dadelstein@gmail.com

954-361-4720

Call Us For Free Consultation

Search
 
ProveMyFloridaCase.com > Search results for "sever"

Owner Jointly and Severally Liable for Nondelegable Duty

Previously, I discussed the case of Walters v. Beach Club Villas Condominium, Inc., 2020 WL 912943 (Fla. 3d DCA 2020) as it pertains to the Fabre defense. In this case, the plaintiff--a guest of a condominium unit owner--sued the association and the association’s dock contractor after she injured herself on an unfinished dock.  The association hired a dock contractor to repair and replace a dock and the work was unfinished on the date the plaintiff injured herself. The plaintiff claimed the association was jointly and severally liable for the dock contractor’s portion of damages.   The appellate court agreed because the association...

Continue reading

Value of Severability Clause

Severability clauses have become fairly commonplace in contracts.  Cut and paste provisions.  However, these clauses can provide tremendous value.  A sample of a severability clause is as follows: If any provision of this Agreement, the deletion of which would not adversely affect the receipt of any material benefit by or in favor of any party or substantially increase the burden of any party to this Agreement, shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable to any extent, the same shall not affect in any respect whatsoever the validity or enforceability of the remainder of this Agreement. There are numerous ways to draft...

Continue reading

Personal Jurisdiction and Florida Court’s Two-Prong Analysis

When a defendant is sued, a court needs to have personal jurisdiction over that party.  It is a due process consideration to ensure the court has authority over that party.  A court’s ruling as to personal jurisdiction over a party will give a right to an immediate appeal.  The issue of personal jurisdiction is generally confronted when the defendant is a foreign person or company, i.e., not operating in Florida, being sued in Florida.  Making the decision to sue a foreign person or company in Florida needs to consider personal jurisdiction including the appellate right associated with a court's ruling on...

Continue reading

Comparative Fault Applies when Substance of the Action is Sounded in Negligence

In previous postings (check here and here) I discussed the doctrine known as comparative fault or comparative negligence referenced in Florida Statute s. 768.81.  This is when the trier of fact allocates a parties percentage of fault to the damages claimed by the plaintiff.  A party can only be liable for their pro rata percentage of fault and fault can even be allocated to the plaintiff.   This doctrine typically applies in negligence claims.   However, in a recent construction dispute dealing with only economic damages, further discussed here, the appellate court considered that Florida Statute s. 768.81 focuses on the...

Continue reading

Considerations when Multiple Proposals for Settlement are Served on Separate Defendants

I have previously discussed proposals for settlement / offers of judgment (“proposals for settlement”).  A proposal for settlement is a statutory vehicle pursuant to both Florida Statute s. 768.79 and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442 to create an argument to recover attorney’s fees based on the judgment amount.  (See this article for more on proposals for settlement). For a plaintiff (party seeking affirmative relief), the plaintiff must obtain a judgment 25% greater than the proposal for settlement amount. When there are multiple defendants, the plaintiff needs to serve a proposal for settlement on each defendant.  In Cassedy, Jr. v. Wood,44 Fla.L.Weekly...

Continue reading

A Party may Not Expand the Scope of Judicial Review of an Arbitration Clause

Arbitration is a creature of contract.  This means if you are going to arbitrate a dispute, as opposed to litigating a dispute, there must be an agreement to arbitrate.  However, whether a dispute should be arbitrated pursuant to the terms of the contract is an area that has been heavily litigated for a couple of reasons: 1) a party does not want to arbitrate the dispute and, therefore, files a lawsuit versus a demand for arbitration and 2) an opposing party that has been sued wants to enforce an arbitration provision in a contract.  As a result, an order granting...

Continue reading

Leading Questions Forming Basis of Appeal

During a direct examination at trial, a party will always tiptoe on the fine line of asking the witness leading questions in order to elicit the desired testimony.  Leading questions, in most circumstances, are objectionable during direct examination because it allows the lawyer asking questions to basically testify while leading the witness to the answer he or she is seeking.   Look, a lawyer will ask leading questions if he/she can get away with it—until the trial court sustains objections.  But, just because a trial court sustains an objection does not necessarily mean the lawyer will stop asking leading questions during direct...

Continue reading

The Nonparty Fabre Defendant

I want to discuss the concept of a “Fabre defendant.” This is an important concept in negligence cases, particularly personal injury and property damage cases. “A ‘Fabre defendant’ is a nonparty defendant whom a party defendant asserts is wholly of partially responsible for the negligence alleged [by the plaintiff].” Salazar v. Helicopter Structural & Maintenance, Inc., 986 So.2d 620, n.1 (Fla.2d DCA 2007). As further explained in Florida Statute s. 768.81(3): (3) Apportionment of damages.--In a negligence action, the court shall enter judgment against each party liable on the basis of such party's percentage of fault and not on the basis of the...

Continue reading

How the Defense of Set-Off Applies

Set-off is a popular topic or defense raised in civil disputes. In contract actions, set-off must be raised as an affirmative defense and proven at trial (and determined by the trier of fact) or else the defendant waives the right to assert set-off. See Felgenhauer v. Bonds, 891 So.2d 1043, 1045 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004). What about tort actions such as negligence actions in disputes involving personal injury or property damage? For instance, say a plaintiff sues three defendants in negligence for the same damage. Prior to trial, the plaintiff settled with two of the defendants for a total of $100,000 and...

Continue reading

Proving Affirmative Defenses and the Affirmative Defense of Comparative Negligence

  When a defendant is sued, the defendant will typically assert affirmative defenses (or defenses to the claims asserted by the plaintiff).  Just like a plaintiff has the burden of proof to prove its claims against a defendant, the defendant has the burden of proof to prove its affirmative defenses. The recent opinion in Bongiorno v. Americorp., 40 Fla L. Weekly D760c (Fla. 5th DCA 2015) exemplifies that a defendant that asserts an affirmative defense has the burden of proving that defense.   This case was a personal injury negligence case. The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to her negligence, i.e.,...

Continue reading
Contact Me Now

Prove YOUR Case!

Contact:

David Adelstein ♦

(954) 361-4720 ♦

dadelstein@gmail.com