La Cava & Jacobson, P.A.

Florida Law Weekly – March 29, 2019

Cruz v. Wal-Mart – 4th DCA
In this premises liability case, the Court reversed the Trial Court’s Order granting summary judgment in favor of Wal-Mart. The plaintiff, a 72-year-old man, tripped on a raised manhole cover and fell in a Wal-Mart parking lot at night, sustaining serious head trauma. .In doing so, the Court rejected the theories that there was no liability because: 1) the manhole was inspected and approved by government agencies; 2) the accident was not foreseeable because there were no prior similar events; and 3) the manhole was an open and obvious danger, negating any duty to warn. Ultimately, the Court found that issues of fact remained precluding summary judgment.

La Cava & Jacobson Obtain Defense Verdict For a Hospital & Two Doctors In Broward County

Lou LaCava and Marci Strauss obtained a defense verdict for a hospital and two pulmonologists in a 2 ½ week wrongful death medical malpractice case in Broward County, Florida. The Decedent was a 46 year old physician. It was alleged that the hospital and physicians should have intubated the patient upon arrival to the emergency room rather than utilize non-invasive BiPap to reverse severe respiratory acidosis. The Plaintiff alleged the BiPap caused air to accumulate in the patient’s bowels and as a result, the patient underwent abdominal surgery, developed multi system organ failure and later died. The defense argued BiPap was the appropriate treatment and the patient developed an injury to his bowels as a result of taking drugs at home which was a combination of prescribed and unprescribed medications. Lou and Marci also had to defend claims of nursing negligence and hospital policy and procedure issues. Also, due to vicarious claims against the hospital, the care of the emergency room physician and admitting physician had to be defended. The patient was survived by his wife and two minor children who had claims as survivors. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award over 20 million dollars. After hearing all of the evidence the jury returned a verdict finding the hospital and all 4 physicians were not negligent and that negligence was not the legal cause of the patient’s death.

Daneil McAuliffe Judges Event Tor The NCFCA

Daneil McAuliffe served as a judge in the regional speech and debate tournament of the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association (NCFCA). The NCFCA is a the third largest high school speech and debate league in the country. The tournament included students from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina and was held March 21-23 in Sarasota, Florida.

La Cava & Jacobson, P.A.

Tia J. Jones Admitted To The Southern District of Florida

Tia J. JonesTia Jones was recently admitted to practice in the Southern District of Florida.

Defense Verdict

La Cava & Jacobson Obtain Defense Verdict For OBGYN In Miami

The jury returned a defense verdict after a three day trial in Miami. The defendant, an obstetrician/gynecologist, had allegedly removed a perfectly normal right ovary from a 46 year old woman who had been complaining of left lower quadrant pain for almost 4 years. Jon Lynn represented the defendant and convinced the jury that, under the facts and circumstances of the case, the decision to remove the ovary was reasonable and certainly within the standard of care.

La Cava & Jacobson, P.A.

Florida Law Weekly – March 15, 2019

Bellezza v. Menendez – 4th DCA
In this case, the 4th District Court of Appeal remanded a matter for new trial, finding that the attorney/client privilege prohibited the disclosure of the relationship between a plaintiff’s attorney and the plaintiff’s treating physician. In remanding the matter for new trial, the Court applied the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Worley v. Central Florida Young Men’s Christian Ass’n, 228, So.3d 19 (Fla. 2017), which held that a lawyer’s payments to a plaintiff’s treating physician was not discoverable, and further recognized that the attorney/client privilege protects whether the plaintiff’s lawyer referred the plaintiff to a particular physician.

La Cava & Jacobson, P.A.

Jon Lynn Featured Speaker For The Volusia-Flagler County Dental Association Meeting

Volusia-Flagler County Dental AssociationJon Lynn was the featured speaker at the March meeting of the Volusia-Flagler County Dental Association. He spoke on “The Anatomy of a Dental Malpractice Case”.

La Cava & Jacobson, P.A.

Brett Gliosca joins Law360’s 2019 Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Editorial Advisory Board

Brett P. Gliosca Brett P. Gliosca has been selected to be a participant on this year’s Law360’s 2019 Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Editorial Advisory Boards.

La Cava & Jacobson, P.A.

Florida Law Weekly – March 8, 2019

Kempton v. McComb. – 5th DCA
This case addresses Florida Statute §768.36, which creates an alcohol or drug defense. This defense completely bars a plaintiff’s recovery if, at the time the plaintiff was injured, the plaintiff was under the influence of alcohol or drugs such that his/her normal faculties are impaired and if, as a result of the influence, the plaintiff is greater than 50% at fault for his/her own harm. In this case, while the jury found that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault and that his blood alcohol was above the legal limit, because the jury did not find that the plaintiff’s fault was due to the intoxication, the defense was not applicable.

La Cava & Jacobson, P.A.

Florida Law Weekly – March 1, 2019

Breger v. Robshaw Custom Homes, Inc. – 5th DCA
The Fifth District reversed a Trial Court Order enforcing a settlement and dismissing the complaint with prejudice.  Plaintiffs owned certain real property as joint tenants with the right of survivorship.  The Defendant entered into a contract with the Appellants to improve the property.  After completion, the Plaintiffs were not satisfied with the quality of the work, filing a lawsuit for breach of contract and negligence.   Plaintiffs each filed individual proposals for settlement, with the Defendants accepting one of them.  The Defendant believed that acceptance of one would end the lawsuit.  The Trial Court agreed, stating that the claims were “undifferentiated” and that settlement as to one Plaintiff was binding as to all.  The Fifth District disagreed, noting that acceptance must be a mirror image of the offer.   The Fifth District noted that the acceptance was not (as it included the other Plaintiffs) and further found that one Plaintiff could not bind the others to a settlement.

Younkin v. Blackwelder – 5th DCA 2019
In this case, the Fifth District held that a plaintiff was entitled to know the total number of times a defense firm has retained an expert to perform a Compulsory Medical Examination as well as the amounts paid to that physician.  The Court based this decision on Allstate Ins. Co. v. Boecher, where the Florida Supreme Court held that similar information with respect to an insurer’s relationship with an expert was discoverable.  The Fifth District also certified conflict with the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Worley v. Central Florida YMCA, which held that the attorney-client privilege prohibited a defendant from obtaining discovery from a Plaintiff’s law firm regarding the number of times it referred clients to a particular physician.  As the Younkin Court noted, a plaintiff’s firm can refer all of its clients to the same physician and this information is not discoverable, yet the same protections are not afforded to Defendants.