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As a Subrogation professional with over 14 years of experience, Mary Jo Kuusela knows that timely resolutions and proactive communication are essential for her clients. Efficient, cost effective results are a top priority for Mary Jo, and her experience encompasses a range of successful multi-million dollar lawsuits and class action claims. Admitted to practice in both Florida and Texas, Mary Jo’s litigation practice focuses on construction defects, products liability, product recall, trucking and maritime claims.

She is well versed in the complexity of construction and contract cases, recently handling a lawsuit arising from a building collapse involving a breach of contract and construction defect claim where damages exceeded $7.3 million. Her recent experiences include a lawsuit arising from a water loss involving negligent installation and maintenance of a fire sprinkler system, and a roof damage claim due to construction defects caused by Hurricane Irma with damages exceeding $3.2 and $3.3 million.

Mary Jo loves a challenge. Starting as a legal secretary, working her way up as a paralegal, and ultimately becoming an attorney, she understands every facet of a law firm. Her past experiences are the reason for her client oriented, proactive approach, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with her clients and their insureds. Mary Jo has also written on a variety of legal subjects, as well as recently presenting a webinar on Fire Sprinkler Claims. She is also a proud member of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals and presented Subrogation College at the NASP Annual Conference.

Mary Jo actively supports local charities through various channels and believes giving back is integral to becoming a part of the community. She has volunteered in several pro bono activities at the Hillsborough County Courthouse in the Family Forms Clinic, Domestic Violence Program, and the Attorney Ad Litem Program. Mary Jo also contributes to Metropolitan Ministries, United Way, and her local church organizations, supporting their efforts in improving everyday life for those in need.

Admissions

  • Florida
  • Texas

Education

  • University of South Florida
    Bachelor of Arts
  • Stetson University College of Law
    Doctor of Jurisprudence

Memberships

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (HAWL)
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA)
  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP)
  • Texas Bar Association

Courts

  • Florida Courts (State and Federal)
  • Texas Courts (State and Federal)

Experiences

1910, Inc. v. Ironwood Properties, Inc. (subrogation lawsuit arising from building damage caused by construction activities at adjacent lot including sheet pile driving, soil compaction, excavation and other vibratory construction. Damages exceeded $1.1 million.)

2800 Henderson and Artreach v. Brasscraft Manufacturing Co. (subrogation claim involving a water loss caused by a defective water supply line. Damages exceeded $950,000.)

Art & Frame v. Simon Roofing & Sheet Metal Corp. (subrogation lawsuit arising from a building collapse involving a breach of contract, and construction defect claim. Damages exceeded $7.3 million.)

Belle Vista v. Virginia Sprinkler Company, Inc. (subrogation lawsuit arising from a water loss involving a negligent installation and maintenance of a fire sprinkler system. Damages exceeded $3.2 million.)

Casa Linda Professional Building and Bristow v. Oncor Electric Delivery Co. (subrogation lawsuit arising from a fire caused by a Texas utility company due to improper maintenance of utility service. Damages exceeded $1 million.)

Club at Shiloh Ridge v. Ver-Max, Inc. (subrogation lawsuit involving a fire caused by improper service and maintenance of a commercial kitchen vent hood system. Damages exceeded $1.7 million.)

God’s Love in Action, et al vs. Midea Group Co., LTD., et al. – (subrogation lawsuit arising from a fire loss due to the failure of a refrigerator). Damages exceeded $1.1 million.

In re: West Explosion Cases – Cause No. 2013—2476—4 (170th Dist. McLennan County, TX) (mass tort litigation and subrogation lawsuit following explosion of fertilizer plant in West, Texas).

Pan Am Equities v. Frantz (subrogation claim involving a fire caused by the tenant due to unattended cooking. Damages exceeded $1.35 million.)

Prather v, Bosch Home Appliances Corp. (subrogation lawsuit arising from fire caused by product defect in dishwasher involving a CPSC recall. Damages exceeded $800,000.)

Tieszen v. Titeflex, et al. – (subrogation lawsuit arising from a fire loss due to the failure of corrugated stainless steel tubing (“CSST”). Damages exceeded $800,000.

Travel Pro v. Southern Coatings (subrogation lawsuit arising from roof damage due to construction defects revealed during Hurricane Wilma. Damages exceeded $3.4 million.)

Media

The Do’s and Don’ts of Subrogation for Adjusters and Fire Investigators

Join Partner Mary Jo Kuusela as she presents "The Do's and Don'ts of Subrogation for Adjusters and Fire Investigators" at the 2020 FACAP Annual Arson Seminar. This presentation will take place on March 4, 2020 in Ocala, FL. This presentation focuses on efficient and effective investigation of fire claims for subrogation recovery potential. Mary Jo will discuss the applicable statute of limitation...

Ford recalls 2 million F-150 trucks because of fire risk

On September 6, 2018, Ford issued a recall for its F—150 Regular Cab and SuperCrew Cab pickup trucks manufactured between 2015 and 2018 due to a risk of fire. The recall involves a problem with front driver and front passenger seatbelt pre-tensioners. The pretensioners in the 2015—-2017 vehicles were manufactured by Takata, which was acquired by Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. The pretensioners...

Quick Investigating Tips for Fire Sprinkler Claims

Watch Partner Mary Jo Kuusela as she presented Quick Investigating Tips for Fire Sprinkler Claims. This course provides the adjuster and subrogation specialist with quick investigating tips for simple to complex issues involved with fire sprinkler system claims. The presentation addresses origin and cause, system identification, and information needed to evaluate a claim to determine if there is s...

Quick Investigating Tips for Fire Sprinkler Claims

Listen to Partner Mary Jo Kuusela as she presented Quick Investigating Tips for Fire Sprinkler Claims. This course provides the adjuster and subrogation specialist with quick investigating tips for simple to complex issues involved with fire sprinkler system claims. The presentation addresses origin and cause, system identification, and information needed to evaluate a claim to determine if t...

International Women’s Day

"LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT MAKING OTHERS BETTER AS A RESULT OF YOUR PRESENCE AND MAKING SURE THAT IMPACT LASTS IN YOUR ABSENCE." -SHERYL SANBERG (COO OF FACEBOOK) ...

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Pennsylvania – Voided Terms And Conditions: Unlawful And Unconscionable Exculpatory Clauses

This article originally appeared in a NASP Article for Subrogator - Terms and Conditions. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. How many of your subrogation claims have been closed because of the subrogation killing terms and conditions of a contract? A recent decision in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, United States District Court found...

Kentucky- Business Personal Property Damages Excluded Under Daubert

This article was originally published in the Subrogator, a publication by the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Winter, 2016. © Copyright 2016 by NASP. All rights reserved. Republished by Butler with permission from NASP. Have your personal property or business personal property subrogation damages ever been excluded under a Daubert challenge? They could be if the damages are ...

When Is The Contract Complete? Court Rules That Statue Of Repose Commences Upon Final Payment

Recently, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal reviewed the statute of repose relative to improvements to real property, which states, in pertinent part, that “the action must be commenced within 10 years after…the date of completion…of the contract….”[1]   In Cypress Fairway v. Bergeron Construction,[2]  the Court clarified what constitutes the “date of completion” as cite...

Nasp Webinar

Mary Jo Kuusela and George McMullin presented a NASP webinar on October 28, titled, "Ethical Considerations for Subrogation Professionals During the Claims Handling Process." ...

Is Texas Following Florida’s Lead On Changing The Economic Loss Rule?

Practicing in both Florida and Texas I have seen the Economic Loss Rule evolve over the years, and its direct impact on the recovery potential for our subrogation claims appears to be moving in a positive direction. Recently, the Texas Supreme Court held in a per curium opinion in Chapman Custom Homes, Inc. v. Dallas Plumbing Co., 2014 WL 4116839 (Tex. Aug. 22, 2014), that a claimant can now bri...

2012 Nasp Annual Conference

Mary Jo spoke at NASP's 2012 Annual Conference.  The topic was, "Subrogation College."...

Experts – When To Discuss The Facts And When To Obtain A Report

How many times have you received an expert report without requesting one? It happens more than one would think. Hopefully, you are working with experts who do not prepare reports on their own without your request. If you are working with an expert for the first time, it would be wise to communicate with the expert to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to a written report. After...

Are Expert Reports Always Protected By The Work Product Protection? …Maybe Not

This article was originally published in the Subrogator, a publication by the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Spring/Summer, 2012. © Copyright 2012 by NASP. All rights reserved. Republished by Butler with permission from NASP. A question sometimes arises as to whether expert reports are protected under the work product doctrine when experts are retained by claims adjusters, ...

Maryland Court Holds Waiver Of Subrogation Contract Language Does Not Bar Recovery After Project Completion And Final Payment

State Specific: Maryland Maryland Court Holds Waiver of Subrogation Contract Language Does Not Bar Recovery After Project Completion and Final Payment This article was originally published in NASP's Subrogator Spring/Summer 2010 publication. © 2010.  Reprinted by permission.   In Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company v. Phoebus,[1] a Maryland appellate court ruled that an insurance compa...

Don’t Cut Corners On Proper Notice…It Matters!

This article was originally published in NASP's Subrogator publication, Winter 2010. © 2010.  Reprinted by permission. Contact the authors for the full version of the article....

Florida’s “Made Whole” Doctrine: Returning A Portion Of The Insured’s Deductible Is Permissible – For Now!

This article was originally published in the Subrogator, a publication by the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Spring/Summer 2005, Page 101. © Copyright 2005 by NASP. All rights reserved. Republished by Butler with permission from NASP.   Per Florida's Made Whole Doctrine, insurers need only reimburse their insureds to the extent of their insured's legally recoverable loss. I...

Spoliation Of Evidence – Limiting The Duty To Preserve

This article was originally published in the Subrogator, a publication by the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Summer, 2009, Page 74. © Copyright 2009 by NASP. All rights reserved. Republished by Butler with permission from NASP. State Specific | Alabama A summary of Killings v. Enterprise Leasing Company, Inc., 2008 WL 4967412 (Ala. 2008). A recent case from the Supreme Cour...

Mary Jo Kuusela