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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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 (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.” Whether you are talking about videoconferencing, the storing and forwarding transmission of medical data and images, or remote patient monitoring, telemedicine…
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…
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…
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…
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)
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., 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…
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…
Chapman et al. v. ACE American Insurance Company
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.
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.
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.
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.