$2,900,000 Car Accident
$1,000,000+ Wrongful Death
$1,000,000+ Workers Compensation
$1,000,000 Electrocution
$750,000 Sexual Assault
$750,000 Truck Accident
$700,000 Slip and Fall
$700,000 Car Accident
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While Florida drivers are required to carry adequate insurance, many do not, and uninsured and uninsured motorists cause a fair number of collisions throughout the state each year. Luckily, many drivers have the foresight to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance and can seek benefits from their insurer if they are hurt by a party without sufficient coverage. In some cases, though, an insurer will fail to comply with its contractual duties and will deny a person’s claim for first-party benefits. Recently, a Florida court discussed how breach of contract and bad faith claims arising out of an insurer’s refusal to pay underinsured motorists benefits are valued in a ruling on the issue of whether a case should be removed to federal court. If you were hurt in an accident with a driver without insurance and your insurer is refusing to pay you benefits, you should speak to a Florida car accident attorney to discuss your rights.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs were involved in a collision with an underinsured driver. The driver was ultimately determined to be at fault for the accident. The plaintiffs suffered significant and permanent injuries. Thus, they filed an underinsured motorist claim with the defendant, their automobile insurance carrier. The defendant denied the plaintiffs’ claim, after which the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendant in state court, alleging breach of contract and bad faith claims. The defendant removed the case to federal court, after which the plaintiff filed a motion to remand.

Valuing Uninsured Motorist Claims for Diversity Jurisdiction

The issue in dispute was whether the defendant adequately demonstrated that the value of the plaintiffs’ claims exceeded $75,000, as required for the federal court to exercise diversity jurisdiction. The court explained that the defendant bears the burden of proving a claim is appropriately within a court’s jurisdiction. In cases in which the plaintiff does not assert a precise amount of damages, the defendant must prove that the majority of the evidence demonstrates that the amount the plaintiff seeks in damages exceeds the jurisdictional threshold.

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Divorce cases are often contentious, with a primary source of disagreement, usually being how assets and liabilities should be divided. While typically, court intervention is required to resolve such matters, couples are free to come to an agreement independently. In many instances, such agreements will be developed during the course of proceedings and will be presented to the court for approval before they have been reduced to writing. Oral agreements may be enforced but only under certain circumstances, as illustrated in a recent Florida ruling. If you are considering filing for divorce, it is in your best interest to speak to a capable Florida divorce attorney to determine what actions you can take to protect your interests.

The Divorce Proceedings

It is reported that the husband and the wife were engaged in divorce proceedings. The wife filed a motion for temporary relief, and during the hearing on the matter, her attorney requested a brief recess, indicating that the parties had been discussing the possibility of entering into a global settlement agreement. Approximately one hour later, the parties returned and indicated a settlement had been reached.

Allegedly, a few of the terms of the agreement were read into the record while other issues were negotiated before the court. The court spoke to each party independently, asking if they agreed to the terms of the settlement as discussed and whether their agreement was voluntary. The wife later filed a motion to enforce the oral settlement agreement, while the husband filed a motion to set it aside. The court granted the wife’s motion and denied the husband’s, after which the husband appealed.

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Dangerous products often lead to the untimely demise of the people who use them. If a person dies due to the use of an unsafe product, the personal representative of the person’s estate will typically choose to pursue claims against the manufacturer of the product. In some instances, a  defendant in a product liability case may attempt to introduce evidence that the deceased person engaged in unsavory behavior in order to reduce its liability. Evidence must be relevant to be admissible, however, and even relevant evidence may be precluded if it is unduly prejudicial, as demonstrated recently in a Florida court’s ruling. If you lost a loved one because of a dangerous product, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Florida product liability attorney to assess your options.

The Claims Against the Defendant and Evidence of Marital Strife

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent smoked cigarettes that were manufactured and distributed by the defendant for approximately fifty years. He eventually contracted lung cancer, which ultimately caused his death. The plaintiff, who was married to the decedent, filed a lawsuit against the defendant manufacturer, alleging numerous claims, including negligence and strict liability.

It is alleged that, prior to trial, the plaintiff filed a motion to preclude the defendant from introducing evidence about the decedent’s infidelity and the couple’s marital problems, including their divorce and remarriage. The court granted the motion on the grounds that as the events happened long ago, they were irrelevant and were highly prejudicial because it painted the decedent in a poor light. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed, arguing in part that the trial court erred precluding in testimony regarding the couple’s relationship.

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Pedestrians injured in car accidents will often seek damages in a civil lawsuit from the driver of the vehicle that caused the collision. Generally, this will require the pedestrian to prove the negligence of the driver caused the harm alleged. In a recent ruling issued out of Florida, the court discussed the elements of negligence a plaintiff must prove to establish liability and the potential defenses a defendant could assert to refute the plaintiff’s claims. If you were hurt by a reckless driver while you were walking, you should speak to an experienced Florida pedestrian accident attorney to assess what you must prove to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Accident

Allegedly, the plaintiff was standing outside of his parent’s house with his nephew, who was three years old. The nephew wanted to cross the street, and as the plaintiff did not want him to go alone, he decided to accompany him. Prior to attempting to cross the street, the plaintiff observed a mail truck stopped on the side of the road three doors down.

It is reported that the plaintiff began quickly crossing the street with his nephew when the mail truck began moving. The mail truck driver was exceeding the speed limit and looking at his phone and did not notice the plaintiff and his nephew. The plaintiff pushed his nephew out of the way but was struck by the mail truck and suffered injuries to his head and back. He filed a negligence claim against the driver’s employer, seeking compensation for his damages. Following discovery, the defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment, arguing he had not proved negligence.

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When a person files a lawsuit seeking compensation following an injury, the cost of the medical care needed to treat the injury is an element of the individual’s damages. What should be considered in calculating past medical expenses was often disputed in the Florida courts until a recent ruling on the issue in a slip and fall accident case. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be owed damages, including the cost of medical care, and should meet with a knowledgeable Florida premises liability attorney to discuss your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff was a passenger on a cruise ship when she tripped and fell over a bucket in a dining room. She suffered severe shoulder injuries for which she underwent significant treatment. She then filed a lawsuit against the cruise ship company asserting a negligence claim. Following a trial, a jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her in excess of one million dollars in damages. The trial court reduced the plaintiff’s medical damages to the amount actually paid by her insurers. The parties filed cross-appeals, with the plaintiff arguing that the district court erred in reducing the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff for past medical expenses from the amount the jury found to be reasonable.

Calculating Past Medical Expenses

On appeal, the court stated that the issue of how to calculate damages for past medical expenses in a maritime tort action in cases in which there is a dramatic disparity between the amount a provider bills for care and the amount an insurer pays was a matter of first impression for the court. The court noted, however, that courts throughout the Southern District of Florida disagreed as to how such expenses should be calculated.

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When parents divorce, they will typically share custody of their children. In some instances, one parent will initially be granted the majority of custody time, but subsequent changes in circumstances will lead to a modification that allocates primary custody to the other parent. Recently, a Florida court addressed the issue of whether a modification order that changes the right to the majority of parenting time from one parent to another must include terms for how the other parent can regain meaningful time sharing rights. If you are involved in a dispute over custody of your child, it is critical to speak to a trusted Florida child custody attorney to discuss what steps you can take to protect your rights.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the mother and father divorced in 2015. Pursuant to the divorce decree, the mother was granted the majority of the parenting time of the couple’s minor child. In 2019, the father sought a modification of the custody arrangement. The court granted the modification, giving the majority of parenting time to the father.

It is alleged that the mother conceded that a material change in circumstances occurred that required a change in custody and did not contest the terms of the time-sharing arrangement under the supplemental order. The mother nonetheless appealed the order, arguing that the court erred in failing to set forth what steps the mother could take to regain substantial parenting rights.

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Each day, people are injured throughout Florida by use of defective products. In many instances, people harmed by an unsafe device or machine are able to file product liability lawsuits to pursue damages from the product’s manufacturer. Typically, a plaintiff in a product liability case will need to retain an expert to testify as to the manner in which the product was unsafe. In a recent case, a Florida court discussed the parameters for admitting expert opinions regarding alternative designs. If you were hurt by an unsafe product, you may be able to recover damages and should consult a capable Florida product liability attorney as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as the manager of the meat-market at a supermarket in Florida. During a busy Sunday, he was cutting meat with a band saw manufactured by the defendant. He became distracted and turned away from the saw. When he returned to the saw, he reached for a tool, and his arm was amputated by the saw’s unguarded blade. The plaintiff then filed a product liability lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the design of the saw was unsafe.

It is alleged that during the trial, the plaintiff presented expert testimony regarding other designs the defendant could have employed that would have been safer. The defendant asked the court to provide the jury with a state of the art defense instruction, but the court declined. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed on several grounds, including the argument that the trial court erred in declining the provide the jury with the requested instruction.

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In Florida, there are rules that dictate when parties must produce evidence in support of their claims and defenses and when witnesses, including experts, must be disclosed. Such rules are designed to ensure a fair trial and to prevent one party from ambushing the other with previously unforeseen information on the eve of trial. If a party fails to comply with deadlines regarding discovery and disclosure, it may have an adverse impact, as demonstrated in a recent car accident case in Florida in which the plaintiff’s late-produced expert was prohibited from testifying. If you suffered injuries in an accident, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney regarding what you must prove to recover damages.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was operating a power chair, was struck by a car when she attempted to cross a Florida highway in a construction zone. She filed a lawsuit against the driver and the construction company, setting forth negligence claims alleging, in part, that she suffered psychological trauma due to the accident. During discovery, both the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s expert psychiatrists testified that the plaintiff was not suffering from PTSD and issued reports reflecting that testimony.

It is reported that days before trial, however, the plaintiff produced a second report from her expert wherein the expert stated the plaintiff suffered from PTSD and that it was caused by the accident. The defendants filed a motion in limine, asking the court to preclude the newly produced evidence, and the motion was granted. The jury found that plaintiff did not suffer any harm in the accident and ruled in favor of the defendants, after which the plaintiff appealed, arguing the trial court erred in precluding her second expert report.

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While many people think of women as being the primary caretakers for children, it is not uncommon for a married couple to agree that the husband should remain at home to care for the couple’s children while the wife earns an income. As such, if a marriage in which the husband doesn’t work ends, the husband may seek alimony from the wife. In a recent Florida divorce case, the court discussed when alimony is appropriate and what factors should be considered in determining whether it should be granted. If you or your spouse intend to file for a divorce, it is prudent to meet with a trusted Florida family law attorney to determine how the dissolution of your marriage may impact you financially.

Factual and Procedural History

It is alleged that the husband and the wife married in 2006, after which they had two children. The couple agreed that the husband would stay at home to care for the children, and he did not work from 2011 to 2017. When he returned to the workforce, he got a job in retail, earning approximately $1,400.00 per month. The wife worked as an auditor, earning about $9,000.00 a month, and received annual payments from a family trust fund.

Reportedly, in 2017, the wife filed a petition for divorce, and the husband filed a counter-petition in which he sought alimony. In the final judgment issued in 2018, the court granted the husband $2,000.00 per month in alimony for sixty months and directed the wife to pay child support to the husband. The wife appealed, arguing that the trial court committed an error in awarding the husband durational alimony.

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Negligence requires a plaintiff to prove multiple elements. In other words, the plaintiff must not only show that the defendant violated the applicable standard of care, but also that the defendant’s departure led to the plaintiff’s harm. As such, in most cases, negligence is an issue that must be decided by the jury. This was illustrated in a recent Florida car accident case in which an appellate court vacated the trial court’s order issuing a directed verdict in favor of the plaintiff, as the issue of causation was disputed. If you were hurt in a car accident, it is advisable to speak to a proficient Florida personal injury attorney to assess what damages you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant’s driver, who was operating a tractor-trailer, was employing a back-up maneuver to deliver goods to a business on a highway. The maneuver caused the truck to be placed into a jackknife position on the road. The delivery took place in the early morning hours, and the defendant had the lights on the vehicle illuminated. The plaintiff was traveling down the highway at the same time when he suddenly approached the truck. He was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision and ultimately suffered extensive injuries.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of negligence. At trial, the defendant conceded that the driver negligently maneuvered the truck. He argued, however, that the plaintiff could have been at fault for the accident, and the evidence presented to the jury would ultimately determine the issue of liability. Following the close of the plaintiff’s case, the court issued a directed verdict stating that the defendant proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. After the trial concluded, the defendant appealed.

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