LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Statute Of Repose May Not Apply To Surgical Mesh Case, Judge Says

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on March 7 denied a motion to dismiss a surgical mesh case, saying that at this stage of the case, Florida's 12-year statute of repose may not apply to the plaintiff's claim (Judith Woodbury v. C.R. Bard, Inc., No. 16-3229, M.D. Fla., Tampa Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31777).

Mealey's Insurance - Insureds' Intent To Defraud A Matter For Jury To Decide, Judge Rules

DETROIT - A jury should determine if an insured couple intended to defraud their insurance company when stating that they had decided to not move to Florida from Michigan to maintain coverage on their vehicle, a federal judge in Michigan ruled March 6 in denying IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co.'s motion for summary judgment (IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company v. David P. Kaisch, et al., No. 15-11566, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31931).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Excludes Causation Testimony From Homeowners' Expert On Stucco Installation

ORLANDO, Fla. - A civil engineer's education, experience and expertise in stucco installation was not enough to show that his testimony in support of a proposed class action filed by homeowners against Pulte Home Corp. satisfied the requirements of Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), a federal judge in Florida ruled March 3 in granting the home builder's motion to exclude (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30251).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Excess Insurer's Coverage Case Based Upon Article 3

ORLANDO, Fla. - An excess insurer's claims regarding its duty to defend and indemnify an insured against claims of negligent construction in a condominium project do not satisfy the case and controversy requirement of Article III, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, a Florida federal judge ruled March 2, dismissing the case (Interstate Fire & Casualty Co. v. McMurry Construction Company Inc., et al., No. 16-841, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29501).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insured's Declaratory Relief Claim In Water Damage Dispute

MIAMI - Dismissing an insured's request for declaratory relief on coverage for water damage to its property, a Florida federal judge held March 1 that the insured "failed to plead facts necessary to establish any dispute or doubt under the insurance policy" and "failed to allege ambiguity" with regard to a loss settlement provision (Espadon Group Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 16-24413, S.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29918).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Excludes Causation Testimony From Homeowners' Expert On Stucco Installation

ORLANDO, Fla. - A civil engineer's education, experience and expertise in stucco installation was not enough to show that his testimony in support of a proposed class action filed by homeowners against Pulte Home Corp. satisfied the requirements of Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), a federal judge in Florida ruled March 3 in granting the home builder's motion to exclude (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30251).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses Borrower's Complaint For Lack Of Sufficient Clarity

TAMPA, Fla. - After finding that a complaint filed by borrowers in relation to the foreclosure of their property lacked claims with sufficient clarity, a Florida federal judge on Feb. 28 dismissed the complaint as a "shotgun pleading" (Lilia Mesa, et al. v. Kajaine Fund III, LLC, et al., No. 8:17-cv-450, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27743).

Mealey's Health Law - Home Health Agency Administrator Sentenced To 126 Months For Fraud

MIAMI - An administrator of a home health agency was sentenced to 126 months in prison by a federal judge in Florida on Feb. 24, after the defendant was found guilty for his role in a $2.5 million Medicare fraud scheme (United States of America v. Raciel Leon, et al., No. 16cr20476, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Insurance - Home Health Agency Administrator Sentenced To 126 Months For Fraud

MIAMI - An administrator of a home health agency was sentenced to 126 months in prison by a federal judge in Florida on Feb. 24, after the defendant was found guilty for his role in a $2.5 million Medicare fraud scheme (United States of America v. Raciel Leon, et al., No. 16cr20476, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Orders New Trial In Engle Progeny Suit

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Feb. 24 found that the attorneys for a woman who sued a tobacco company for the death of her husband made improper comments during closing arguments that violated a judge's order and ordered a new trial (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Cynthia Robinson, No. 1D15-0989, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2535).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Rejects Insurer's Request To Exclude Testimony On Sinkholes

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 22 denied an insurer's motion to exclude expert testimony on sinkhole damage, finding that the expert's methodology is reliable and that the testimony will assist a trier of fact (Goetz D. Vehse v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. 8:16-cv-599, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24483).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Wrongful Death Act Requires Couple Be Married At Time Of Injury, Court Says

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The state's Wrongful Death Act does not permit a widow's wrongful death loss of consortium claim arising from asbestos exposure occurring before the couple's marriage, a divided Florida court held Feb. 22 (Janis Kelly, et al. v. Georgia-Pacific LLC, et al., No. 4D15-4666, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2413).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Rejects Insurer's Request To Exclude Testimony On Sinkholes

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 22 denied an insurer's motion to exclude expert testimony on sinkhole damage, finding that the expert's methodology is reliable and that the testimony will assist a trier of fact (Goetz D. Vehse v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. 8:16-cv-599, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24483).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Wrongful Death Act Requires Couple Be Married At Time Of Injury, Court Says

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The state's Wrongful Death Act does not permit a widow's wrongful death loss of consortium claim arising from asbestos exposure occurring before the couple's marriage, a divided Florida court held Feb. 22 (Janis Kelly, et al. v. Georgia-Pacific LLC, et al., No. 4D15-4666, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2413).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Refuses To Remand Florida Homeowners' FDUPTA Claims

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 21 denied a motion filed by 30 property owners to remand their claims related to a bank's denial of their requests for loan modifications, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 (Abelardo Alonso, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 8:17-cv-238, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23580).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Finds Salesman Did Not Infringe On Trade Secret With Boat Design

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 16 granted judgment in favor of a boat maker, finding that customer information did not constitute a trade secret and that a reasonable jury could not find that it infringed on another company's trade dress when it manufactured an allegedly similar boat (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 8:15-cv-990, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21745).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Jury Awards $3.95 Million To Survivors Of Fatal Truck Crash

OCALA, Fla. - A Florida jury on Feb. 17 awarded a man and his daughter a total of $3.95 million in compensatory damages for the loss of two family members who were killed when a truck driver collided with their car, which had been disabled after being hit by a drunken driver; however, the jury found that the drunken driver was more responsible for the two deaths than the trucker (Eliezer Maldonado, et al. v. Wayne T. Fellows Inc., et al., No. 2013-CA-001308, Fla. 5th Jud. Cir. Marion Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Restricts Expert From Testifying On Legal Conclusion To Detective's Probable Cause

TAMPA, Fla. - An expert may testify as to his knowledge of police procedures and investigative techniques and whether they were followed by a detective in his mortgage fraud investigation of a married couple, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 16; however, the expert may not testify as to the ultimate legal conclusion of whether probable cause existed (Ricky Shew and Frances Shew v. William Horvath, No. 16-766, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21748).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards $5.4 Million To Family In Engle Progeny Suit

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A Florida jury on Feb. 14 awarded a total of $5.4 million to a family after finding that two tobacco companies were responsible for a woman's addiction to cigarettes, which led to her lung cancer and death (John Brown v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 15-002451-CI, Fla. 6th Jud. Cir. Pasco Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insureds Failed To Comply With Post-Loss Obligations, Florida Panel Says, Reverses

MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 15 reversed a lower court's ruling compelling appraisal against an insurer in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, finding that the insureds failed to comply with their post-loss duties under their insurance policy (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Jose R. Fernandez and Sandra Fernandez, No. 3D16-1441, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2004).

Mealey's Health Law - Judge: Claims Alleging Wrongful Antitrust, Monopolizing Conduct Are Related

ORLANDO, Fla. - Judgment was entered in favor of insurers on Feb. 15, one day after a Florida federal judge found that there is no further coverage owed to insureds for lawsuits alleging that they have intentionally engaged in wrongful antitrust and monopolizing conduct in an effort to dominate the health care service industry (Health First Inc., et al. v. Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 15-718, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20320).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge: Claims Alleging Wrongful Antitrust, Monopolizing Conduct Are Related

ORLANDO, Fla. - Judgment was entered in favor of insurers on Feb. 15, one day after a Florida federal judge found that there is no further coverage owed to insureds for lawsuits alleging that they have intentionally engaged in wrongful antitrust and monopolizing conduct in an effort to dominate the health care service industry (Health First Inc., et al. v. Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 15-718, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20320).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Claims Alleging Wrongful Antitrust, Monopolizing Conduct Are Related

ORLANDO, Fla. - Judgment was entered in favor of insurers on Feb. 15, one day after a Florida federal judge found that there is no further coverage owed to insureds for lawsuits alleging that they have intentionally engaged in wrongful antitrust and monopolizing conduct in an effort to dominate the health care service industry (Health First Inc., et al. v. Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 15-718, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20320).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Testimony On Education Lead-Generation Industry's Customs, Practices

TAMPA, Fla. - A lawyer is not qualified to opine on the educational lead-generation industry's customs and practices because the lawyer failed to explain why her experience is a sufficient basis for her opinion and how her experience is reliably applied to the facts of a trade secrets and breach of contract case, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 13, excluding the testimony (Connectus LLC v. Ampush Media Inc., et al., No. 15-2778, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19829).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Pension Funds Failed To Show That Company Misstated Financial Condition

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Two pension funds failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions or scienter in arguing that a company and certain of its executive officers issued misstatements regarding the company's financial condition in the wake of an industry downturn, a federal judge in Florida ruled Feb. 8 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re KLX Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-80023, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17764).