WEAR, Channel 3 reports that a Pensacola man is in critical condition after a rear-end crash in Escambia County. Friday evening at approximately 10:53 p.m., emergency crews responded to Beverly Parkway and Hansen Boulevard. According to the news agency, a 21-year-old male crashed his GMC Sierra in the back of 32-year-old male's Toyota Avalon as the Avalon was slowing down due to slowing traffic ahead. The impact pushed the Avalon's vehicle forward about 120 feet, causing it to stop on the east bound inside lane of Beverly Parkway. The driver of the Avalon was not hurt, according to the FHP. The FHP reports the GMC Sierra changed directions, left the roadway, sideswiped a utility pole and collided with a street sign and post. The driver of the Sierra was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in critical condition. At this time authorities are trying to figure out of this wreck was alcohol related. The FHP says charges in this crash are pending.
Should a bar or club be held liable for the injuries or deaths caused by their intoxicated patrons? Florida's law on liability of a bar is unique. Florida Statutes Section 768.125 states that if a person "willfully and unlawfully" provides alcohol to a minor under age 21 or "knowingly" provides alcohol to a person "habitually addicted" to alcohol, that person may be held liable for any injuries caused by the minor or the "habitually addicted" person. This statute is called Florida's Dram Shop Act. Unlike many states, Florida's Dram Shop Act does not mention serving alcohol to someone who appears or is actually intoxicated. Recently, in Stephanie De La Torre, et al. v. Flanigan's Enterprises, Inc., occupants of a vehicle were injured in an accident. The occupants brought a negligence action against a restaurant that served alcohol to the driver of the other vehicle that caused the accident. At the trial level, the Circuit Court, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, John B. Bowman, J., dismissed the case. The occupants appealed the trial court's decision. The parties in this action agreed that the Dram Shop Act limited the bar owner's liability. However, the injured claimants attempted to argue that the bar undertook a responsibility to prevent the driver from driving under the influence.
Various news outlets report that an elderly woman is in critical condition after a logging truck hit the ambulance she was a patient in. The accident occurred last week on U.S. Highway 98 near Gulf Arie Dr. in Gulf County. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the truck was driving east on Hwy 98 while the ambulance was headed west, when the logtruck lost control of the vehicle causing it to jackknife and smash into the ambulance. The ambulance had EMS personnel and one patient on board. The patient was taken to Gulf Coast Emergency Medical Center in critical condition.
A lawsuit accusing Chipotle of "purposefully misrepresenting" that its food does not contain organisms that have been genetically modified can go forward and will not be dismissed, according to a ruling by a U.S. District Judge. The case, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida in September and seeking class action status, claims that Chipotle misled consumers in ads saying its food is GMO free. Chipotle's meat and dairy products come from animals that consume genetically modified feed, the suit claims. Recently, a Miami judge rejected Chipotle's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. A trial date is set for November.
Houston 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.
The 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.
Jessica 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 "the 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.
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) .
As 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.