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May 20, 2015

King & Spalding Obtains Complete Defense Verdict for Deloitte Following Six-Week Jury Trial

ATLANTA, Georgia, May 20, 2015 — A King & Spalding team persuaded a Tallahassee, Florida jury on May 8 to return a complete defense verdict in favor of Deloitte & Touche LLP in a case stemming from Deloitte’s 2004 audits of three Florida insurance companies.

The suit was filed in 2010 by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) as the Receiver of the three insurance companies: Southern Family Insurance Company, Florida Preferred Property Insurance Company, and Atlantic Preferred Insurance Company, all of which were owned by the Poe Financial Group. The companies wrote property and casualty policies along the Florida coast, and were rendered insolvent after an unprecedented eight hurricanes hit Florida in 2004 and 2005. After the devastating impact of Hurricane Wilma in late October 2005, DFS placed the companies into liquidation in the spring of 2006.

DFS, as Receiver, brought negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract claims against Deloitte, claimed that the insurance companies were insolvent as of Dec. 31, 2004, and sought damages of $850 million excluding prejudgment interest. After six weeks of trial and 19 hours of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict, finding that Deloitte was not negligent, did not breach its contract, and made no negligent misrepresentations. The trial was one of the highest-stakes accountants’ liability matters ever to be tried to verdict.

The King & Spalding team included business litigation partners John Chandler (Atlanta), Meredith Moss (Washington, D.C.), Ken Turnbull (Washington, D.C.) and Brad Lingo (Charlotte); counsel Jim Gorsline (Atlanta) and John Drennan (Washington, D.C.); senior associates Tully Blalock (Atlanta) and Satyam Bee (New York); associates Jon Henry (Washington, D.C.), and Tim Lee (Atlanta); paralegals Sara Panfil (Washington, D.C.) and Terry Traynham (Washington, D.C.); and legal practice coordinator Maggie Adams (Atlanta).

About King & Spalding
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