Can An Insured's Negligence Claim Against An Insurance Agent Be Assigned to a Third Party ?

In Forgione v. Dennis Pirtle Agency Inc., 701 So. 2d 557 (Fla. 1997), this Court, in determining that an insured's negligence claim against an insurance agent was assignable to a third party, discussed the public policy reasons that preclude the assignment of purely personal tort claims. Forgione, 701 So. 2d at 558. This Court noted that legal malpractice claims are not assignable because of the personal nature of legal services which involve a confidential, fiduciary relationship of the very highest character, with an undivided duty of loyalty owed to the client. Id. at 559. While an accountant's duty of confidentiality is similar to that of an attorney, substantial differences exist in the type of accountant-client relationship in which the accountant is an independent auditor hired to give an opinion on financial statements. In Dantzler Lumber & Export Co. v. Columbia Cas. Co., 115 Fla. 541, 156 So. 116 (1934), the Court held that an insurer could be equitably subrogated to the rights of its insured and maintain a cause of action against its insured's auditor for the auditor's malpractice. See 115 Fla. at 555, 156 So. at 121.