New Rule on Florida Post-Offer Prejudgment Interest

Author: Damian M. Fletcher

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

October 29, 2021 9:00am

Florida Rule 769.78 generally dictates rules on offers and demands as they pertain to judgments.[i]  However, this area of law is not well-settled.  In a recent case, Florida’s courts dove into the impact of post-offer prejudgment interest on the “judgment obtained.”[ii]  The ruling in CCM Condominium Association, Inc. v. Petri Positive Pest Control, Inc. expands the complicated web of rules stemming from Rule 768.79.

Florida Jury Awards $50 Million in Habitability/Mold Case

Author: Rob Olson

Guest Editor: Kiran Gupta

October 4, 2021 5:32pm

A Florida jury awarded $48,257,922 to a tenant who lived in an apartment with “toxic” mold for approximately one and a half years. This verdict included $35 million for past and future pain and suffering and $10 million for future medical costs! While the defendants were not represented at trial, the award is a shot across the bow at what Nuclear Verdicts™ may look like post-pandemic.

The Highly Unusual, Bizarre, and Extraordinary

Author: Steven Rich

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.

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 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.

Florida Update: Tort Reform Phantom Damages Bill Fails

Author: Emily Berman

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

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…

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 Affourtit

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

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: 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 Affourtit

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.

Shifting Risk of Injury and Liability: How I Learned to Love the Exculpatory Clause

Author: Haldon Greenburg

Guest Editor: Jeremy Freedman

June 3, 2019 10:00am

Even in situations where a duty may be owed, valid exculpatory clauses in agreements between parties can operate to shift the risk of injury and liability from one contracting party to another.  Yes that is correct, under certain circumstances in situations where a defendant’s negligence may have resulted in a plaintiff’s injury, the right language in a contract between the parties can be utilized to avoid liability and obtain a favorable ruling from a judge.  This article will discuss what an exculpatory clause is, the standards by which they are judged, and how courts in Florida interpret those clauses when making decisions regarding liability.

Florida Case Law Update

Author: Haldon Greenburg

May 6, 2019 12:28pm

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal holds Florida’s statutory accident report privilege does not preclude discovery of statements made by individuals involved in the accident for purposes of completed the crash report.

Florida Case Law Update

Author: Haldon Greenburg

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

April 1, 2019 12:47pm

Two Relevant Opinions Regarding the Discovery of Information Related to Non-Party Confidential Information, and an Opinion Noting the Importance of Including All Elements on a Jury Verdict Form

Fourth DCA holds treating physicians internal cost structure information constitutes a confidential trade secret, but defendants could still obtain same in discovery if the parties could negotiate a confidentiality agreement as to the information.

Lake Worth Surgical Center, Inc. v. Crereser Gates et al, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D572a, Fla 4th DCA, February 27, 2019

Plaintiff sued defendants for damages resulting from a car accident between plaintiff and defendant.  Plaintiff was treated at a surgical center operated by Lake Worth Surgical Center (“the Surgical Center”), and plaintiff was billed for services related to an arthroscopic knee surgery and supplies.

Recent Florida Fourth DCA Opinions Highlight Importance of Specific Provisions in Agreements to Arbitration

Author: Haldon Greenburg

December 3, 2018 9:00am

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties agree to resolve their case outside of a traditional courtroom by going before an arbitrator who will hear the dispute and issue a binding decision.  In most cases arbitration is quicker and less financially costly than litigation, and the proceedings can be kept private.  More and more, businesses are choosing to include arbitration agreements within their contracts in order to take advantage of the many benefits.

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