Archive by Month: October 2021

Defense Verdict Obtained in Products Liability Case

Posted in Verdicts and Settlements on October 27, 2021

Cristobal Casal, Managing Partner of the Fort Myers office, and Brian Buczynski, an Associate, obtained a defense verdict in a products liability personal injury lawsuit involving an exploding lithium ion battery that Plaintiff was using in an electronic cigarette device.  The client was sued for selling a lithium ion battery that was alleged to have design defects that allowed it to short-circuit, catch on fire, and cause the Plaintiff to suffer second and third degree burns to his left hand.  The Plaintiff was a middle aged information technology worker who claimed that he had lost grip strength in his hand, was suffering from mild carpal tunnel disorder, and tremors and shaking that were not present before the date of the event.  Plaintiff boarded more than $77,000.00 in incurred medical expenses and asked the jury to award up to $3,300,000.00 during closing argument.  The trial took place over five days in Sarasota County, Florida.  The jury deliberated for 90 minutes before rendering their verdict in favor of the defense and finding no entitlement to damages.  The client will be entitled to pursue its attorneys’ fees and costs as there was a Proposal for Settlement served on the Plaintiff that was allowed to lapse. 

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Why Jurors May Be Biased Against the Trucking Industry

Posted in Legal Alerts on October 26, 2021

It is not uncommon for jurors to have specific biases against certain industries. A person does not necessarily put aside their personal beliefs when chosen to serve on a jury. Researchers and legal experts have found that jurors can hold negative attitudes towards corporate America, specifically the trucking industry, when serving in a courtroom. This negativity can be manipulated by attorneys to steer jurors towards “nuclear” judgments against trucking companies resulting in potential bankruptcy and/or shutting down those companies. Defense attorneys need to be aware of and know how to deal with potentially biased juries, as many jurors admit to having a built-in bias against truckers. Where does this bias originate and why are these views so common amongst jurors? The following details why jurors may be biased against the trucking industry.        

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Explaining Right of Contribution Among Liability Insurers

Posted in Legal Alerts on October 15, 2021

In June of 2019, the Florida Legislature passed a new law (Florida Statute, Section 624.1055) creating a right of contribution among liability insurers for defense costs associated with defending an insured shared between multiple insurance policies. The new law effectively overturned the longstanding precedent set by Argonaut Insurance v. Maryland Casualty, 372 So. 2d 960 (Fla. 3d DCA 1979), Continental Casualty Company v. United Pacific Insurance Company, 637 So. 2d 270 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994), and their subsequent progeny. Without a right of contribution, some insurers were incentivized to push back accepting liability for their policyholders in the hopes another of the insured’s policies would kick in and foot the bill. This law stood for many years.

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