LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Homeowner Says Improperly Applied Stucco Violates Florida Building Code

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida woman filed a lawsuit in state court against the builder of her home on July 20, claiming that the stucco on the home was improperly applied in violation of the Florida Building Code (Tammy Marie Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 17-CA-006860, Fla. Cir., Hillsborough Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer's Denial Of Coverage For Wilderness Programs Permissible

MIAMI - An insurer's exclusion of wilderness treatment programs is not a blanket bar, but is based on the frequent failure of those facilities to meet certain general coverage criteria, and thus does not violate federal law by treating mental health coverage differently from more general treatments, a federal judge in Florida held July 20 in dismissing ERISA claims (Steven Welp, et al. v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-80237, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Appeals Panel Vacates $3.6 Million Premises Liability Award Against Hotel

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Fourth District of the Florida Court of Appeal panel on July 19 found that a hotel did not breach its duty to protect a couple when a drunken driver drove through a poolside cabana, injuring the man and killing his wife; the panel remanded the suit with instructions to the trial court to grant the hotel's motion for a directed verdict and vacate the $3.6 million award against it (The Las Olas Holding Company v. Michael Demella, No. 4D16-231, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 10445).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards $1.6 Million To Plaintiff In Retrial Of Engle Progeny Lawsuit

FORT MYERS, Fla. - In a retrial of an Engle progeny suit, a Florida jury on July 18 found that a woman's lung cancer and death were caused by her addiction to cigarettes and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s failure to warn her about the dangers of smoking and awarded her husband $1.65 million (John Maloney v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 07-CA-015578, Fla. 20th Jud. Cir., Lee Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Finds For Ford In Air Bag Defect Lawsuit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida jury on July 18 found in favor of Ford Motor Co. Inc. in a suit in which the plaintiff claimed that the automaker negligently installed an air bag with a manufacturing defect that caused a fatal car crash (Ramon Llera v. Ford Motor Co. Inc., No. 2005CA001924, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Biomechanical Testimony In Crash Suit Sound, Helpful, Judge Rules

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 17 declined to strike testimony from an insurer's biomechanical expert on the forces required to cause a woman's alleged injuries in a rear-end car accident, finding that the expert meets the admissibility standards established by 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent (Lisa N. Bostick v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 8:16-cv-1400, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110370).

Mealey's Insurance - Biomechanical Testimony In Crash Suit Sound, Helpful, Judge Rules

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 17 declined to strike testimony from an insurer's biomechanical expert on the forces required to cause a woman's alleged injuries in a rear-end car accident, finding that the expert meets the admissibility standards established by 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent (Lisa N. Bostick v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 8:16-cv-1400, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110370).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Biomechanical Testimony In Crash Suit Sound, Helpful, Judge Rules

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 17 declined to strike testimony from an insurer's biomechanical expert on the forces required to cause a woman's alleged injuries in a rear-end car accident, finding that the expert meets the admissibility standards established by 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent (Lisa N. Bostick v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 8:16-cv-1400, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110370).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Upholds $14 Million Tobacco Verdict

LAKELAND, Fla. - A panel of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal on July 14 affirmed a $14 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit without explanation and certified a conflict with another suit over comparative fault (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. Ina E. Ahrens, No. 2D16-1651, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 10146).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Florida High Court Will Review Asbestos Causation Experts, Resulting $8M Award

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court agreed to decide the proper standard for admitting expert causation testimony in the state when on July 11 it accepted a case that originally resulted in an $8 million asbestos award against tobacco and gaskets companies (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida High Court Will Review Asbestos Causation Experts, Resulting $8M Award

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court agreed to decide the proper standard for admitting expert causation testimony in the state when on July 11 it accepted a case that originally resulted in an $8 million asbestos award against tobacco and gaskets companies (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida High Court Will Review Asbestos Causation Experts, Resulting $8M Award

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court agreed to decide the proper standard for admitting expert causation testimony in the state when on July 11 it accepted a case that originally resulted in an $8 million asbestos award against tobacco and gaskets companies (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).

Mealey's Health Law - Discovery Of Non-ACA Plan Information Denied In Insurer's Dialysis Fraud Suit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Finding that a health insurer's fraud claims related to kidney dialysis were pleaded only for its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, a Florida federal magistrate judge on July 10 denied in part a motion to compel non-ACA plan information from the dialysis provider defendants (UnitedHealthcare of Florida Inc., et al. v. American Renal Associates Holdings Inc., et al., No. 9:16-cv-81180, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Insurance - Discovery Of Non-ACA Plan Information Denied In Insurer's Dialysis Fraud Suit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Finding that a health insurer's fraud claims related to kidney dialysis were pleaded only for its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, a Florida federal magistrate judge on July 10 denied in part a motion to compel non-ACA plan information from the dialysis provider defendants (UnitedHealthcare of Florida Inc., et al. v. American Renal Associates Holdings Inc., et al., No. 9:16-cv-81180, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Discovery Of Non-ACA Plan Information Denied In Insurer's Dialysis Fraud Suit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Finding that a health insurer's fraud claims related to kidney dialysis were pleaded only for its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, a Florida federal magistrate judge on July 10 denied in part a motion to compel non-ACA plan information from the dialysis provider defendants (UnitedHealthcare of Florida Inc., et al. v. American Renal Associates Holdings Inc., et al., No. 9:16-cv-81180, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Returns $6,785,000 Verdict In Mesothelioma Case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida jury on July 6 awarded a mesothelioma victim's widow $6,785,000 and found lone remaining defendant John Crane Inc. 75 percent liable for the maintenance worker's injuries (Joyce Moore, et al. v. John Crane Inc., No. 13-011729 [27], Fla. Cir., Broward Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Returns $6,785,000 Verdict In Mesothelioma Case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida jury on July 6 awarded a mesothelioma victim's widow $6,785,000 and found lone remaining defendant John Crane Inc. 75 percent liable for the maintenance worker's injuries (Joyce Moore, et al. v. John Crane Inc., No. 13-011729 [27], Fla. Cir., Broward Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Expert's Opinions Blaming Cruise Line For Man's Death Stricken

MIAMI - A maritime law enforcement expert cannot opine that a cruise line is to blame for the 2015 death of a passenger who got drunk and fell from the balcony in his room to the deck below, a Florida federal magistrate judge ruled July 6 in mostly granting the cruise line's request to strike the expert's testimony (Nicole Webb v. Carnival Corporation, No. 15-24230, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103856).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert's Opinions Blaming Cruise Line For Man's Death Stricken

MIAMI - A maritime law enforcement expert cannot opine that a cruise line is to blame for the 2015 death of a passenger who got drunk and fell from the balcony in his room to the deck below, a Florida federal magistrate judge ruled July 6 in mostly granting the cruise line's request to strike the expert's testimony (Nicole Webb v. Carnival Corporation, No. 15-24230, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103856).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer: Fla. Appellate Court Misapplied Key Legal Principles In Bad Faith Suit

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate court erred in reversing a jury's verdict in favor of an insured in a bad faith lawsuit, because it misapplied "well-settled principles of directed verdict law" in ruling that the insurer did not act in bad faith in failing to reach a settlement with a third party that ended up resulting in an excess verdict against the insured, the insured argues in a June 29 merits brief filed in the Florida Supreme Court (James M. Harvey v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. SC17-85, Fla. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Reinstates Full Verdict In Tobacco Death Suit

MIAMI - A Florida appellate panel on June 28 reversed a trial court's decision to hold a new trial against a tobacco company on a product liability claim because the jury instructions did not mislead the jury; the panel reinstated the full verdict (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Paul R. Larkin, et al., No. 3D16-910, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 9422).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Loan Servicer's Request For Amended Answers On Payments

TAMPA, Fla. - After finding that interrogatories sought by a loan servicer were improper, a Florida federal judge on June 27 denied a request to compel a homeowner, who alleges that the servicer violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other laws when it improperly reported that he was delinquent on his loan, to provide amended answers to his previous responses (Joseph C. Suszko v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 8:16-cv-2333, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98788).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Florida Federal Judge: No Potential Opt-Ins Means No Uber Driver Collective

MIAMI - A lead plaintiff's failure to show that there are any potential opt-in plaintiffs is fatal to his motion for certification of a misclassification collective action, a Florida federal judge ruled June 27 (Sebastian A. Rojas v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 16-23670, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98716).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Denies Loan Servicer's Request For Amended Answers On Payments

TAMPA, Fla. - After finding that interrogatories sought by a loan servicer were improper, a Florida federal judge on June 27 denied a request to compel a homeowner, who alleges that the servicer violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other laws when it improperly reported that he was delinquent on his loan, to provide amended answers to his previous responses (Joseph C. Suszko v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 8:16-cv-2333, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98788).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Florida Federal Judge: No Potential Opt-Ins Means No Uber Driver Collective

MIAMI - A lead plaintiff's failure to show that there are any potential opt-in plaintiffs is fatal to his motion for certification of a misclassification collective action, a Florida federal judge ruled June 27 (Sebastian A. Rojas v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 16-23670, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98716).