Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Blocks Disclosure Of Third Parties' Financial Info In Parking Lot Dispute

MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel majority on Aug. 6 ruled that the plaintiff in a contractual dispute over the purchase of a Miami parking lot may not discover the financial information and legal communications of a competitor and his counsel, who are not parties to the litigation, quashing a trial court's discovery order (Mark Rousso, et al. v. William Scott Hannon, et al., No. 3D14-380, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 12054).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Tobacco Companies Outline Case In Florida Suit Alleging Smoking-Related Death

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Counsel for tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Liggett Group on Aug. 8 laid out their defense of a suit by the family of a longtime smoker alleging that his death in March 2013 was caused by smoking cigarettes (Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026337, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiffs Outline Case In Florida Suit Alleging Smoking-Related Death

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Trial got under way Aug. 8 before Judge John Murphy of the Florida 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County with the plaintiff's opening statement in a suit by the family of a longtime smoker alleging that his death in March 2013 was caused by smoking cigarettes (Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026337, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Florida Panel Finds Evidence From Warrantless Cell Phone Search Is Inadmissible

MIAMI - Absent a showing that an arrestee's cell phone contained evidence that was likely to be destroyed, a Florida appeals panel on Aug.6 held that credit card evidence obtained from the phone by arresting officers without a warrant was improperly admitted and should have been suppressed (Viervens Saint-Hilaire v. The State of Florida, No. 3D12-1730, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 12039).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Federal Judge Finds Complaint Alleges Sufficient Facts To Support Allegations

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Aug. 5 refused to dismiss a disability claimant's complaint on the basis that the complaint alleges sufficient facts in support of the claims (Walter R. Hepp M.D. v. The Paul Revere Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-2836, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107393).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Man Says Toyota Defects Caused Unintended Acceleration, Severe Injuries

PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida man sued Toyota Motor Corp., several of its subsidiaries and an auto dealer in Florida state court on Aug. 4, alleging that a throttle defect caused him to lose control of his 2002 Toyota Camry and crash into a building, rendering him quadriplegic (Bret Quinlan v. Toyota Motor Corp., et al., No. 502012CA017172XXXXMBAI, Fla. Cir., 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Florida Federal Judge Won't Dismiss Patent Invalidity Claim

ORLANDO, Fla. - Five corporate plaintiffs may proceed with their request for a declaratory judgment of patent invalidity because a sufficient controversy exists between them and a defendant, a Florida federal judge ruled Aug. 4 (Industrial Engineering and Development Inc., et al. v. Static Control Components Inc., No. 12-691, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurer's Equitable Contribution Claim Over Defects Lawsuit

FORT MYERS, Fla. - There is no actual case or controversy regarding an insurer's duty to defend an additional insured in a construction defects case because it has accepted that duty, a Florida federal judge ruled Aug. 1, dismissing the primary insurer's declaratory judgment and equitable contribution claims against the insurer (Amerisure Mutual Insurance Co. and Amerisure Insurance Co. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co. and Evanston Insurance Co., No. 12-443, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105467).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Court Affirmed, Florida Court Reversed In Patent Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 resolved two conflicting summary judgment rulings from two federal courts, siding with Wi-LAN USA Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. (Wi-LAN, collectively) in their patent dispute with Ericsson Inc., Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Sony Mobile Communications AB and Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc. (Ericsson, collectively) (WiLAN USA Inc. et al. v. Ericsson Inc. et al., Nos. 13-1485, -1566, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Fla. Court Denies Motion To Delay Proposed Purchase Of Lorillard By R.J. Reynolds

TAMPA, Fla. - The plaintiff in a personal injury action against Lorillard Tobacco Co. has failed to meet the requirements for a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting a proposed purchase of Lorillard by R.J. Reynolds Inc., a federal judge in Florida ruled July 28 (Franklin Lee Bradley v. Lorillard Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-cv-227, M.D. Fla., Tampa Div.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Florida Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Pizza Chain Tax Class Suit

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 23 refused to dismiss a class complaint accusing a pizza chain of wrongfully charging sales tax on a delivery fee and negligently misrepresenting that tax (Bruce Schojan, et al. v. Papa John's International Inc., et al., No. 14-1218, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100319).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Florida Federal Judge: Motion To Certify TCPA Class Was Premature

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 23 denied a motion to certify a class complaint that accuses a company collecting debts of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing auto-dialed phone calls to individuals, finding that the motion was premature (Michael Dickerson v. Laboratory Corporation of America, Inc., No. 14-1390, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100323).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 11th Circuit: IT Director Failed To Prove Firing Was Due To His Age

ATLANTA - The former IT director of a Florida law firm failed to prove that he was fired from his post after eight years due to his age, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 23, affirming a district court's ruling (Menas Barsorian v. Grossman Roth, P.A., No. 13-14156, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13945).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Technology Liability Suit Proper Case For Abstention, Federal Judge Rules

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 23 dismissed a technology liability insurer's lawsuit challenging coverage for a $347,854.58 judgment against its internet consultant insured, finding that the applicable considerations weigh in favor of abstention (Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Tonya Donahue, et al., No: 8:14-cv-829-T-30AEP, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100320).

Mealey's Insurance - Technology Liability Suit Proper Case For Abstention, Federal Judge Rules

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 23 dismissed a technology liability insurer's lawsuit challenging coverage for a $347,854.58 judgment against its Internet consultant insured, finding that the applicable considerations weigh in favor of abstention (Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Tonya Donahue, et al., No: 8:14-cv-829-T-30AEP, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100320).

Mealey's Insurance - Reasonable Jury Could Find That Insurer Acted In Bad Faith, Judge Rules

ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on July 16 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that a reasonable jury could determine that the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to settle a claim with a third-party claimant for more than a year after an automobile accident (Silverio Soto Jr. v. GEICO Indemnity Co., No. 13-0040, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96563).

Mealey"s Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards $23 Billion In Punitives To Smoker"s Family

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on July 18 ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to pay more than $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the family of a man who alleged that his death from lung cancer was caused by smoking (Cynthia Robinson, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CA-98, Fla. 1st Cir., Escambia Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Awards $23 Billion In Punitives To Smoker's Family

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on July 18 ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to pay more than $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the family of a man who alleged that his death from lung cancer was caused by smoking (Cynthia Robinson, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CA-98, Fla. 1st Cir., Escambia Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Awards Smoker's Family $16.8M In Engle Case

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury July 17 awarded $16.8 million to the family of a man who alleged that his death from lung cancer was caused by smoking (Cynthia Robinson, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CA-98, Fla. 1st Cir. Court, Escambia Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Files Action Against Gas Exploration Company, Seeks $100,000 In Fines

NAPLES, Fla. - The State of Florida filed an enforcement action on July 18 against an oil and gas exploration company in Florida state court, seeking $100,000 in civil penalties and injunctive relief for violations of a consent order and failure to have a permit for its operation (State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection v. Dan A. Hughes Company, No. N/A, 20th Judicial Dist., Collier Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards Smoker's Family $16.8M In Engle Case

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury July 17 awarded $16.8 million to the family of a man who alleged that his death from lung cancer was caused by smoking (Cynthia Robinson, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CA-98, Fla. 1st Cir. Court, Escambia Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Awards Attorney Fees To Insurer After Ruling Of No Duty To Indemnify

ORLANDO, Fla. - Having earlier found that a commercial general liability insurer had no duty to indemnify an insured for a $1.8 million settlement for building code violations, a Florida federal judge on July 16 awarded attorney fees of $32,813.64 to the insurer (Trovillion Construction & Development Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. and Casa Jardin Condominium Association Inc., No. 12-914, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96561).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Appeals Court Upholds Verdict In Wrongful Death Case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A trial court did not abuse its discretion in limiting cross-examination by two tobacco companies in a wrongful death action that resulted in a $5.5 million award, the First District Florida Court of Appeal ruled July 14 (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Nan Kathryn Buchanan, et al., No. 1D13-1528, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Court Upholds Verdict In Wrongful Death Case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A trial court did not abuse its discretion in limiting cross-examination by two tobacco companies in a wrongful death action that resulted in a $5.5 million award, the First District Florida Court of Appeal ruled July 14 (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Nan Kathryn Buchanan, et al., No. 1D13-1528, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Tenants' Complaint, Finds No Evidence To Support Mold Claims

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 11 entered an order adopting a magistrate judge's recommendation to grant a landlord's motion to dismiss a complaint, finding that tenants failed to provide any factual evidence to support their mold-exposure and related claims (Bunor Crawford, et al. v. Club at Charter Pointe Apartments, et al., No. 3:14-cv-213, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94480).