BRADENTON, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on Oct. 17 returned a unanimous defense verdict for a pediatrician in a medical malpractice case involving the death of a 15-year-old girl (Virginia Chapman, et al. v. Snehal V. Parikh, M.D., et al., No. 12CA03280, Fla. Cir., 12th Jud., Manatee Co.).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 17 found that insureds waived their right to an appraisal, reversing a lower court's ruling against an insurer in a sinkhole coverage dispute (Florida Insurance Guaranty, etc. v. Gerassimos Maroulis and Irina Dmitrieva, No. 5D13-3185, Fla. App., 5th Dist.).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 17 affirmed a lower court's ruling that compelled an insurer to participate in an appraisal in a coverage dispute over the insureds' sinkhole damage (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. Fernando Santos and Ana Santos, No. 5D13-3206, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 17011).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A trial judge erred in finding that appraisal was not mandatory with regard to sinkhole damage due to the language of an insurance policy and that there was no right to an appraisal because the issue in dispute is the amount of loss, not coverage, a Florida appeals panel held Oct. 17 (The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Cannon Ranch Partners Inc., No. 2D14-827, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 17033).
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A smoker's failure to specify the years during which he smoked each manufacturer's cigarettes renders his complaint insufficient under the federal pleading standards, a federal judge in Florida ruled Oct. 15 (Daniel S. Echols, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2:13-CV-14215, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146841).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 15 reversed and remanded a lower court's dismissal of a veterinarian insured's complaint against his insurer for breach of contract and a defense cost determination under Florida Statutes Section 627.426 (Dr. Scott J. Swerdlin v. Florida Municipal Insurance Trust, No. 4D13-1759, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 16798).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Oct. 14 refused to apply federal drug preemption law to plaintiffs' claims against an orthopedic device distributor and remanded the cases to state court (Joseph Wier v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-2166, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146353, and Thomas Fronczak v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-2162, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146347, M.D. Fla., Tampa Div.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The owners of a Naples, Fla., restaurant named "Sea Salt" won a preliminary injunction on Oct. 14 from a Florida federal judge in their efforts to force Miami's "Seasalt and Pepper" restaurant to change its name (Nane Jan LLC v. Seasalt and Pepper LLC, No. 14-208, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146309).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 10 affirmed a lower court's ruling that insureds' breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit against an insurer is barred by the state's one-year statute of limitations (Madeline Betancourt, et al. v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Inc., No. 2D13-265, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 15858).
TAMPA, Fla. - A jury in the Hillsborough County, Fla., 13th Judicial Circuit Court on Oct. 10 returned a total verdict of $1.37 million in a suit alleging that a woman's death from lung cancer was caused by her 40 years of smoking (James Lourie, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 07-CA-018137, Fla. Cir., 13th Jud. Dist., Hillsborough Co.).
MIAMI - A request by Medtronic Inc. for a summary judgment that it does not infringe various claims of a wireless communication protocol patent was granted in part Oct. 8 by a Florida federal judge (Atlas IP LLC v. Medtronic Inc., No. 13-23309, S.D. Fla.).
ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 6 reversed and remanded a lawsuit brought by homeowners who contended that their drinking water was contaminated by a corporation that operated an aircraft and rocket engine manufacturing facility, concluding that under Florida law, a tort plaintiff seeking to recover for economic harm caused by pollution or contamination need not own property that is itself polluted or contaminated (Joseph Adinolfe v. United Technologies Corporation, No. 12-16396, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18996).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Oct. 6 denied an insured's motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that bad faith is a question for a jury to decide (Catherine S. Cadle v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 13-1591, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141815).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After finding that a dispute related to the operation of a thermal power plant in Libya should be arbitrated pursuant to an underlying contract, a Florida federal judge on Sept. 29 granted an energy firm's motion to compel arbitration and for an anti-suit injunction barring litigation in Libya (APR Energy LLC v. First Investment Group Corp., et al., No. 3:14-cv-575, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137425).
MIAMI - A Florida federal jury on Sept. 29 rejected strict liability and negligence claims in an action alleging that asbestos in John Crane Inc. products led to a man's fatal mesothelioma (Mary Charlene Hays, personal representative of the estate of William Hays v. John Crane Inc., No. 09-81881, S.D. Fla.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Objections raised by a defendant bank's counsel during depositions in a breach of trust lawsuit were appropriately made in light of the attorney-client privilege, a Florida federal magistrate judge concluded Sept. 24, denying the plaintiffs' motion to compel additional deposition response or to sanction the attorneys (Stacey Sue Berlinger, et al. v. Wells Fargo, N.A., et al., No. 2:11-cv-00459, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134643).
TAMPA, Fla. - Trial got under way on Sept. 26 with opening statements in the Hillsborough County, Fla., 13th Judicial Circuit Court in a suit alleging that a woman's death from lung cancer was caused by her 40 years of smoking (James Lourie, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 07-CA-018137, Fla. Cir., 13th Jud. Dist., Hillsborough Co.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A jury in the Florida 13th Judicial Circuit Court returned a verdict for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. on Sept. 26, finding that the death of a longtime smoker from lung cancer was not the result of an addiction to nicotine (Doris Bryant, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 10-CA-007251, Fla. Cir., 13th Jud., Hillsborough Co.).
VIERA, Fla. - A state court judge sitting in the Brevard County, Fla., 18th Judicial Circuit Court entered a mistrial on Sept. 26 after two weeks of trial in a wrongful death action brought by the widow of a longtime smoker because of a comment made by an expert witness for the plaintiff the day before comparing the number of premature deaths suffered by smokers to the death toll resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center (Pearl Morse, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CA-006848, Fla. Cir., 18th Jud., Brevard Co.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An expert's opinion that changes in the design of cigarettes increase the risk of adenocarcinoma in smokers is not relevant to a smoker's strict liability claim against cigarette manufacturers, a judge ruled in an order entered Sept. 22 in Florida federal court (Penny Dover v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 09-11531, M.D. Fla.).