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Appeal Abandoned Due to Insufficient Statement of Issues

January 14, 2014

Appellate team leader John Bunyan and Tyler Wetzel wrote an article on the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Sapuppo v. Allstate Floridian Ins. Co.and what this decision could mean for future appellate opinions. Below is an excerpt from “Appeal Abandoned Due to Insufficient Statement of Issues,” originally featured in the American Bar Association’s January 14, 2014 Appellate Practice newsletter:

The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, concluding that the four claims all failed because: (1) The “filed rate doctrine” bars suits challenging the reasonableness of rates filed with a regulatory agency; and (2) the Florida legislature did not create a private right of action to enforce Chapter 2007-1. The district court also gave independent alternative grounds for dismissing each of the four claims.


The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal because the plaintiffs failed to challenge on appeal all of the grounds on which the district court based its judgment. The court noted that the plaintiffs’ Statement of the Issues section listed the only two issues on appeal as whether the district court erred in concluding that: (1) the claims were barred by the filed-rate doctrine, and (2) there was no private right of action. The plaintiffs, however, did not mention in the statement of issues the district court’s alternative reasons for dismissal. The court concluded that this failure alone resulted in abandonment of those arguments.

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