Wrongful Death




Product Liability – Tobacco. In an action by individual class member, did the trial court err in application of finding reached by jury and affirmed by Florida Supreme Court in class action case of Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., requiring a plaintiff to only prove legal causation and damages in order to prevail on a theory of strict liability? Phillip Morris USA, Inc. v. Douglas, No. SC12-617 (review granted May 15, 2012). DCA Decision: 83 So. 3d 1002 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012). Status: briefing complete; oral argument scheduled for Sept. 6, 2012.


Medical Malpractice – Wrongful Death. Question certified: To avoid a new trial in a civil case, does the beneficiary of the error in the trial court have to show on appeal that it is more likely than not that the error did not influence the trier of fact and thereby contribute to the verdict? Special v. West Boca West Medical Center, No. SC11-2511 (review granted June 20, 2012). DCA Decision: 79 So. 3d 755 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011). Status: briefing; oral argument to be set by separate order.


Medical Malpractice – Wrongful Death. Is an arbitration clause in a doctor-patient financial agreement which required all disputes relating to diagnosis, treatment, or care of patient be resolved by arbitration, limited non-economic damages and required compliance with the presuit notice requirements contrary to the public policy embodied in Chapter 766? Franks v. Bowers, No. SC11-1258 (review granted Nov. 8, 2011). DCA decision: 62 So. 3d 16 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011). Status: briefing complete; oral argument scheduled for Oct. 3, 2012.


Statute of Limitation. Is a wrongful death action barred by the statute of limitation because any personal injury action abated upon death of the decedent, and a separate wrongful death action was not filed prior to the expiration of the two-year statute of limitation for that cause of action? Capone v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., No. SC11-849 (review granted Oct. 17, 2011). DCA decision: 56 So. 3d 34 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010). Statusbriefing; Oral Argument Video (June 5, 2012).


Nursing Homes – Arbitration Clause. Question Certified: Does the execution of a nursing home arbitration agreement by a party with the capacity to contract, bind the patient’s estate and statutory heirs in a subsequent wrongful death action arising from an alleged tort within the scope of an otherwise valid arbitration agreement? Laizure v. Avante at Leesburg, Inc., No. SC10-2132 (review granted Dec. 14, 2010). DCA decision: 44 So. 3d 1254 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010). Status: briefing complete; no oral argument.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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