INSURANCE: HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE: SINKHOLE: INSURED IS NOT BOUND BY SCOPE OF REPAIRS RECOMMENDED BY INSURER’S ENGINEER; CIVIL PROCEDURE: SUMMARY JUDGMENT: SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR INSURER REVERSED BECAUSE THE PARTIES’ ENGINEERS DISAGREED ABOUT THE SCOPE OF APPRORIATE REPAIRS TO REMEDIATE SINKHOLE LOSS

Roker v. Tower Hill Preferred Insurance Company, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D764 (Fla. 2d DCA March 27, 2015)

When the insured’s engineer disagreed with the insurer’s engineer about the scope of appropriate repairs to remediate the insured’s sinkhole loss, the insurer invoked neutral appraisal, and the appraiser substantially agreed with the insurer’s engineer. As a result, … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

TORTS: NEGLIGENCE: PREMISES LIABILITY: SLIP AND FALL: COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE: PLAINTIFF WAS NOT COMPARATIVELY NEGLIGENT FOR WEARING FOUR TO FIVE INCH HIGH-HEELED SHOES TO WORK

Bongiorno v. Americorp, Inc., ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D760 (Fla. 5th DCA March 27, 2015)

The plaintiff slipped and fell on an unusually slippery floor in the restroom of the office building where she worked. The trial court, sitting without a jury, found that the plaintiff was 50% comparatively negligent because she was wearing four … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

CRIMINAL LAW: EVIDENCE: HEARSAY: RULE OF COMPLETENESS: UNDER RULE OF COMPLETENESS, TRIAL COURT ERRED BY ADMITTING ONLY DEFENDANT’S INCULPATORY STATEMENT TO PARAMEDIC AND EXCLUDING EXCULPATORY STATEMENT ALTHOUGH IT WAS SELF-SERVING HEARSAY: WHEN THE STATE OPENS THE DOOR, OTHERWISE INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE MAY BE INTRODUCED TO AVOID MISLEADING THE JURY

Newton v. State, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D761 (Fla. 5th DCA March 27, 2015)

The defendant’s girlfriend died when his truck rolled over after they left a bar. It was undisputed that the defendant was intoxicated, but he contended that his girlfriend was the driver. At trial, the State called a paramedic, who testified that … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

INSURANCE: HOMEOWNERS’ INSURANCE: SINKHOLE: APPRAISAL: FIGA: SINKHOLE CLAIMS AGAINST FIGA ARE NOT SUBJECT TO APPRAISAL UNDER THE 2011 AMENDEMENT TO SECTION 631.54(3), FLORIDA STATUTES: INSUREDS WAIVED APPRAISAL BY ACTIVELY LITIGATING FOR TWO YEARS BEFORE SEEKING APPRAISAL; APPEALS: CERTIFIED QUESTIONS

Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, Inc. v. Kirschner, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D764 (Fla. 2d DCA March 27, 2015)

Based upon its decision in Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. de la Fuente, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D123 (Fla. 2d DCA January 7, 2015), the court held that sinkhole claims against FIGA are not … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

FAMILY LAW: DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE; JUDGES: DISQUALIFICATION: DISCOUNTING TESTIMONY ABOUT HUSBAND’S ACCOUNTANT BECAUSE HE WAS A FRIEND AND TELLING ACCOUNTANT THIS WAS A DIFFICULT CASE AND JUDGE WOULD HAVE TO PICK ONE PROPOSED ORDER OVER ANOTHER DID NOT WARRANT DISQUALIFICATION; APPEALS: PROHIBITION

Clark v. Clark, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D718 (Fla. 1st DCA March 25, 2015)

The trial judge in an action for dissolution of marriage was not subject to disqualification because he discounted the testimony of the husband’s accountant, who was the husband’s friend, or because the judge told the accountant that this was a difficult … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

REAL ESTATE: MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE: CIVIL PROCEDURE: CONTINUANCE: UNTIMELY DISCLOSURE OF NEW WITNESSES AND EXHIBITS: NEW TRIAL: TRIAL COURT ABUSED DISCRETION BY DENYING PLAINTIFF’S UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE AND THEN VIOLATED DUE PROCESS BY ALLOWING PLAINTIFF TO CALL WITNESSES AND TO INTRODUCE EXHIBITS DISCLOSED ONLY FOUR DAYS BEFORE TRIAL

Reive v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D725 (Fla. 4th DCA March 25, 2015)

The plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure filed a motion for continuance ten days before trial because a new loan servicer had been appointed and needed more time to review the loan documents. When the trial court denied … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

TORTS: WRONGFUL DEATH: PROBATE COURT LACKED JURISIDICTION TO REALLOCATE DAMAGES TO SURVIVORS BASED UPON THEIR PRETRIAL AGREEMENT: AN AWARD OF WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES TO SURVIVORS IS NOT PROPERTY OF THE ESTATE THAT INTERESTED PARTIES MAY AGREE TO REALLOCATE

Pitcher v. Waldo, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D726 (Fla. 4th DCA March 25, 2015)

The parents agreed to split wrongful death damages to survivors 60% to the mother and 40% to the father, but the jury awarded $1 million to the mother and only $100,000 to the father. The father filed a petition for declaratory … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

TORTS: WRONGFUL DEATH: PROBATE COURT LACKED JURISIDICTION TO REALLOCATE DAMAGES TO SURVIVORS BASED UPON THEIR PRETRIAL AGREEMENT: AN AWARD OF WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES TO SURVIVORS IS NOT PROPERTY OF THE ESTATE THAT INTERESTED PARTIES MAY AGREE TO REALLOCATE

Pitcher v. Waldo, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D726 (Fla. 4th DCA March 25, 2015)

The parents agreed to split wrongful death damages to survivors 60% to the mother and 40% to the father, but the jury awarded $1 million to the mother and only $100,000 to the father. The father filed a petition for declaratory … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

REAL ESTATE: MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE: SURPLUS FUNDS: SUBORDINATE LIENHOLDER WAIVED ITS RIGHT TO SURPLUS FUNDS BY FAILING TO CLAIM THEM WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF THE SALE: FAILURE TO RECEIVE ACTUAL NOTICE WAS NOT AN EXCUSE BECAUSE SUBORDINATE LIENHOLDER RECEIVED AT LEAST CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE BECAUSE CLERK PUBLISHED FINAL JUDGMENT AND POSTED CERTIFICATE OF DISBURSEMENT ON ITS DOCKET: EQUITY: EQUITY FOLLOW THE LAW AND CANNOT BE USED TO ELIMINATE ITS ESTABLISHED RULES

Saulnier v. Bank of American, N.A., ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D727 (Fla. 4th DCA March 25, 2015)

The subordinate lienholder waived its right to surplus funds by failing to claim them within sixty days after the foreclosure sale. The surplus lienholder’s claim that it did not receive the final judgment or certificate of disbursements did … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...