La Cava Jacobson & Goodis

Florida Law Weekly – Nov. 13, 2020

Pride of St. Lucie Lodge 1189, Inc. v. Reed – 4th DCA

In this wrongful death case alleging premises liability and negligent security, plaintiff brought an action against the owner and operator of a parking lot where the decedent was fatally shot after participating in a brawl. The Court held that the Trial Court did not err by refusing to give a requested instruction pursuant to Fla. Stat.  768.075(4), which provides that owners of real property cannot be held liable for negligence resulting in death of a person who is attempting to commit a felony or engaged in the commission of a felony on the property. The Court stated that the statutory language clearly reflects that the defense only applies to injuries which a plaintiff sustains in the commission or attempted commission of a felony. In this case, the decedent committed a felony during the parking lot brawl.  However, the decedent was no longer engaged in the commission of a felony when she was shot because after the brawl ended, she was sitting in her car.

Routhier and St. Augustine Surgical, LLC v. Tonia Barnes – 5th COURT

In this medical malpractice action, the Court denied a Petition for Writ of Certiorari stemming from a discovery order compelling defendants’ counsel and their law firm to disclose the amount of money paid to retained experts. The Court held that disclosure of this type of financial information furthers the truth-seeking function and fairness of trial. The Court also certified the question of whether the rule of law under review should also apply to preclude a defense law firm that is not a party of the litigation from having to disclose its financial relationship with experts that it retains for the purposes of litigation, including those that perform Compulsory Medical Examinations.

Castro v. Stoddard – 3rd DCA

In this defamation case, the Court affirmed the Trial Courts’ final summary judgment granting absolute immunity in an action brought by a plaintiff police chief against the defendant mayor. Plaintiff alleged that the mayor made defamatory statements in a blog and in a letter to city residents. In support of their decision, the Court held that the “public interest requires that statements made by officials of all branches of government in connection with their official duties be absolutely privileged.” The Court found that the defendant’s public statements regarding the actions and conduct of the plaintiff police chief fell within the scope of the mayor’s duty to keep his constituents informed of current events and operations within the city and its government, which includes the operations and performance of the police department and its police chief.