Section 744.357 Florida Statutes

In Nichols v. Preferred National Insurance Co., 704 So. 2d 1371 (Fla. 1997), the Court found that although attorneys' fees could be awarded against a surety on a guardianship bond under section 627.428, the provision of section 744.357, Florida Statutes (1995), that "no surety for a guardian shall be charged beyond the property of the ward," limits total recovery from a guardianship surety to the face amount of the guardianship bond. Nichols, 704 So. 2d at 1374. However, relying on the principle that the penal amount of the bond covers the misconduct of the principal, this Court also concluded that while an award of attorneys' fees and costs based solely on the negligence of a principal was limited by the amount of the guardianship bond, an award of attorneys' fees and costs incurred because the surety unreasonably delayed the payment of a claim was "not protected by section 744.357." Id.