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).
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.).
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.).
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 , Fla. Cir., Broward Co.).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on June 21 found that a trial court erred in reinstating a medical malpractice complaint because the plaintiff's expert affidavit was from a doctor who did not have the same exact specialty as the doctor she was suing and quashed an order reinstating the complaint (Michael Clare M.D., et al. v. Maria Johnson Lynch, No. 2D16-4052, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 9039).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on June 21 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant summary judgment to a tobacco company in a wrongful death suit because a man who died from smoking related diseases was not an Engle class member and therefore the woman representing his estate cannot be considered an Engle class member and she filed the suit after the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim had expired (Donna Fanali v. R.J. Reynolds, No. 4D16-67, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 8987).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge on June 19 recommended that a claim seeking a declaration that long-term disability (LTD) benefits are owed be dismissed because the disability claimant did not file a claim for LTD benefits and did not exhaust all her administrative remedies related to the claim for such benefits (Jamie R. Nagy v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 17-80198, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94819).
MIAMI - A federal magistrate judge in Florida on June 15 recommended denying a man's motion to vacate his 37-month sentence for mail fraud, finding that he should have raised the arguments regarding the ineffective assistance of counsel on direct appeal (Jason Keith Bailey v. United States of America, No. 16-CIV-23984-UNGARO, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93102).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on June 15 denied a pipe maker's motion for default final judgment and dismissed the trademark infringement suit without prejudice because the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the suit (Sream Inc. v. Hookah, Tobacco And Sun Inc., No. 17-CV-2020701, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93106).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A woman on June 15 filed a motion asking a federal judge in Florida to approve a $7 million settlement between her and the United States for brain damage her husband sustained during a two routine procedures at a naval hospital in Florida (Christina L. Hollis v. The United States of America, No. 3:15-CV-898, M.D. Fla.).
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A Florida judge on June 15 declared a mistrial in an Engle progeny suit after the jury deadlocked on compensatory damages and attorneys for Philip Morris USA Inc. argued that there cannot be a compromise verdict (Jo Freeman v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2015CA003930, Fla., 8th Jud. Cir., Alachua Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
ORLANDO, Fla. - A woman who alleges that her age was the motivating factor in a decision to not renew her employment contract has established a prima facie case of age discrimination, a Florida federal judge ruled June 12, finding that genuine issues of fact precluded granting her former employer's motion for summary judgment (Carmel Saxon v. Seminole County Public Schools, No. 6:15-cv-01854, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89663).