TORTS: NEGLIGENCE: PREMISES LIABILITY: SLIP AND FALL: CIVIL PROCEDURE: NEW TRIAL: TRIAL COURT DID NOT ABUSE ITS DISCRETION BY GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL BASED UPON DEFENDANT’S DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE, VIOLATION OF COURT ORDERS, DISCOVERY VIOLATIONS, AND JUROR MISCONDUCT BY CONCEALING LITIGATION HISTORY

Meadowbrook Meat Company v. Catinella, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D402 (Fla. 2d DCA February 11, 2015)

The plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell while unloading a truck at the defendant’s facility because of a malfunctioning dock leveler. The jury returned a defense verdict, but the trial court granted a new trial based upon the defendant’s destruction of evidence, which resulted in an adverse inference instruction; the defendant’s material violation of multiple court orders; the defendant’s prejudicial, systematic, material, and willful discovery violations; and the misconduct of two jurors, who failed to reveal their relevant and material prior litigation history. The appellate court affirmed based upon its conclusion that the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

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