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April 2016 Archives

Direct General Insurance Fights PIP Claim

Thumbnail image for Direct General.pngHouston Casualty Co. and National Specialty Insurance Co. asked the Eleventh Circuit to sustain U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke ruling that they have no duty to defend or protect Direct General, arguing that she correctly held that some pre-policy claims against Direct General regarding PIP benefits were claims for wrongful acts, and that the pre-policy claims came from the same conduct as post-policy lawsuits such that they all constituted a single claim and were omitted from coverage.

Texting while driving: dangerous in many ways

Sometimes it seems like we are attached to our cellphones. We carry them constantly, and for many of us, they are the last thing we see before bed and the first thing we look at when we wake up in the morning. They are a constant stream of information, emails, internet access, social media, videos and communication with loved ones through sharing photos, conversations and text messages.

Hit and Run Accidents In Florida

hit+and+run+in+kinston.jpgThe Northwest Florida Daily News reports that there was a deadly hit and run accident early Sunday morning on April 17, 2016, that is being investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol. The accident occurred on U.S. 98 at the Hathaway Bridge that left one person dead and another in jail.

Safety Alert: Uber At The Airport?

Uber.jpgThe Northwest Florida Daily News reports the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and Uber are closer to an agreement where Uber will be able to pick-up and drop-off individuals at the airport. Currently, Uber can only drop people off at the airport, they cannot pick them up. The problem is that Uber doesn't fit the mold of the county authorized ground transportation. "(Uber drivers) can drop off all day long," Okaloosa County Airports Director Tracy Stage reports "... But in order to pick up passengers, you must be within the current county ordinance." That ordinance limits for-hire ground transportation at county airports to registered taxicabs, which have to meet several requirements including passing a background check, vehicle inspection, purchasing and displaying a $400 permit and holding at least $300,000 in bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. Stage said the airport wants to accommodate Uber, but must also be fair to taxicab drivers. "We want to present the most level playing field," he said, adding that the airport has met with taxi drivers to explain the Uber plan. "No one is allowed to circumvent the ordinance." In late 2015, the county began talks with Uber and now the two sides are moving closer to an agreement. Under the proposal, the airport would set aside two parking spaces for "transportation network companies" in its cell phone lot. In return, Uber and other similar companies would pay the airport $2.50 per pickup, Stage said. "When a passenger comes into the airport and requests an Uber pickup, the car in the number one spot will proceed to the front curb," he said. He predicts those drivers, who will operate on a first-in, first-out basis, will stay extremely busy. "We're excited about it because it's such a high demand from our passengers," he said. "And we want to meet that demand." Stage said he hopes to present the proposal to County Commissioners in the coming weeks, but he's waiting for confirmation that Uber representatives will be able to attend the meeting to answer questions from the board and the public.

Florida Appeals Court Holds Section 57.105 Does Not Entitle Defendant To Privileged Information

beware-of-dog-sign-on-brown-fence-300x199.jpgJessica Tedrow filed suit in April 2013 against Jimmy Cannon under Florida's dog-bite statute. Tedrow asserted that her daughter was injured by Cannon's dog during a party at Cannon's home in April 2012. The dog bite statute states that "[t]he owner of any dog that bites any person is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten." But it also provides that if the owner "had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words 'Bad Dog,' " the owner is only liable if "the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner . Thus, Cannon responded to the complaint with a motion for attorneys' fees, arguing that Tedrow's complaint had no basis and that Cannon "had displayed in a prominent place an easily readable sign including the words, 'Bad Dog.'" After 21 days, Cannon filed the motion for attorneys' fees with the circuit court, and answered the complaint asserting that he could not be held strictly liable under the statute because he had displayed a "Bad Dog" sign. Discovery was conducted and ultimately in August 2014, Tedrow filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice, and the circuit court dismissed the case in January 2015. The next month, Cannon filed a motion for attorneys' fees and costs, citing his earlier-filed motion for attorneys' fees pursuant to section 57.105. The motion also asked the court to permit depositions on the issue of whether Tedrow's counsel acted in good faith in filing the lawsuit. Following a hearing, in July 2015 the circuit court granted Cannon's motion, specifically ordering Tedrow's counsel to produce whatever photographs and other documents formed the basis for filing the lawsuit. The circuit court cited Florida Supreme Court case law for the proposition that "the 57.105 motions survive the dismissal of the case." Tedrow and her attorney sought review to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

Justice Scalia And His Important Role On The United States Supreme Court

Thumbnail image for Justice Scalia.jpgMany of us have always admired Justice Scalia. When reading his opinions not only in law school but as practicing attorneys, we always admired his writing, his prose and his wit. Additionally, he will be remembered for his commitment to the principle that judges should be guided in deciding cases by the original public meaning of the texts that they are interpreting. As an op-ed in the USA Today put it so eloquently, he has totally reshaped the legal culture so that today there is much less use of legislative history and much more reliance on the constitutional text than there was prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court in 1986. As lawyers, that is what we want. We want judges to look at the plain text of the law, not reshape it. Here is a look at what we see as some of Justice Scalia's significant opinions:

Florida Supreme Court: Insurance Companies And Personal Injury Claims

Recently, the Florida Supreme Court held against insurance companies that delay, deny and assess legitimate claims with low values in the recent decision, Fridman v. Safeco Ins. Co., No. SC13-1607, __ So.3d __, 2016 WL 743258, 41 Fla. L. Wkly. S62 (Fla. 2016) .

What Is Florida's Statute Of Limitations On Sexual Abuse?

victim-of-child-abuse_mini.jpgAs a parent, we put our children in the hands of others as they go to daycare, preschool, school or even child care. In the event of sexual abuse, the law imposes serious and significant punishment. Florida law also provides the victim of sexual abuse with the rights to bring a civil action against the perpetrator and, if applicable, his or her employer. Florid law will, in most cases, hold the employer of the perpetrator vicariously liable for the wrongs of its employee. Vicarious liability is a form of a strict, secondary liability that arises under the common law doctrine of agency, also referred to as "respondeat superior". Simply put, the employer is responsible for the acts of its subordinates. It is also well recognized in Florida that a daycare, preschool, or school owes your child a fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another person's interests.

Car Accidents: Running Red Lights

Red Light.jpgAccording to WJHG, Channel 7 out of Panama City, there was an accident last Wednesday morning that left one person that had to be taken to the hospital after police say a truck ran a red light. Panama City Beach Police say a truck driving south on Highway 79 ran a red light and through the intersection at Back Beach Rd. around 6:30 a.m., causing a Dodge Durango to hit the truck. The truck then spun around, pushing it into a road sign and another vehicle that was stopped at the light in a turning lane. Police said they're unsure of how serious the person's injuries are.

Father And Son Team Working Together To Serve Our Clients

Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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