LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Jurisdiction Lacking In Asbestos Case Against German Auto Maker

MIAMI - A German automaker's contacts with Florida are insufficient grounds on which to exercise jurisdiction over the company, a Florida appeals court held May 17 (Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft d/b/a Volkswagen AG v. Carol Jones, et al., No. 2D15-5716, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Florida Federal Judge Allows Damage Request To Proceed In Unfair Competition Case

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Efforts by myriad defendants to obtain partial summary judgment in connection with allegations they used deceptive sales pitches while selling security services door-to-door were largely rejected May 17 by a Florida federal judge, who agreed only with the defendants' claim that plaintiffs ADT LLC and ADT US Holdings Inc. may not seek attorney fees in the matter (ADT LLC, et al. v. Alarm Protection LLC, et al., No. 15-80073, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75046).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 11th Circuit Finds Florida Is Improper Venue For RESPA Claim

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a borrower's claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) against a loan-servicing company, finding that Florida was the improper venue for the case (Robert Crenshaw v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, No. 16-16201, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8502).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Green-Lights Expert Opinions In Bad Faith Insurance Action

TAMPA, Fla. - Experts for both a driver injured in a crash and an insurance company accused of acting in bad faith in not settling the driver's claim can offer their opposing opinions based on their qualifications and sound methodology, as long as the opinions are not legal in nature, a Florida federal judge held May 12 (Nicky B. Dudash v. Southern-Owners Insurance Co., No. 8:16-cv-290, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73002).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Green-Lights Expert Opinions In Bad Faith Insurance Action

TAMPA, Fla. - Experts for both a driver injured in a crash and an insurance company accused of acting in bad faith in not settling the driver's claim can offer their opposing opinions based on their qualifications and sound methodology, as long as the opinions are not legal in nature, a Florida federal judge held May 12 (Nicky B. Dudash v. Southern-Owners Insurance Co., No. 8:16-cv-290, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73002).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Cell Phone Owners Allege Privacy Violations Over Firmware's PII Forwarding

MIAMI - In a May 12 amended complaint in Florida federal court, two cell phone owners bring privacy class claims against the phones' manufacturer and a Chinese firmware designer that they claim is responsible for surreptitiously intercepting and forwarding their personally identifiable information (PII) (In Re BLU Products Inc. Privacy Breach, No. 1:16-cv-24892, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Orders FIGA To Pay Actual Repair Costs Up To Combined Statutory Cap

LAKELAND, Fla. - On remand, a trial judge should enter a corrected judgment to show that an insured must contract for repairs within damages awarded by a jury and that the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) is required to pay actual repair costs to the contractors up to the combined statutory cap, a Florida appeals panel ruled May 12 (Maria Pupo v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 2D15-3901, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 6775).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards $6.8 Million To Widow In Tobacco Suit

ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on May 12 awarded the widow of a smoker $5 million in punitive damages in an Engle progeny suit, bringing the total award to $6.8 million (Mary Sheffield v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2013-CA-009469, Fla. 9th Jud. Cir., Orange Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Appeals Panel Finds Insurer's Subrogation Suit Is Not Time-Barred

MIAMI - The Third District Florida Court of Appeal on May 10 reversed a trial court's dismissal of an insurer's complaint after determining that the trial court erred in finding that the complaint was time-barred because the insurer filed the suit within four years of the actual date of loss (Companion Property and Casualty Group v. Built Tops Building Services Inc., No. 3D16-2044, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 6584).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards Smoker's Widow $858,209 In Tobacco Suit

OCALA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on May 9 awarded a woman $858,209 in compensatory damages after finding that her husband's cancer and death was caused by his addiction to cigarettes (Joy Lawrence v. R.J. Reynolds, No. 2009-CA-000178, Fla. 5th Jud. Cir. Marion Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Olive Garden Denies ADA Violation Allegations Over Website Accessibility

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Citing a lack of legal or regulatory guidelines governing how to determine if a website is accessible for visually impaired persons, Olive Garden Holdings LLC on May 5 filed an answer to a putative class action in Florida federal court, denying claims that its website violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Dennis Haynes v. Olive Garden Holdings LLC, No. 0:17-cv-60643, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Olive Garden Denies ADA Violation Allegations Over Website Accessibility

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Citing a lack of legal or regulatory guidelines governing how to determine if a website is accessible for visually impaired persons, Olive Garden Holdings LLC on May 5 filed an answer to a putative class action in Florida federal court, denying claims that its website violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Dennis Haynes v. Olive Garden Holdings LLC, No. 0:17-cv-60643, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Witness Rulings In Police Shooting Case Proper, 11th Circuit Finds

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 5 affirmed rulings, including determinations on expert witnesses, during a trial in which a jury acquitted Florida police officers of civil rights violations in the shooting death of a man and wounding of a woman in the man's car (Michael Knight, et al. v. Miami-Dade County, et al., No. 15-10687, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8036).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Orders Costa Rican Company To Produce Emails To Del Monte

MIAMI - A Florida federal magistrate judge on May 2 granted a request by Del Monte International GMBH for production of documents, finding that a Costa Rican entity did not meet its burden of establishing all the elements of the common interest doctrine in relation to the requested information (DelMonte International GMBH v. Ticofrut S.A., No. 16-23894, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Insurance Brokerage Firm Settles EEOC Pregnancy Bias Suit For $100,000

ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 3 granted a joint motion for approval and entry of consent decree under which an insurance brokerage firm will pay $100,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al. v. Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc., No. 16-1326, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Excusable Neglect Caused Couple's Failure To File Amended Complaint, Judge Says

TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on May 2 remanded for a second time a couple's wrongful death suit against the builder of their home, finding that their inability to file a second amended complaint that was going to include subcontractors who helped build the home by the April 7 deadline was the result of excusable neglect (Rohan B. Goldson, et al. v. KB Home, et al., No. 17-cv-848-T-24, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66969).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Confirms $29.29M ICC Award Issued In Pineapple Sale Dispute

MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on May 2 rejected all of a Costa Rican company's objections to confirmation of a $29,290,440 international arbitral award issued in favor of Del Monte International GMBH (Inversiones Y Procesadora Tropical Inprotsa, S.A. v. Del Monte International GMBH, No. 16-24275, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66544).

Mealey's Insurance - GEICO's Amended Complaint Puts Clinic On Notice Of Allegedly Fraudulent Scheme

MIAMI - An amended complaint filed by the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) properly put a health care clinic and its owners of notice of claims that the defendants violated Florida law and submitted fraudulent claims for coverage, a federal judge in Florida ruled May 2 in denying the defendants' motion for a more definite statement (Government Employees Insurance Company, et al. v. Benefica Health Center, Corp., et al., No. 17-20161-CIV-MORENO, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66542).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses RESPA Claim Against Ocwen Without Leave To Amend

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 2 decided that claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) against a loan servicer failed because a borrower failed to show that it did not respond to her request for information (Shelisa Todd v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 17-cv-60454, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66541).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Premises Liability Suit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on April 26 affirmed a decision by a lower state court to grant summary judgment to a land owner because "no reasonable jury" could find that an easement where a woman injured herself was designed as a path to get to a shopping center and because the woman was not an invitee and the land owner did not owe her a duty of protection (Delores Arp v. Waterway East Association Inc., et al., No. 4D16-114, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 5793).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Premarital Asbestos Exposure Can't Bar Consortium Claim, Florida Top Court Told

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An appeals court erred in concluding that because a man's asbestos exposure occurred prior to marriage, his widow cannot pursue a statutory loss of consortium claim, the woman told the Florida Supreme Court April 21 (Janis Kelly, et al. v. Georgia-Pacific LLC, et al., No. SC17-714, Fla. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Premarital Asbestos Exposure Can't Bar Consortium Claim, Florida Top Court Told

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An appeals court erred in concluding that because a man's asbestos exposure occurred prior to marriage, his widow cannot pursue a statutory loss of consortium claim, the woman told the Florida Supreme Court April 21 (Janis Kelly, et al. v. Georgia-Pacific LLC, et al., No. SC17-714, Fla. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Finds For Tobacco Company In Engle Progeny Suit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A jury in Florida on April 24 found for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a suit in which a woman claimed that the tobacco company was responsible for her husband's laryngeal cancer and subsequent death because it intentionally hid the dangers of smoking from him (Doris Shadd v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2008CA038631, Fla. Cir., 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Awards $15 Million To Widow Of Smoker In Engle Progeny Suit

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida jury on April 21 awarded the widow of a smoker in a tobacco suit a total of $12 million in punitive damages, bringing the total award against a tobacco company to $15 million (Mary Lima v. R.J. Reynolds, et al., No. 2015CA007140, Fla. Cir., 13th Jud. Cir. Hillsborough Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Privacy Class Action Filed Over Medical App's Health Information Sharing

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Utah woman filed a putative class complaint April 18 against the provider of a physician consultation smartphone app, telling a Florida federal court that the app shares users' sensitive medical information with a third-party firm, breaching the app maker's duty to keep this information confidential (Joan Richards v. MDLive Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60760, S.D. Fla.).