WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The liability of a corporation that offers membership in a plan providing concierge medical care for negligence on the part of an affiliated doctor was the topic of opening statements Jan. 22 in a suit by the widower of a plan member who alleged that blood clot in her leg went undiagnosed for almost a month, causing her to undergo an above-the-knee amputation (Robert Beber, et al. v. MDVIP Inc., et al., No. 50-2009-CA-034380, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).
MIAMI - A state court jury returned a defense verdict on Jan. 23 in a suit alleging that a longtime smoker's laryngeal cancer was caused by his use of Marlboro cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris USA Inc. (Jose Vila Jr. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2013-12833-CA, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 22 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a workers' compensation exclusion bars coverage for a $9.5 million wrongful death judgment against an insured after the Florida Supreme Court answered three certified questions in the affirmative (Leticia Morales, et al. v. Zenith Insurance Co., No. 12-11755, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 930).
LAKELAND, Fla. - An insurer provided insufficient evidence to support rescinding a homeowners insurance policy at dispute over a sinkhole claim, a Florida appeals panel ruled Jan. 23 (Luis Mora and Rosaura Mora v. Tower Hill Prime Insurance Co., No. 2D13-4125, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 812).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A federal jury in Florida awarded $17,287,448 Jan. 21 to a woman who alleged that her 54 years of smoking caused her to develop peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which led to amputation of her legs (Donna Brown v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 3:09-10687, M.D. Fla.).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge did not abuse her discretion in denying a trademark infringement plaintiff a preliminary injunction, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Jan. 21 (New Wave Innovations Inc. v. James McClimond, et al., No. 14-11466, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 852).
TAMPA, Fla. - A class of restaurant servers alleging that they were denied minimum and overtime wages was granted conditional class certification in a Florida federal judge's Jan. 16 order that limited the scope of the class to just one restaurant location (John Ciani, et al. v. Talk of the Town Restaurants, Inc., D/B/A Charley's Steakhouse, No. 14-2197, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5580).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The widow of a smoker who died of smoking-related diseases may not testify that her husband was addicted to cigarettes in the trial of a suit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co., but may introduce indirect evidence of his addiction, a federal judge in Florida ruled Jan. 14 (Merle Zamboni, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 3:09-cv-11957, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5260).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 14 reversed and remanded two summary judgment rulings in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute over sinkhole damage (Robert Curtis v. Tower Hill Prime Insurance Co., No. 2D13-689, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 398).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 12 partially dismissed a complaint alleging that a health insurance company wrongfully declined to reimburse two health care providers for services, dismissing a fraud claim and granting the plaintiff leave to amend the complaint to assert claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, but otherwise denied the motion (Tran Chiropractic Wellness Center Inc., et al. v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 14-47, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3124).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 13 dismissed two parties from an insurer's duty-to-indemnify lawsuit regarding property damage sustained from fire caused by a welding operation because the parties were made whole (Essex Insurance Co. v. Kart Construction Inc., et al., No. 14-356, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3859).
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.).