Call Us For Free Consultation


Procedure for Seeking Punitive Damages

The recent appellate opinion in Werner Enterprises, Inc. v. Mendez, 48 Fla.L,Weekly D1121A (Fla. 5th DCA 2023) discusses the PROCEDURE for a party moving to amend their complaint to add punitive damages. In this case, the plaintiff appealed the trial court’s denial of the plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend to add punitive damages. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s denial and, in doing so, includes this worthy discussion on the procedure associated with moving to amend a complaint to seek punitive damages: Florida law requires the plaintiff to seek the trial court's permission before adding punitive damages to its complaint....

Continue reading

Appellate Court Reversing Trial Court Granting Motion for New Trial

There are times a trial court may grant a motion for a new trial after the jury's verdict. Naturally, the party that received the benefit of the jury's verdict will appeal the trial court's ruling granting the motion for a new trial. A good example can be found in Smith v. Lyles, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D1079a (Fla. 6th DCA 2023), a personal injury case, where the trial court granted a new trial in favor of the plaintiff after the jury found the defendant was not liable. The trial court granted the new trial because it found: (a) the defendant had improper testimony;...

Continue reading

Measure of Tort Damages in Civil Disputes

If you are filing a civil action, your case is generally about, and should generally be about, recovering damages. Sure, there may be exceptions where a party is seeking injunctive relief or a declaration, but mostly, civil disputes concern a party seeking monetary damages. When it comes to civil tort actions, remember this when it comes to the measure of damages: “In tort actions, the measure of damages [awarded] seeks to restore the victim to the position he would be in had the wrong not been committed.” Hollywood Imports Limited, Inc. v. Nationwide Financial Services, LLC, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D915a (Fla. 4th...

Continue reading

Contract Interpretation; Force Majeure; Impossibility; Impracticability; Frustration of Purpose — All in One Case

Covid-19 created a number of hardships to businesses. No doubt about it. The case of Fitness International, LLC v. 93 FLRPT, LLC, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D947a (Fla. 2d DCA 2023) exemplifies one such hardship.  The issue in this case was how “government-ordered restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic impact[ed] the parties’ obligations under a commercial real estate lease.”  In essence, a gym--tenant--had a commercial lease. The gym sought a refund for a fifteen-week period that it was required to close or operate below full capacity due to government-imposed restrictions. Unfortunately for the gym, it lost its arguments under all theories from breach...

Continue reading

Have the Trial Court Rule on a Motion BEFORE the Court Loses Jurisdiction

In a recent construction posting that I posted here, it discusses when a trial court loses jurisdiction. This is a worthy consideration because in this case the trial court no longer had jurisdiction to rule on a motion after the final judgment was entered and the time for a rehearing and appeal expired. Here are the key takeaways from the case: (1) "The general rule is that an action remains pending in the trial court until after a final judgment and such time as an appeal is taken or time for an appeal expires. By the time the trial court had ruled...

Continue reading

Manner in which Information (Such as Customer Lists) Compiled can Constitute Trade Secret

A summary judgment on a misappropriation of trade secrets claim is reversed on appeal because “a genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether the compilation of the information, even that which was within the public domain, constituted information protected as a trade secret.” Patient Depot, LLC v. Acadia Enterprises, Inc., 48 Fla.L.Weekly D871a (Fla. 4th DCA 2023). In this case, the plaintiff operated as a broker of personal protection equipment (PPE) and matched PPE suppliers with consumers. The plaintiff maintained a website platform that plaintiff considered to be a trade secret. This platform contained a list of viable suppliers, including...

Continue reading

Forum Non Conveniens – Heavy Burden for Defendant

“The common law doctrine of forum non conveniens, which translates to mean ‘inconvenient forum,' is an equitable, judicially crafted rule designed to allow a court to dismiss, in certain limited circumstances, a lawsuit with little connection to Florida that would be better suited and fairly litigated elsewhere.” Gordon v. Bethel, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D804a (Fla. 4th DCA 2023) (citation omitted). A recent case deals with this limited doctrine of forum non conveniens.  In this case, a plaintiff filed a defamation lawsuit in Broward County. The plaintiff is a resident of Broward County and operates his business out of Broward County. The defendants...

Continue reading

Third-Party Complaint Must Allege Claim for Indemnification, Subrogation, or Contribution

Must a third-party complaint include a claim for indemnification, subrogation, or contribution arising from the underlying complaint?  A recent Fourth District Court of Appeal case, relying on a case from the Second District Court of Appeal, confirmed it did when it reversed final judgment against a third-party defendant due to an improper third-party complaint.  Below is the applicable language relating to third-party complaints: Rule 1.180 governs third party complaint practice. That rule provides: At any time after commencement of the action a defendant may have a summons and complaint served on a person not a party to the action who is or may...

Continue reading

Negligent Training, Retention, Supervision, and Entrustment Claims Against Individual Officers and Agents

In Jones v. Vasilias, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D568a (Fla. 4th DCA 2023), the plaintiff was injured when he was riding his bike in front of an automobile dealership. An employee of the dealership hit the plaintiff as he was leaving the dealership in a van for a delivery. The plaintiff, in addition to suing the driver of the van and the dealership, asserted claims against the dealership’s general manager and service manager in negligence for negligent training, retention, supervision, and entrustment.  The trial court dismissed the negligence claims against the general manager and supervisor.  The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed...

Continue reading

Nonbinding Arbitrations under Florida Law and Moving for a Trial De Novo

Certain Florida courts require parties to proceed to nonbinding arbitration as a settlement vehicle – as a means for the parties to evaluate their case and provide a basis for attorney’s fees if the losing party proceeds to trial regardless of the nonbinding arbitration ruling. If a court requires the parties to proceed to nonbonding arbitration, this will occur prior to trial.  While I'm not necessarily a fan of nonbonding arbitrations, if a court requires it, you want to make sure you are prepared to participate in the arbitration process and present your case to the arbitrator. A recent Florida case...

Continue reading
Contact Me Now

Prove YOUR Case!


David Adelstein ♦

(954) 361-4720 ♦

[email protected]