Florida Law Weekly – February 1, 2019
Davis v. Karr, 5th DCA
In this case, the Court addressed the issue of whether, under Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act, a presuit affidavit submitted by a plaintiff from a health care provider who does not specialize in the same field as the defendant nevertheless meets the statutory presuit investigatory requirements for filing a medical negligence suit. In the case reviewed, the defendant was an orthopaedic surgeon. The presuit expert affidavits provided by the plaintiff were executed by an emergency room physician, a radiologist and a nurse. Defendant sought dismissal asserting that the three affidavits were insufficient to meet the statutory presuit requirements of Section 766.102(5)(a)1., Florida Statutes (2013), because none of the affidavits was from an expert witness specializing in his field of orthopaedic surgery. The 5th DCA affirmed the dismissal, holding that the plain language of the statue required the presuit affidavit to be executed by a physician within the same specialty as the defendant.
Henry v. State, 4th DCA
In this case, the Court affirmed the Trial Court’s ruling that a photograph of a contact information screen on a cell phone was not inadmissible hearsay. The Court explained that if the photograph was used to prove the defendant’s telephone number, it would be considered inadmissible hearsay. However, the contact information screen addressed at trial was similar to an entry in an address book, which Courts have generally held to be non-hearsay when used for the limited purpose of proving association between the maker of the address book and another.
Middleton v. Don Asher & Assoc, 5th DCA
In this premises liability case, the 5th DCA reversed the Trial Court’s order granting summary judgment. Plaintiff owned property where the incident occurred and had resided there for fifteen years. While walking on the defendant’s premises, plaintiff tripped on an uneven sidewalk and was injured. The opinion notes that the plaintiff had previously walked the property on several occasions and frequently passed the area where she fell. She then brought a negligence action against Appellees. The Trial Court granted the motion for summary judgment, which argued that the condition of the sidewalk was open and obvious. In response, plaintiff argued that even if the condition was open and obvious, an issue of fact remained as to whether the defendant should have anticipated that condominium residents would use the sidewalk and encounter the cracked and uneven concrete, requiring it to be inspected and repaired. While the 5th DCA agreed that an uneven sidewalk was an open and obvious condition as a matter of law, because the issue of the defendant’s duty to maintain and repair existed, summary judgment was not appropriate.