed to provide any excuse or show any good cause for refusing to comply with the insurance carrier’s request. Jake Huxtable is now seeking to recover the insurance company’s attorney’s fees and costs incurred in defending the lawsuit and for which it is entitled to recover as the prevailing party.

Jake Huxtable recently won Summary Judgment in a breach of contract case stemming from a first-party insurance dispute where a third-party mitigation company (the plaintiff) sued Peterson Bernard’s client (the insurance carrier) pursuant to an Assignment of Benefits contract executed by the homeowner and named insured under the policy at issue. The plaintiff sought to recover approximately $10,000 directly from the insurance company for water mitigation and dry-out services rendered to the homeowner and named insured’s property relating to damages that were alleged to have been a result of Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017.  The plaintiff mitigation company claimed these services were “emergency and necessary” and therefore covered under the insurance policy.
 
Jake Huxtable, on behalf of the insurance company, did not dispute the amount of plaintiff’s invoice for which they were seeking to recover as damages, but instead, defended solely on the issue of liability and argued that the plaintiff’s mitigation services were not in fact “emergency and necessary” in relation to the alleged date of loss, because the first point in time the plaintiff company had actually begun its services performed at the named insured’s property was over nine (9) months after Hurricane Irma. In the course of written discovery, Jake Huxtable was able to get the plaintiff to admit that its services did not begin until over nine (9) months after Hurricane Irma by using the plaintiff company’s own business records and service documents generated from the mitigation work plaintiff performed at the property, which showed that plaintiff’s services commenced on June 15, 2018 and were completed on June 20, 2018. The plaintiff did not, and could not, dispute the accuracy and genuineness of its own documents, and therefore, was forced to admit that these dates of service were correct. There were no depositions were taken.
 
In applying the plain and ordinary meaning to the terms “emergency and necessary” as used in the policy and defined by Black’s Law Dictionary, the Miami-Dade County Court agreed that the plaintiff’s mitigation services could not have conceivably been “emergency and necessary” in relation to the alleged date of loss (Hurricane Irma), because the plaintiff admitted that they were not even rendered until over nine (9) months after the property damage allegedly occurred.  
 
Therefore, the court ruled there was no coverage for plaintiff’s “delayed services” under the insurance policy at issue and granted Final Summary Judgment in favor of the insurance company. Jake Huxtable is now seeking to recover the insurance company’s attorney’s fees and costs incurred in defending the lawsuit and for which it is entitled to recover as the prevailing party.