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.).
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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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.).
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.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Waffle House Inc. and WH Capital LLC (together, Waffle House) and other companies violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. 1681, by obtaining and using information from background reports for job applicants without providing proper disclosures to the applicants before taking adverse actions against them by not hiring them, more than a dozen applicants allege in an April 17 class complaint filed in Florida federal court (Alex Holt, et al. v. Waffle House, Inc., et al., No. 17-693, M.D. Fla.).
MIAMI - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit on April 18 against the owners, operators and managers of SLS Hotel South Beach in Florida federal court on behalf of a class of black Haitian kitchen workers claiming that the defendants fired them because of their national origin, race and/or color (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. SBEEG Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 17-21446, S.D. Fla.).
TAMPA, Fla - An insured's bad faith claim is based on his insurer's alleged breach of its fiduciary duty to him and is, thus, subject to a four-year statute of limitations, a federal judge in Florida ruled April 18 in granting the insurer' motion to dismiss (Waldermar Baranowski v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 17-301, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5885).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on April 17 ordered the United States to pay the parents of a child who developed brain damage following delivery $33.8 million after finding it responsible for the negligence of a doctor who was employed by a federally funded clinic (Marla Dixon, et al. v. United States of America, No. 15-23502, S.D. Fla.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on April 18 entered judgment in favor of a federal flood insurer one day after finding that the insured's failure to file a timely sworn proof of loss bars any recovery for his alleged flood damage (Jorge Abreu Sosa v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 16-1283, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58066).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An attorney's referral of a client to a particular physician constitutes a confidential communication that is protected by attorney-client privilege, a majority in the Florida Supreme Court ruled April 13, reversing an appeals court finding that such a referral relationship is discoverable as a means of determining potential bias by the physician in a personal injury lawsuit (Heather Worley v. Central Florida Young Men's Christian Association, et al., No. SC15-1086, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 812).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A homeowner's construction defects lawsuit against the builder of his home was reinstated by a Florida appeals panel on April 13; the court found that the action was not barred by the 10-year statute of repose (Timothy Busch v. Lennar Homes, LLC, No. 5D16-1626, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 5106).