ATLANTA - A dispute over copyrighted shoe designs was properly resolved on summary judgment by a Florida federal judge, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 12 (Olem Shoe Corporation v. Washington Shoe Company, No. 12-11227, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 434).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In a case that it said "stands at the intersection of a litigant's privacy interests in social media postings and the broad discovery allowed in . . . a civil case," a Florida appeals panel on Jan. 7 found no expectation of privacy in a woman's Facebook account, declining to overturn a trial court's granting of a motion to compel by Target Corp. in a personal injury lawsuit (Maria F. Leon Nucci, et al. v. Target Corp., et al., No. 4D14-138, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 153).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The plaintiff in a wrongful death action against the tobacco industry may proceed with a conspiracy claim against Philip Morris USA Inc. despite the lack of conclusive evidence that her husband smoked cigarettes manufactured by the company, a federal judge ruled Jan. 6 (Mary Sowers, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 3:09 C 11829, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1027).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A plaintiff's manifestation of symptoms of smoking-related disease while living in a jurisdiction other than Florida does not bar his inclusion in the Engle class, the Second District Florida Court of Appeal reaffirmed Jan. 7 (Elaine Damianakis, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2D13-246, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 106).
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Jan. 8 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that abatement of an insured's bad faith claim pending the adjudication of her uninsured motorist coverage claim is proper (Teresa L. Pici v. 21st Century Centennial Insurance Co., No. 14-1835, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1975).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 7 reversed a lower court's order confirming a $130,600 appraisal award against the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) in a sinkhole coverage dispute and certified two "questions of great public importance" to the Florida high court (FIGA v. Leandro de la Fuente and Ana Delia Garcia, No. 2D13-3543, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 102).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A majority of a Florida appeals panel on Jan. 7 ordered a new trial regarding code upgrade damages in a coverage dispute over hurricane damage but affirmed the lower court's finding that a primary insurance policy was a blanket policy with a $2.5 million per-occurrence limit and no sublimit for business income damage (Landmark American Insurance Co. v. Pin-Pon Corporation, et al., Nos. 4D12-3997 & 4D12-4002, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 189).
TAMPA, Fla. - Despite prevailing at a bench trial, a copyright and trademark infringement plaintiff was denied its request for attorney fees on Jan. 6 by a Florida federal judge (Get Smoked Inc. v. Patricia Miller et al., No. 12-1697, M.D. Fla.).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Questions of fact remain on the issue of control of a warehouse containing a defective skylight, making summary judgment inappropriate for the owner of the site in a suit brought on behalf of a man who fell through the skylight, the Fifth District Florida Court of Appeal ruled Jan. 2 (Laura Phillips, et al. v. Republic Financial Corp., et al., Nos. 5D13-3170 and 5D13-3174, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 4).
MIAMI - Allegations of trademark infringement, copyright infringement and violations of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) were rejected, in part, by a Florida federal judge on Jan. 5 (Dan Pronman, et al. v. Brian Styles, No. 12-80674, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 373).
LAKELAND, Fla. - Because a dispute between an insurer and its insured is focused on the type of repairs needed to correct property damage caused by a sinkhole rather than on whether coverage exists for the damage, a trial court erred in denying the insurer's motion to compel appraisal, the Second District Florida Court of Appeal said Dec. 31 (The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Cannon Ranch Partners Inc., No. 2D14-827, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 21075).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Two Florida men filed a class complaint on Dec. 30 in California federal court accusing Apple Inc. of misrepresenting the storage capacity needed for its iOS 8 operating system, as well as the actual available storage on its iPhones, iPads and iPods (Paul Orshan, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 14-5659, N.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 24 reversed a lower federal court's finding that a professional liability insurer has a duty to defend a shipbuilder against an underlying wrongful death lawsuit, further concluding that the lower court erred in ruling that the professional liability insurer is liable for the $325,000 that the shipbuilder's insurer paid to settle the underlying claims (Atlantic Marine Florida LLC, et al. v. Evanston Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-11342, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 24415).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge properly awarded trademark infringement plaintiff Betty Pelc $83,099 in attorney fees, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Jan. 2 (Betty Pelc, et al. v. John Jerome Nowak, No. 13-13548, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A jury in Florida's 15th Judicial Circuit Court for Palm Beach County on Dec. 19 returned a defense verdict in a suit alleging that a longtime smoker's death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was caused by his addiction to cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Dorothy Haliburton, as personal representative of the estate of Andrew Haliburton v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 502008CA000703, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).
TAMPA, Fla. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate infringes on religious beliefs, a Christian retirement community argues in a Dec. 18 reply filed in Florida federal court (Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation Inc., et al. v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-580, M.D. Fla.).
MIAMI - In a Dec. 15 ruling, a Florida federal judge denied a series of expert testimony challenges under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) in a copyright infringement lawsuit over a Spanish-language soap opera, finding that the parties' objections went to the weight of the experts' testimony and not to its admissibility (LaTele Television C.A. v. Telemundo Communications Group LLC, et al., No. 1:12-cv-22539, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172864).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A homeowners insurance policy precludes coverage for sinkhole damage sustained by an insured, a Florida appeals panel held Dec. 17, reversing summary judgment entered in favor of the insured (Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. v. Maricela Cespedes, No. 2D12-4575, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 20366).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Dec. 12 affirmed a lower court decision compelling appraisal of alleged sinkhole damage to a home insured by an insolvent insurer (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. Kenneth Sill, et al., No. 5D13-3363, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 20156).