Miami Partner, Kyle T. Berglin, Esq., obtained a summary judgment in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court on behalf of his client, a luxury, oceanfront condominium association, in a lawsuit arising from the attempted sale of a unit located in the condominium, and the Association’s exercise of a right of first refusal set forth in their governing documents. Plaintiff, the prospective purchaser of the unit, filed suit for tortious interference with its purchase contract with the seller of the unit, claiming that the Association improperly exercised its right of first refusal and wrongly prevented the Plaintiff from purchasing the unit. The defense argued that Plaintiff was not a member of the Association and therefore had no standing to challenge the Association’s application or interpretation of its right of first refusal to the sale at issue; that the Association validly exercised its right of first refusal in accordance with the procedures set forth in the governing documents; and that the Association was authorized to interfere with the Plaintiff’s prospective purchase of the unit as a matter of law. Summary judgment was awarded to the Association on all three independent grounds.
Maria E. Dalmanieras, Esq. from the Miami office successfully obtained a summary judgment for her client, a road contractor, in a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from an auto accident in May 2020. Plaintiff claimed that the decedent’s auto accident resulted from the client’s failure to place proper signage on the roadway to warn the decedent of an upcoming construction zone maintained by another contractor, which caused her to drive through the construction zone that ultimately resulted in her death after her vehicle landed upside down in a canal. The trial court granted the client a summary judgment finding that the Plaintiff failed to prove the client had any such duty to warn or maintain the roadway. Further, because the driver had passed away, there was no evidence as to why she left the roadway, which resulted in Plaintiff’s inability to prove causation.
In June 2020, Plaintiff filed for an Appeal, where the Third District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded for further proceedings. In July 2022, Maria E. Dalmanieras, Esq. and Peter R. Restani, Esq. successfully defended the client against an almost 9-million-dollar damages claim. At trial, the trial court granted a direct verdict in favor of the defense on duty and causation after the close of all evidence but allowed the case to go to the jury. After deliberations, the jury returned a defense verdict.
Florida Bright-Line Rules for Bringing a Cause of Action for Legal Malpractice
On January 6, 2022, the Florida Supreme Court adopted a new rule that permits parties to seek review of orders that grant or deny leave to amend to assert a claim for punitive damages, effective April 1, 2022. Now, if a court permits a plaintiff to amend its claims to add punitive damages claim against a defendant, the defendant does not have to wait until the conclusion of the case to take an appeal of that order. This rule also prevents financial discovery related to punitive damages from occurring until the right to assert the claim is completely adjudicated. Appellate partner, Elaine Walter, argued that case before the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of the Appellate Courts Rule Committee.
Read the opinion here: https://www.floridasupremecourt.org/content/download/818818/opinion/sc21-129.pdf