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Florida Dentist Loses COVID-19 Insurance Suit

Author: Ross Dwyer

Guest Editors: Nathan Berkeley, Ashley Kaye

November 30, 2020 3:18pm

Tyson & Mendes has been tracking COVID-19 insurance lawsuits brought by businesses seeking to recoup losses from insurers related to the pandemic. Last month, we reported on a beer distributor who had its insurance coverage lawsuit dismissed by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. This month, we report on a Florida dentist who suffered a similar result when Florida’s Southern District Court tossed his insurance coverage lawsuit against Hartford Casualty Insurance Company (“Hartford”).

The Highly Unusual, Bizarre, and Extraordinary

Author: Steven Rich

Guest Editor: Amy Chambers

November 2, 2020 3:00pm

Cleopatra “Gayle” Anglin, her husband Tom Anglin, and his brother Fred Anglin were driving south down a country highway in Lake Hamilton, Florida on the night of September 3, 1979, when their pickup truck crossed over train tracks covered by six inches of rainwater. The resulting splash doused the electrical system of their 1965 Chevy, which immediately began to spit and sputter before finally stalling out at the bottom of a hill.

Disney Not the Happiest Place on Earth for Beer Distributor After Insurance Coverage Loss in Florida Federal Court

Author: Ross Dwyer

Guest Editor: Jenn N. Crittondon

November 2, 2020 3:00pm

Beer and wine distributor Harvest Moon Distributors, LLC (“Harvest Moon”) supplied beer to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US (“Disney”). When Disney voluntarily closed the park to the public on March 15, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvest Moon allegedly suffered a loss of business income and inventory after Disney refused to accept any further beer from Harvest Moon, and refused to compensate Harvest Moon for the loss.

Florida Supreme Court Caps Damages Based on Sovereign Immunity Statute in Mass Shooting Case

Author: Nathan Furman

Guest Editor: David Kahn

October 5, 2020 3:32pm

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Florida, Barnett v. State of Florida, Dep’t of Financial Services, No. SC19-87, ___ So. 2d ___, (Fla. Sep. 24, 2020), addressed Florida’s statute on waiver of sovereign immunity in tort actions. Barnett arose from a 2010 mass shooting in which a Florida woman’s estranged husband fatally shot her and four of her children and seriously injured a fifth child.

Are Remote Trials the Wave of the Future? – Florida’s First Remote Civil Damages Trial Results in Plaintiff’s Award Against a Bar Owner

Author: Nathan E. Malone

Guest Editor: David Kahn

September 1, 2020 8:30am

With the current health pandemic lingering on longer than most people expected, courts have been struggling to find ways to get cases moving forward in light of extended court closures and the inability to assemble jurors.  On August 11, 2020, a court in the Fourth Circuit for Duval County held a one day damages trial involving a plaintiff dancer and a bar owner.  Jurors were summonsed in the normal fashion, but given instructions for Zoom appearances.  Jury selection occurred all via the Zoom platform.  While admittedly not ideal for longer, more complicated…

Florida Court of Appeal Reverses $25M Nuclear Verdict in ‘Spice’ Related Car Crash

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editor: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

July 8, 2020 12:00pm

In 2018, a Leon County jury awarded the families of three motor vehicle accident victims $37 million in damages in a wrongful death suit. The victims were killed when defendant Chrostopher Generoso, who was under the influence of a synthetic marijuana product, also known as “spice,” crashed his car into the victims’ vehicle. The wrongful death suit named both Generoso and DZE Corp., the manufacturer of the synthetic marijuana, as defendants.

Policy Exclusions and Coverage

Author: Cheryl Wilson

Guest Editor: Wendy Skillman

July 8, 2020 12:00pm

Other than hiring a lawyer, retaining an insurance broker is one of the most critical aspects of  business development in order to protect the investment.  However, due to the numerous options for insurance coverage and the various exclusions of perils, it is necessary to read each and every word of any insurance policy.  Perhaps, even retain an attorney to review the policy terms  so there are no misunderstandings.

Florida State Court of Appeal Rules Public Utility Company Not Liable for Nursing Home Deaths During Power Outage

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editor: Ashley Kaye

June 1, 2020 9:00am

On May 20, 2020, the Fourth District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida affirmed a circuit court decision dismissing defendant Florida Power & Light Company (“FPL”) from a lawsuit alleging negligence and strict liability claims. Plaintiff Christine Cooper, who was a resident of the defendant skilled nursing facility, Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, LLC, in September…

Florida Supreme Court Resolves Conflict Between Second and Fifth District Court of Appeals, Ruling that Language in a Reduced-Premium Collector Vehicle Policy Limiting Uninsured Motorist Coverage to Accidents Involving the Occupancy or Use of the Collector Vehicle Violates Florida Statute

Author: Nathan Furman

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

May 6, 2020 7:39pm

American Southern Home Ins. Co. v. Lentini, 286 So.3d 157 (Fla. 2019), arose from a fatal accident between the insured, who operated his motorcycle, and an uninsured motorist. The insured’s estate made a claim for uninsured motorist (UM) benefits under the reduced-premium policy issued on the insured’s collector vehicle, a 1992 Chevrolet Corvette.

COVID-19 – A Nightmarish Scenario for Elder and Assisted Living Facilities

Author: Justin T. Ruedaflores

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

May 6, 2020 7:36pm

As healthcare providers scramble to secure personal protection equipment, hospital beds, and ventilators, elder care and assisted living facilities are looking forward toward the potential fallout of lawsuits arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Criticized as being lethal incubators of the disease, elder and assisted living facilities are left in a particularly vulnerable position because they serve a portion of the population who is at a higher risk for severe…

Florida Insurance Contract Resolution Development

Author: Alice Segal

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

May 6, 2020 7:33pm

Recently the Florida Appeals Courts reached new decisions to clarify and further the understanding held by the State regarding the nuances of the contracts formed between Insurance companies and their insured.  They include the evaluation of how Elections to Repair are enforced, how Disinterested Appraisers are selected, and how recovery for payment of past medical expenses are calculated.

Florida Update: Tort Reform Phantom Damages Bill Fails

Author: Emily Berman

Guest Editor: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

April 6, 2020 2:58pm

Last month, our newsletter discussed the state of tort reform legislation in Florida with a focus on a proposed bill that would have barred so-called “Phantom Damages.” Much to the disappointment of the insurance defense bar, the vote on S.B. 1668 stalled this month and has been indefinitely postponed.

Telemedicine: Practice Trends and Risk Exposure Considerations

Author: Emily Straub

Guest Editor: Cinnamon J. Carr

March 4, 2020 10:00am

Telemedicine (a.k.a., telehealth) is taking the practice of medicine to a new level. What is telemedicine? By definition, it is “the use of advanced communication technologies, within the context of clinical health, that deliver care across considerable physical distance.”[1] Whether you are talking about videoconferencing, the storing and forwarding transmission of medical data and images, or remote patient monitoring, telemedicine…

Florida Senate Advances Bill That Looks to Eliminate ‘Phantom Damages’

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editor: Cinnamon J. Carr

March 4, 2020 10:00am

Currently, in the state of Florida, defendants in personal injury cases often pay more in medical treatment damages than what the plaintiff or his or her insurer actually paid.  These overpayments are often referred to as “phantom damages.”  In an effort to curb these phantom damages, the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee recently advanced S.B. 1668, which would create a new standard for determining future medical costs based on “usual…

Is the Medical Malpractice Insurance Crisis Over? – Challenge to Florida’s Statutory Bar on Recovery of Non-Pecuniary Damages by Adult Children in Wrongful Death Actions

Author: Nathan E. Malone

February 3, 2020 10:00am

Fourteen years after the decision in Mizrahi v. North Miami Medical Center, Ltd. upheld Florida’s bar on recovery of non-pecuniary damages by a decedent’s adult children in wrongful death actions because of medical malpractice, the District Court of Appeal in Estate of McCall v. U.S. declared Florida’s caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice actions unconstitutional.  The Court in McCall held that…

Orlando Bar Owner Asking Eleventh Circuit to Revive Duty to Defend

Author: Nathan E. Malone

Guest Editor: Terra Davenport

January 8, 2020 11:00am

Insurance coverage disputes were probably the last thing on bar owners’ or patrons’ minds at RumFest 2017.  Patrons were bouncing a beach ball around the crowd, until the beach ball bounced toward one particular plaintiff, who pushed it away with his outstretched arms and suffered severe ligament and tendon injuries, so his complaint alleges.  When the patron sued the bar owner, the bar owner turned the matter over…

Winning Summary Judgments with Video Evidence in Florida

Author: Nathan E. Malone

Guest Editor: Dan Cortright

December 2, 2019 12:16pm

On October 15, 2019, the Florida 5th District Court of Appeals (“DCA”) certified a question for the state’s Supreme Court that it viewed as one of great public importance: Should the court grant summary judgment when the moving party’s video evidence completely refutes conflicting evidence presented by the non-moving party?  The court recognized that technological advancements are increasing the likelihood that insurance companies…

Florida Case Law Update

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editor: Ashley Kaye

September 30, 2019 10:00am

Kreuger v. Quest Diagnostics Inc., et al., Case No. 2D18-3823 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019)
Grace and Naeem Uddin Inc. v. Singer Architects, et al., Case No. 4D18-2972 (Fla. 4th DCA, 2019)
Susan Plott v. NCL America, LLC, Case No. 19-10109 (11th Cir. 2019)

Florida Case Law Update

Author: Haldon Greenburg

September 3, 2019 10:00am

Two Recent Florida Fifth DCA Opinions Highlight Questions of Improper Statements at Closing Argument, and one Florida’s First DCA Opinion Interprets the Statute of Repose
Aldonia Mootry, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Russell Mootry, Jr. v. Bethune-Cookman University, Inc. et al.,44 Fla. L. Weekly D1999a (Fla. 5th DCA 2019)
R and W Rental Properties, LLC v. Warry Warnick, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D2044a (Fla. 5th DCA 2019)
James Harrell v. The Ryland Group, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D2054b (Fla. 1st DCA 2019)

Florida Case Law Update

Author: Haldon Greenburg

August 7, 2019 10:00am

Pier 1 Cruise Experts v. Revelex Corporation, No. 17-13956 (11th Circuit. 2019)
Miguel Lopez v. WilsonArt, LLC et al, 44 Fla. L Weekly D1808a, Fla. 5th DCA, July 12, 2019

Meet the New Law. Same as the Old Law. Florida Reverts Back to the Daubert Standard for Expert Evidence

Author: Haldon Greenburg

Guest Editor: Robert Bernstein

July 1, 2019 10:00am

It seems like only yesterday (October 2018 to be exact), that litigation attorneys in Florida were buzzing about the Florida Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision in DeLisle v. Crane Co.,[1] which seemed to resolve the question of how courts in the state would analyze the admissibility of expert testimony and evidence. In the DeLisle opinion the…

When the Jury Believes Your Injury is Permanent, but Gives You Nothing for It

Author: Terra Davenport

Guest Editor: Robert Bernstein

July 1, 2019 10:00am

Why does Tyson & Mendes emphasize the importance of aggressively arguing damages as part of its defense strategy?  The answer is illustrated in Arias v. Porter, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D1373 (Fla. 2nd DCA May 29, 2019). In Arias v. Porter, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D1373 (Fla. 2nd DCA May 29, 2019), a Florida appeals court concluded a jury verdict awarding an automobile accident victim…

Florida Case Law Update

Author: Emily Berman

Guest Editor: Jeremy Freedman

June 3, 2019 10:00am

Chapman et al. v. ACE American Insurance Company[1]

In this recent decision from the 11th Circuit, the Court ruled that ACE American Insurance Co. had no duty to defend or indemnify a man who pretended to be a licensed mental health counselor in a wrongful death suit. The insurance policy covers only legitimate professional services.

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