Directed Verdict: Negligence, Fuel Line Repair

Fontaine v. R & E Nifakos, Inc., ___ So. 3d ___, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D2310 (Fla. 4th DCA 10/20/10)

After the mechanic performed two repairs on the fuel lines of the defendant’s truck, the truck spontaneously burst into flames.  The plaintiff sued the mechanic for negligence, but the trial court directed a verdict for the defendant because of the absence of evidence that the defendant worked on the particular fuel line that was involved in the fire and a two year lapse between the fire and the inspection by the plaintiff’s expert.  The appellate court reversed because it could be inferred from the expert’s testimony that the mechanic failed to use reasonable care in locking the fuel line and that this failure was responsible for the fire.