State of Florida, Department of Financial Services v. Barnett, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D221 (Fla. 4th DCA January 9, 2019): The Fourth District ruled that section 768.28(5) limits the sovereign immunity waiver to $200,000 (the statute was increased to a cap of $300,000 in 2016, after this case arose). Teehan v. Florida East Coast Railway, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D3 (Fla. 1st DCA December 18, 2018): Without providing any facts in the opinion, the court reversed a trial court’s finding that the statute of limitations barred the plaintiff’s claim because he knew or should have known that he was injured more than three years before he filed suit. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia. Imerys Talc America, Inc. v. Ricketts, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D48 (Fla. 4th DCA December 19, 2018): The plaintiff sued several defendants based on allegedly dangerous and defective talcum powder which caused her ovarian cancer. Even though the plaintiff’s counts were based on claims of fiduciary duties and legal obligations, the court concluded that pursuant to the statute they were still not “independent” of the insurance contract, and thus could not be maintained until the plaintiff obtained a verdict or settlement against the defendant. While it is generally reversible error in a simple tort case to ask the jury to send a message and punish or penalize the defendant when the jury is instructed to consider whether there is intentional misconduct, the jury may consider punitive damages as a punishment and a deterrent. The client never objected to the evidence. When the Fourth District reversed, it advised the trial judge to reinstate the total damage award, but to modify the final judgment with respect to the other elements. The court reminded us that taking depositions of opposing counsel in a pending case is an extraordinary step that will rarely be justified, and is reviewable on certiorari. Alexander v. Kalitan, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D211 (Fla. 4th DCA January 9, 2019): Generally, interest on a money judgment in a tort case runs from the date of the judgment. Because the plaintiff’s undisputed allegations established that the defendant placed its talc into the stream of commerce over a period of decades with the knowledge and intention it would be sold in Florida as the main ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s widely available baby powder, defendant had sufficient minimal contacts with Florida, according to the dissent, to satisfy due process. DEPARTURE FROM ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF LAW TO COMPEL DEPOSITIONS OF OPPOSING COUNSEL AND PARALEGAL, WHERE PARTY SEEKING DEPOSITION FAILED TO SHOW THAT NO OTHER MEANS EXISTED TO OBTAIN INFORMATION, THE INFORMATION SOUGHT WAS RELEVANT AND NON-PRIVILEGED AND THE INFORMATION WAS CRUCIAL TO THE PREPARATION OF THE CASE. One asset that’s never thought about is company loyalty points from shopping, because most couples that are splitting up decide to just let those points go. The images were admissible, but the annotations were not “factual findings” and not admissible. Litigating Business and Commercial Tort Cases covers the causes of action subsumed under the term “business torts.” The book explains the law for each cause of action and how to practice in each area for maximum effect. It is more and more common for traditional business cases to take on other civil wrong – tort features. The court observed, however, that a broader reading of the statute could allow a “per injury” limitation. Business Tort Cases Business Tort Case/Sale Of A Foreign Subsidiary. To strike the appropriate balance between a party’s right to exercise a peremptory challenge and the attempt to eliminate invidious discrimination from jury selection, the Melbourne court enunciated a three-step procedure to be followed: Step 1 – Objection to the peremptory. He argued they were necessary to prepare for the upcoming hearing on the motion to disqualify the attorneys that he had filed, and that the information could be obtained by any other means. cases from the week of august 16, 2019. there is a difference between “golden rule” and “conscience of the community” arguments; must make the proper objection to preserve the granting of new trial. The jury then came back with $15 million for the wife and $6 million to the daughter. Business Torts Derek Chafin 2020-09-25T19:30:58+00:00 Business Torts Our attorneys have handled a vast array of cases generally described as “business torts,” that is, wrongs inflicted upon another through some negligent or intentional act, or other misconduct, including: INTEREST ACCRUES FROM THE ORIGINAL FINAL JUDGMENT, WHEN THE JUDGMENT ITSELF BASICALLY STAYS INTACT. However, the trial court had curtailed the procedure on ascertaining genuineness. Type: Torts - Injury › Personal Inj. The court compelled the depositions over the petitioner’s emergency motion for protective order. They frequently involve harm done to the organization’s intangible assets, such as its business relationships with clients or its intellectual property. The court concluded that at a minimum, Melbourne imposes a duty on trial courts at step 3 to request a response to the proffered explanation from the opponent of the peremptory challenge, once step 2 has been completed. Misrepresentation. Business torts may include conspiracy, trade libel, misrepresentation, negligence, and other civil offenses. "Panthers Park Your Phone" Distracted Driving Scholarship, Federal Self-Driving Vehicle Regulations Could Undermine Consumer Safety and Privacy. Progressive moved to dismiss based on the nonjoinder statute, section 627.413(6)(1) which states that an injured third party may not file a direct action against a liability insurer for a cause of action covered by a liability insurance policy, without first obtaining a settlement against the insured or a verdict. Noting that it is still not completely clear in our law, the court wrote that Melbourne is still a three-step procedure. The court said that the defendant producing a component in one state, and selling it in a different state without directing action or activities to Florida as established through an affidavit, was enough to refute the jurisdictional allegations of the plaintiff’s complaint, requiring plaintiff to file a counter-affidavit to support her position. FLORIDA LAW WEEKLY. Specifically, the defendant argued that the trial court did not review, analyze or conduct a judicial assessment of the reasons given by the state for striking the juror, and instead summarily ratified the peremptory challenge. As such, the court quashed the trial court’s order below. The company had sold its foreign subsidiary subject to a “post-closing audit.” The defendant, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in California, was engaged in the business of mining and distributing talcum powder. Before we dive into the cases, we should explain what a tort is. The jury found that the homeowner’s association’s negligence was a legal cause of the plaintiffs’ damages, and apportioned 30% of the fault to the homeowner’s association (and 70% to the rear-ending driver). The attorney ultimately sued the client for breach of contract. The case was settled nearly a decade later after a long and expensive legal battle. Valentine Rodriguez, P.A. Ch. Business tort cases take many forms and the outcome can have a significant impact on the future of a business. It apportioned fault against R.J. Reynolds at slightly less than the plaintiff had asked. The defendant did not make any further objection or argument at that time, but at the conclusion of jury selection, when asked if each side accepted the panel, the defense advised the panel was not acceptable because the court overruled defendant’s Melbourne v. State objection to the peremptory strike of the African-American juror. When moving to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction, the defendant filed an affidavit stating that it does not mine talc in Florida, does not directly sell talc to Johnson & Johnson in Florida, does not directly ship talc to J & J in Florida and does not directly distribute talc to J & J in Florida. He sued the Medleys for assault, among other torts. Because the issue continues to arise in mass injury events, the court certified a question of great public importance, asking the supreme court to resolve whether when multiple claims of injury or death arise from the same act of negligence committed by a state agency or actor, does the limitation on the waiver of sovereign immunity in section 768.28(5) create one cap, or multiple caps per injury/claim. Kalitan, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D211 (Fla. 4 th DCA January 9, 2019): Generally, interest on a money judgment in a tort case runs from the date of the judgment. Recent Defamation Case. The client stipulated that he entered into the retainer agreement, and that he did not pay. While the issue of proximate causation is generally an issue for the trier of fact, there are instances where it should be decided as a matter of law, e.g., where there is an active and efficient intervening cause. Julie Littky-Rubin | Jan 22, 2019 The Week in Torts - Cases from the Week of January 4, 2019 Categories: The Week In Torts. State Farm v. Wallace, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D67 (Fla. 5th DCA December 21, 2018): The plaintiff was injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist. In this case, the defendant contended that the record did not support a conclusion that the trial court properly conducted a step 3 genuineness analysis. Where the deposition of opposing counsel is at issue, the party seeking the deposition has the burden of meeting the three factor test which requires a showing that: (a) no other means exist to obtain the information than the deposition of the opposing counsel; (b) that the information sought is relevant and non-privileged, and finally, (c) that the information is crucial to the preparation of the case. FACTUAL ISSUES STILL EXISTED AS TO WHETHER THE DEFENDANT’S EMPLOYEE WAS GROSSLY NEGLIGENT, AND BECAUSE THE RELEASE THE VICTIM SIGNED DID NOT RELEASE ACTS OF GROSS NEGLIGENCE, IT WAS ERROR FOR THE TRIAL COURT TO ENTER SUMMARY JUDGMENT. In a recent case, VLG successfully defended against charges of defamation against a shareholder in a small business corporation who was quite vociferous in slamming management. What Are the Leading Causes of Death in the United States? These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia. The court’s focus is not on the reasonableness of the explanation but on its genuineness. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of defendants on all claims, the appeals court affirmed, and the Indiana Supreme Court reversed on the assault count. WHEN APPELLATE COURT REVERSES AND REQUIRES “MODIFICATION” OF AN EXISTING JUDGMENT, INTEREST STILL RUNS FROM THE DATE OF THAT JUDGMENT (AND NOT THE VERDICT WHICH WOULD BE THE CASE IF THE APPELLATE COURT REVERSED FOR A JUDGMENT). Foreign businesses whose products are sold in the forum state by third parties cannot be subjected to personal jurisdiction in the forum merely because they knew, should have known or even expected their products would reach that forum. 1MBA- 1V TRIMESTER (Weekend batch) 2. Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. While the homeowner’s association’s failure to enforce the parking rules was a cause in fact of the accident, its negligence only furnished the occasion for the defendant’s negligence. Generally, there is a presumption that peremptory challenges are exercised in a nondiscriminatory manner. r and w rental properties v. warnick, 44 fla. l. weekly d2044 (fla. 5 th dca august 7, 2019): Follow along for some of the major product liability cases in 2019. "Panthers Park Your Phone" Distracted Driving Scholarship, Partner Donald Fountain Lectures at Palm Beach County Bar Association CLE Seminar. As 2019 begins, there are a few new or ongoing mass tort cases to watch this year. The defendant, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in California, was engaged in the business of mining and distributing talcum powder. Recent Case. Step 2 – A race-neutral explanation. Progressive Select Insurance Co. v. Bigney, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D62 (Fla. 5th DCA December 21, 2018): The plaintiff was injured, and sued the negligent driver, her own insurer and the defendant’s insurer, Progressive. Read Business Torts updates, news, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms: ... C.A. DELAWARE CORPORATION WITH PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA AND NO CONTACTS WITH FLORIDA, NOT SUBJECT TO PERSONAL JURISDICTION EVEN WHERE THE COMPLETED PRODUCT CONTAINING THE COMPONENT PART WAS ULTIMATELY SOLD IN FLORIDA. Free Speech. Business torts are civil wrongs that are committed by or against an organization. The state argued that trial judges are not required to perform a genuineness analysis or articulate a basis for the ruling, and then argued that the defense had stricken two black females itself after the state had accepted the panel, which helped the trial court to implicitly find that there was no pretext in the strike. Seminole Lakes Homeowner’s Association v. Esnard, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D43 (Fla. 4th DCA December 19, 2018): The case arose out of a car accident between the plaintiffs and another driver, which occurred inside the defendant’s community. When the court’s reversal requires “modification” of an existing judgment, as opposed to “initial entry” of a money judgment, then the rule does not apply and interest runs from the date of the final judgment. Prod. The parking situation was patently obvious to any and all drivers using the streets in the community. harm to property, health, or well-being).. What is a Tort Case? Judge Taylor dissented. Business Torts Business torts, also called "economic torts," are wrongful acts committed against business entities -- often intentional but sometimes due to negligence or recklessness -- that cause (or are likely to cause in the future) some kind of financial loss. At the conclusion, the attorney billed the client pursuant to the agreement and the client paid a portion, leaving a balance of over $80,000. Some defects are design-related, while others involve manufacturing or marketing. If the explanation is facially race-neutral and the court believes that, given all the circumstances surrounding the strike, the explanation is not a pretext, the strike will be sustained. § 1981 Without Requiring Proof of an Imputed Racial Identity. That is why we, along with input from our members, have selected the following five stories as the most noteworthy frauds of 2019. At trial, a board-certified radiologist specializing in magnetic resonance imaging testified as his retained expert. Some common categories of business torts include fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition. v. Altomare, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D45 (Fla. 4th DCA December 19, 2018): An attorney sued his client for unpaid legal fees. 1. The inquiry is whether the defendant intentionally availed itself of the privilege of doing business in the forum state. What Are the Leading Causes of Death in the United States? The court also observed that the jury’s refusal to award punitive damages, the award of less than the amount of compensatories requested by the daughter, and the higher percentage of comparative negligence, strongly indicated that the jury was not inflamed, prejudiced or improperly misled by closing arguments. Justices faced political battles over partisan and racial gerrymandering and the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGE AWARDS OF $15 MILLION TO SPOUSE AND $6 MILLION TO 22-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER WERE NOT EXCESSIVE--NO ERROR IN DENYING REMITTITUR OR NEW TRIAL ON DAMAGES. The Fourth District reversed. To establish the amount of damages, the attorney introduced the retainer agreement, and the invoice listing the flat fees billed. The Purpose of Tort Law is to Enforce Those Rights and Duties 2 … The Fourth District found there was not a genuineness inquiry that was actually conducted, which would have allowed it to defer to the trial court. Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin. Citing to the supreme court’s recent decision in Odom, the court said there is an inherent difficulty in measuring non-economic damages, and the jury’s award should not be disturbed unless it is so inordinately large as obviously to exceed the maximum limit of a reasonable range within which the jury may properly operate. Simply because the defense had stricken two black females in the defendant’s first round of strikes was not some kind of an implicit finding that there was no pretext, but perhaps if the trial court had gone into that, that would have been a better basis. Johnson v. State, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D34 (Fla. 4th DCA December 19, 2018): During jury selection, the state exercised a peremptory challenge on an African-American male juror. TORT TORT LAW IS BASED ON THE IDEA THAT EVERYONE IN OUR SOCIETY HAS CERTAIN RIGHTS Along With Having Certain Rights, Everyone Has The Duty to Respect the Rights of Others. BUSINESS TORT CASES. Respondents subpoenaed those lawyers and the paralegal for deposition. The record demonstrates that the respondent failed to satisfy these requirements. Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin. The tow truck driver had been instructed by an employee of the defendant, to back up in that direction. In tort lawsuits, the injured party —referred to as the “plaintiff” in civil cases (comparable to the prosecutor in a criminal case)— seeks compensation, through the representation of a personal injury attorney, from the “defendant” for damages incurred (i.e. Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin, West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorneys. The trial court had also ruled as a matter of law that the defendant had not engaged in gross negligence. Still, Step 3 of the Melbourne analysis is the key in a protection against improper discrimination. The trial court found that the negligence mentioned in the release also barred the “gross negligence” claims plaintiff made. Hundreds of product liability cases involving defective, faulty, hazardous and/or dangerous products have been reported, with legal responsibility taking center stage. After the attorney rested, the client moved for a directed verdict on the grounds that the attorney failed to present independent expert testimony to establish the reasonableness of his fees, which the trial court granted. The release addressed defendant’s negligent acts. It explained that when a party seeks to recover previously incurred fees as an element of compensatory damages in a breach of contract action, that party is not required to provide an independent witness to corroborate the reasonableness of the fees. The court observed that arguments which may be inappropriate in a simple negligence case, may be appropriate concerning record evidence of a party’s intentional misconduct in the context of a claim for punitive damages. 1. The decision to uphold or deny a peremptory challenge is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Here, a party’s objection to the other side’s use of a peremptory challenge on racial grounds must (a) make a timely objection on that basis; (b) show that the venire person is a member of a distinct protected group; (c) request that the court ask the striking party its reason for the strike. At the close of the plaintiffs’ case, the homeowner’s association had moved for a directed verdict maintaining that its policy of allowing cars to park on the street was not a proximate cause of the accident. However, there is a gray area. It also heard evidence that the daughter had been raised by her father who was a stay at home parent, and she went to live with her parents in the Keys and live near them and she refused to have anyone other than her father walk her down the aisle at her wedding after his death. The court contrasted the rule with the well-established rule that where a party seeks to have the opposing party in a lawsuit pay for attorney’s fees incurred in that same action, then independent expert testimony is required. Neutral Citation; December 20, 2019: Canada Post Corp. v. Canadian Union of Postal Workers: 37787: 2019 SCC 67: December 19, 2019: The Standard of Review (taken from Vavilov in the “Administrative Law Trilogy”) (Case Law in Brief) 37748 37896 37897: 2019 SCC 65 2019 SCC 66: Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General) 37896 37897 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Schleider, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D82 (Fla. 3rd DCA December 26, 2018): On this record, the jury in a tobacco case heard evidence from a wife regarding her husband’s illness, the difficulties they endured, the impact of his suffering and death upon their lives and future plans, and the fact that they had been married for 30 years, and his death had come shortly after they retired to the Keys. The driver rear-ended the plaintiffs while they were stopped, waiting for two trucks to pass between two parked cars on the street. HOWEVER, ERROR HARMLESS. At defendant’s request for a race-neutral reason, the state responded that the juror would prefer CSI evidence and also that the defense had stricken two black females in their first round of strikes as well as black individuals for cause. 2019-0780-MTZ (Del. The company sought out Tom Comerford because it realized it needed a plaintiff’s lawyer to handle the case. When the appellate court leaves an underlying final judgment intact, interest begins to accrue from the date of that final judgment, even if the trial court on remand enters an amended final judgment to reflect the appellate court’s ruling. In light of the evidence, including the lack of any prior incidents of this nature, and the general conditions of the neighborhood, the court upheld that the defendant’s negligence was not reasonably foreseeable by the homeowner’s association, and its failure to enforce its parking rules was not the proximate cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries. Business torts may be committed intentionally (e.g., by a competitor business) or may be caused by negligent or reckless behavior by individuals or other businesses. Before she was allowed to enter the non-spectator restricted area of the speedway during the race, pursuant to section 549.09(2), the plaintiff had to sign a release and waiver of liability for injuries potentially sustained in the restricted area. The court said it will continue to adhere to prior case law, and that the Melbourne procedure does not require the trial court to recite a perfect script or incant specific words in order to properly comply with its analysis. TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING THE PLAINTIFF TO PRESENT AN MRI EXHIBIT TO THE JURY WITH THE OPINIONS OF THE EXPERT SUPERIMPOSED ON THE IMAGES--ALTHOUGH THE IMAGES THEMSELVES WERE ADMISSIBLE, THE EXPERT’S ANNOTATIONS REPRESENTING HIS OPINIONS WERE NOT “FACTUAL FINDINGS”--ERROR TO PRECLUDE THE INSURER FROM USING THE EXHIBIT WITH ITS OWN EXPERT. Rule 9.340(c) is an exception to the general rule that interest runs from the date of the judgment. The court explained that the case law has focused increasingly on step 3 of the Melbourne procedure, because there are still questions about how to properly apply the genuineness analysis. As such, the interest award remained intact. Plaintiff did not file an affidavit in response. Damages – In many cases, plaintiffs that prevail in business torts are awarded monetary compensation for their damages (which requires a careful accounting of any past and future expected losses suffered). Splitting shared assets in a divorce can be tough. A party who uses a peremptory challenge is limited only by the rule that the challenge cannot be used to exclude members of a distinctive group. Tort is French for “wrong” and is a wrongful act, intentional or accidental, that causes injury to another. The defendant argued that the cold record was devoid of any indication that the trial court considered or weighed any relevant circumstances in deciding whether the strike was discriminatory. Liability Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. The court explained that harm is “proximate” in the legal sense “if prudent human foresight would lead one to expect that similar harm is likely to be substantially caused by the specific act or omission in question.” If the defendant’s conduct merely furnishes an occasion for the negligence, then it is not the proximate cause. The Week in Torts - Cases from the Week of November 27, 2020, The Week in Torts - Cases from the Week of November 20, 2020, The Most Dangerous Types of Car Accidents, The Week in Torts - Cases from the Week of November 13, 2020, The Week in Torts - Cases from the Week of November 6, 2020, The Dangers of Flex Seal & Toxic Exposure, The Week in Torts - Cases from the Week of September 4, 2020. The appellate court said the record made it a question of fact. ... liability of an employer for allowing employees to leave the business premises intoxicated (See, Carol Air Systems v. After noting certain smoking case specific references, the court also noted how R.J. Reynolds asserted that plaintiff’s counsel had improperly denigrated the defense. This may include not only compensatory awards for actual damages (i.e. In this case, the evidence showed that the plaintiffs had been stopped for a period of time before the defendant collided with them. Because defendant had an expert who was permitted to offer his opinion using substantially similar MRI images, the court found the error did not necessitate reversal. The client had entered into a retainer agreement for representation in a federal court fraud case, and the client was required to pay $50,000 as an initial non-refundable retainer, as well as an initial $50,000 if the case went to trial (if the trial lasted no more than four days) and then another $3,000 per day if it lasted longer, plus an additional $5,000 for sentencing. Additionally, the award was only a fraction higher--not multiple times higher--than those cases previously upheld. California Torts - Injury Cases filed in California. The Supreme Court’s Biggest Decisions in 2019. Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin, West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorneys. The court wrote that a manufacturer’s sale of a “component” to a party in a second state is insufficient, without more, to subject the manufacturer to the jurisdiction of a third state where the completed product was ultimately sold. Torts include negligence cases and personal injury. The state argued there was a lack of preservation because the defendant failed to raise an issue of noncompliance with Melbourne, and the state contends that the record shows that the trial court complied with step 3. Plaintiff sought to introduce the two image exhibit with the labels into evidence. NO ABUSE OF DISCRETION FOR TRIAL COURT TO DENY PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO AMEND HER COMPLAINT WHEN THE AMENDMENTS WOULD HAVE BEEN FUTILE BECAUSE THE NEW NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS SUFFERED FROM THE SAME NOTICE DEFECTS AS THE PRIOR CLAIMS. Ultimately, the court found the errors were harmless. Alien Tort Statute Doe I … In this final edition of Business Crime Quarterly we report on prosecutions of individuals in the UK, U.S. and Hong Kong, moves to enhance anti-money laundering law in Russia and guidance on sanctions compliance from the U.S. authorities. Two attorneys and a paralegal were present at the meeting. Plaintiff originally asserted general jurisdiction, but then agreed it was specific jurisdiction. Referencing to the statute, the court noted that the legislature had explicitly excluded gross negligence from the definition of negligence for injuries occurring in the non-spectator areas of the facility and thus the release could not bar the gross negligence claim. BALTIMORE AND OHIO R.R. In closing, plaintiff’s counsel asked for $11 million in non-economic damages for the wife, and $7 million for the daughter, informing the jury they could go lower or higher within its discretion. But there is a rule of appellate procedure that provides an exception when a reversal on appeal requires the entry of a money judgment, in which case, the interest runs from the date of the verdict. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 51. The elements of Melbourne impose a duty on trial courts separate and apart from the duties of the advocates for similar reasons.