PALM BEACH
TREASURE COAST
SPACE COAST

  • New case on “notice” in slip and fall suits provides help to governmental agencies
  • Chioma Deere co-presented a Continuing Judicial Education (CJE) session to judges on Judicial Management of Electronic Discovery in Palm Beach County.
  • Phil Wiseberg obtains a dismissal with prejudice on the eve of trial in property insurance case.
  • In Bryant v. Mezo, Carri Leininger obtained favorable opinion from the Fourth DCA recognizing the Plaintiff’s failure to disclose prior medical treatment was fraud and justified dismissal of the Plaintiff’s lawsuit.
  • Jim Williams intervened in complex construction/banking litigation on behalf of a local county obtaining a stay and potentially saving the county from a judgment that would have deprived the county of over a million dollars in collateral.
  • Chioma Deere co-presented a Continuing Judicial Education (CJE) session on Judicial Management of Electronic Discovery at the 19th Judicial Circuit to judges from St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties.
  • Lee Baggett and Jeff Cosby spoke at the Orlando Claims Conference on Exposing Financial Bias of Treating Doctors.
  • Carri Leininger obtains summary judgment for CGL carrier in coverage dispute arising out of a multi-million dollar construction defect case.
  • Jessica Gregory obtains summary judgment for Property Owners Association in ADA/FHA case.
  • Phil Wiseberg and Jim Williams obtain a defense verdict in an automobile negligence suit
  • Phil Wiseberg achieved dismissal of a federal copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of a local university…
  • Carri Leininger wins appellate victory in controversial juror texting case, Murphy v. Roth
  • Jim Williams succeeds with Palm Beach County jury returning defense verdict for half clients’ pre-trial offer

Results

Phil Wiseberg successfully obtained a dismissal with prejudice on a case that had been litigated for over two and a half years. The property insurance lawsuit was dismissed several days before trial was to start. WLC’s client will obtain the costs expended in defending the lawsuit as the prevailing party and fees based on the Proposal for Settlement.

Jim Williams and Scott Taylor were recently involved in a complex commercial transaction suit on behalf of a local county government, intervening and obtaining a stay of the proceedings during trial, potentially saving the county from a judgement that would have deprived it of over a million dollars in collateral due the government.

Jessica Gregory and Chioma Deere successfully defended against a Motion to Compel seeking electronic discovery from their client. Based upon their objections, the court held that their client did not have to produce information regarding a year’s worth of his computer browsing history.

Phil Wiseberg and Jim Williams obtained a defense verdict in an automobile negligence suit. The amount recovered by Plaintiff was significantly less than the amount Plaintiff requested from the jury. WLC’s client beat their Proposal for Settlement and will seek a judgment for attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the defense against Plaintiff.

Phil Wiseberg obtained a dismissal of a federal copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of a local university. Plaintiff, a former professor of the university, had alleged that the university used his copyrighted teaching materials without his authorization. The court agreed with Defendant in its Motion to Dismiss and all three counts pled by Plaintiff were dismissed by the Court.

Jim Williams and Phil Wiseberg obtained a defense verdict in a high-profile employment discrimination suit. After more than two weeks of trial, a Palm Beach County jury found against a lawyer who claimed she was terminated from the local State Attorney’s office because she had cancer.

Jim Williams and Phil Wiseberg successfully defended an admitted liability case, bringing in a verdict for half of our client’s pre-trial offer. After set-offs, Plaintiff was left with a net zero verdict. Faced with threats of extra contractual damages, WLC’s client beat their Proposal for Settlement and will seek a judgment for attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the defense against Plaintiff.

Carri Leininger won a new trial for WLC’s client in State Farm v. Gold, 4D14-2362 (Fla. 4th DCA January 27, 2016). The opinion is an important victory for all insurance carriers defending UM claims because it prohibits plaintiffs from attacking the carriers for defending a UM suit. In Gold, the Fourth DCA held it was error for the Plaintiff to repeatedly argue that State Farm “refused to take responsibility” for the claim. Carri Leininger argued and the appellate court agreed that these comments were prejudicial and inflammatory requiring a new trial.

Carri Leininger won an important appeal for an insurance carrier in a PIP appeal. In Florida Emergency Physicians (Horie) v. Auto-Owners, 14-42-AP, Fla. 18 Jud. Cir. App. Div., April 21, 2015, the appellate court for Seminole County reversed the summary judgment entered by the trial court for the plaintiff/provider and ordered that summary judgment be entered for Auto-Owners. Carri Leininger argued and the appellate court agreed that Florida’s PIP statute does not require the carrier to set up a reserve account for claims filed by emergency service providers that have been reduced or denied. The Plaintiff/Provider filed a motion for rehearing that the appellate court denied. The Plaintiff/Provider then filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Fifth DCA. On February 18, 2016, the Fifth DCA denied the Plaintiff’s petition. This is an important victory for WLC’s client and all PIP carriers because it affects thousands of PIP claims.

On January 14, 2016, a Brevard County jury awarded a defense verdict for the exact amount being requested by Jeff Cosby in a case in which the Plaintiff claimed substantial and incapacitating injuries which caused him to be unable to work. Plaintiff’s wife and two children also brought consortium claims, attempting to add sympathy, pain, and suffering. After four days of trial, the jury agreed with the defense that Plaintiff only suffered a temporary injury which was not permanent and caused him no wage loss. Defendant’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Costs is pending.

On October 26, a Palm Beach County jury agreed with WLC lawyers Jim Williams and Phil Wiseberg, awarding a defense verdict in a hard-fought case that had dragged on for years. Plaintiff claimed to have suffered through two spine surgeries and two knee surgeries, ultimately becoming addicted to pain medication and losing his livelihood as a result of the defendant's misconduct. After 6 days of trial, the jury agreed with the defense that plaintiff's injuries and surgery were not caused by the subject accident.

Carri Leininger prevailed on a Petition for Writ of Certiorari for the City of Port St. Lucie. The Appellate Court agreed with Ms. Leininger that the trial court erred in compelling production of the City’s photographs without conducting an in camera decision. City of Port St. Lucie v. Follano, 4D15-2642, (Fla. 4th DCA, October 7, 2015).

WLC obtained a defense verdict in St. Lucie County. Plaintiff brought suit against the insurance carrier for Uninsured/Underinsured benefits arising out of a car accident. Plaintiff claimed the car accident caused severe neck and back injuries. We maintained a vigorous defense, arguing that Plaintiff’s injuries were not as a result of the rear-end car accident. Rather, Plaintiff’s injuries were caused by years of physical work as well as a previous accident. The jury agreed with the defense.

Jeff Cosby and Rebecca Brock obtained a favorable settlement in the third week of trial in a brain injury case in which the Plaintiff sought an eight figure verdict. Plaintiff was riding his bicycle when he was hit by a phantom hit-and-run driver who was never identified. Plaintiff filed suit against his Uninsured Motorist carrier. Plaintiff alleged the accident caused a brain injury and numerous orthopedic injuries. Multiple experts testified at trial, including accident reconstruction experts, PET (brain scan) experts, physiatrists, vocational rehabilitation experts, economists, neuropsychologists, orthopedic surgeons, and neuroradiologists. The case settled below the policy limits during the 3rd week of trial despite the Plaintiff’s demands prior to trial for amounts only in excess of the policy limits.

Carri Leininger prevailed on a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in a bodily injury case. The Appellate Court agreed with Ms. Leininger that the trial court erred in allowing the Plaintiff to issue subpoenas in ten separate insurance companies seeking financial information of the Defendant’s expert, Dr. Jordan Grabel. The appellant court agreed with Ms. Leininger that this discovery exceed the bounds of permissible expert discovery under Rule 1.280(b)(5) Brana v. Roura, 4D15-194 and 4D15-199 (Fla. 4th DCA September 9, 2015).

In March 2014, Jeff Cosby defended a catastrophic motorcycle accident case in Titusville, FL. Plaintiff asked the jury to award damages significantly greater than the policy limits of $25,000.00. The jury returned a verdict which placed a large portion of fault on the Plaintiff. Consequently, the net judgment was well under the policy limits.

In August 2014, Rebecca Brock obtained a defense verdict in a Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist case. Plaintiff alleged that the accident in question necessitated back surgery, as well as extensive medical treatment to her neck. Plaintiff’s medical bills were over $200,000.00.

WLCi obtained a dismissal in a case in which coverage was disputed. Plaintiff filed suit against the carrier for uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits arising out of an accident in which Plaintiff’s vehicle hit a telephone pole. The investigation revealed Plaintiff and his ex-girlfriend got into an altercation. Plaintiff’s ex-girlfriend attempted to enter Plaintiff’s vehicle through the driver’s side window, which caused Plaintiff to lose control of his vehicle and hit the telephone pole. Plaintiff claimed significant injuries as a result. We defended the coverage issue, and successfully argued a motion for summary judgment claiming the incident did not arise out of the operation, maintenance, or use of an uninsured motor vehicle.

Jeff Cosby obtained a dismissal in an employment dispute in which Plaintiff alleged former employees violated the non-compete clauses of their employment contracts. Mr. Cosby filed a motion to dismiss that resulted in the Plaintiff dismissing the claims with prejudice.

Carri Leininger prevailed in on a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in a bodily injury case. The Appellate Court agreed with Ms. Leininger that the trial court erred in allowing the Plaintiff to issue subpoenas for the medical records of a non-party patients who were treated by the Defendant’s experts. The appellate court ruled that this order violated section 456.057(7)(a), Florida Statutes Brana v. Roura 144 So.3d699 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014).

Jeff Cosby successfully defended an attorney’s fee claim by arguing that the Plaintiff served a defective proposal for settlement, which resulted in saving his client in excess of $100,000.00.

Carri Leininger prevailed on an appeal of a district court and judge’s order denying FAU’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Claim Under Florida Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“FL-ADEA”). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Ms. Leininger that FAU is entitled to Eleventh Amendment Immunity. Crisman v. FAU, 13-12395 (11th Cir.2014).

Jeff Cosby has extensive experience in handling Daubert motions. Mr. Cosby has successfully moved the Court to exclude portions of Plaintiff’s expert’s testimony in a Daubert hearing. He has also defended the challenges when Plaintiff’s counsel moved to strike portions of Defendant’s expert, resulting in the Court denying Plaintiff’s motion.

Carri Leininger obtained summary judgment in a coverage dispute. The insured sought coverage for a trademark infringement case. Ms. Leininger convinced the court that the commercial generally liability policy excluded coverage for trademark infringement.