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Showing posts from July, 2012

$950k Wrongful Death Settlement for Small Boat Accident

The Daily Business Review reports today on the case of Smith v. Romeu, Case no: 50-2011CA006736XXXXMB before Palm Beach Circuit Judge Lucy Chernow Brown, wherein the parties settled the case of a wrongful death on the eve of trial for $948,000.00.

The facts of the case are as follows: Romeu met Smith and his sister on the night of May 8, 2010 Beach. Romeu had recently bought a 34-foot speedboat and invited the Smiths aboard for a ride. Romeu gunned the boat and accidentally struck a navigational marker in the Intracoastal Waterway. At the last moment, Romeu made a sharp turn in a failed attempt to avoid the marker. The lurch of the boat threw Smith from the boat, impaling him through the torso on the marker and sinking him to the bottom. A fire and rescue diver retrieved the body about an hour later.
Smith's father filed the civil lawsuit on behalf of his son's estate, with himself and his wife as the estate's claimants. The son was 31 when he died and left no children.
The d…

Southern District Addresses Valuation in Policy

In SUMMIT TOWERS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., v. QBE INSURANCE CORPORATION, 23 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D265a (S.D. Fla. May 29, 2012)(Seitz, D.J.), the court found that where one section of policy provides for the insured to receive “actual cash value” for a loss and another section provides for “replacement cost,” the section providing for replacement cost provides that, “[i]f shown as applicable in the Declarations, the following Optional Coverages apply separately to each item,” and the Declarations page identifies the “Value Option” as “RC,” replacement cost is the value option in force under the policy.
Given the shortness of the opinion, the entire opinion is provided below:

THIS MATTER is before the Court following the Court's Order [DE-153] denying Defendant QBE Insurance Corporation's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [DE-69]. During the pretrial conference, the parties and the Court identifie…

Concordia Survivors File Lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale

The Sun-Sentinel reports that six months after the Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy, another lawsuit has been filed against Carnival Corp. & PLC, owner of the ill-fated ship, along with subsidiary Costa Crociere (Cruises). The July 13 suit, filed in Fort Lauderdale in the U.S. District Court, alleges several charges against Carnival and Costa, including fraudulent misrepresentation, maritime negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiffs Amanda, Adrian and Brandon Warrick were among the more than 4,000 passengers and crew aboard the Concordia when it hit submerged rocks and capsized near a Tuscan island on Jan. 13. Miami attorney Gabrielle Lyn D'Alemberte, who represents the Warricks, said Wednesday the Warricks have a right to file a lawsuit here and not in Italy as the cruise ticket contract dictates, because they purchased their cruises on Costa's U.S. website. It also would be prejudicial to take it to Italy as they'd be barred from liti…

FL Sup. Ct. Rule Changes Affect All Florida Attorneys

The Florida Supreme Court recently issued an opinion which makes MAJOR changes to the way pleadings and papers are served.  You need to familiarize yourself and your staff with these changes ASAP since the rules will take effect as of September 1st for attorneys practicing in the civil, probate, small claims, and family law divisions of the trial courts, as well as in all appellate cases.  The provisions in the rules are mandatory.

The short version is that ALL pleadings and papers must be served via email. This opinion significantly changes the way pleadings are served in Florida state court cases. 
The opinion is 208 pages long, so this blog post is not intended to serve as an exhaustive list of all of the changes. However, I will start with two quick quotes from the opinion regarding implementation of these changes. First, e-mail service will be mandatory for attorneys practicing in the civil, probate, small claims, and family law divisions of the trial courts, as well as in all ap…

Jury Finds Overwork of Crew Recoverable Under Jones Act

In Skye v. Maersk Line, 11-21589-CIV-ALTONAGA, a Miami federal court jury decided that extreme, compulsory overwork of a ship's crew member impaired his physical health and amounted to a shipboard condition for which the Jones Act is applicable.

On May 16, the case resulted in a significant jury award against a worldwide cargo shipping company. Although the $2.36 million award was reduced to $590,000 because of comparative negligence, this case of first impression may minimize the distinction between physical and nonphysical injuries established by Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Gottshall , 512 U.S. 532 (1994).
In Gottshall, the plaintiff, a Conrail employee, watched a fellow worker die of a heart attack while on duty. Gottshall's boss put off seeking medical treatment when the worker was stricken, kept the crew working and left the body at the work site for the rest of the day. Shortly thereafter, Gottshall entered a psychiatric facility. He sued Conrail under the Federal Employe…