Explore the successful outcomes that we continue to secure for our clients

Our representative cases demonstrate our diligence, depth of knowledge and resolute advocacy for our clients time and time again. Explore our results within each practice area to see how we leverage our expertise to drive success.

Representative Cases

Insurance Coverage

  • Proving constitutionality of Fla.Stat. §324.021

    Successfully defended rental car company in Declaratory Judgment Action which challenged the constitutionality of section 324.021 (9), Florida Statutes claiming the cap on damages of a lessor of a short term rental agreement violates equal protection, the right to trial by jury, due process and access to the courts. Pursuant to this provision, a short term lessor can be held vicariously liable, under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, for the actions of the driver up to $100,000 per person, up to $300,000 per incident for bodily injury and up to $50,000 for property damage.  The Court agreed and found that limiting vicarious liability does not equate to the denial of access to the courts.

  • Proving acts not covered under client’s policy

    Trucking company claimed its subcontractor, a trailer rental company, was covered under our client’s CGL policy for negligent acts relating to the accident.  We prevailed on the position that the acts were not covered per the auto exclusion within the policy, despite the GC’s contention that other acts of negligence triggered coverage.

  • Declaratory action victory on coverage denial

    Hawk Termite & Pest Control, Inc. v. Old Republic Insurance Company, 596 So.2d 96 (Fla. 3d DCA 1992): Successfully defended a declaratory action filed by the insured following our client’s (insurer) denial of coverage based. The denial was based on the act in question being outside the definition of covered losses per the applicable insurance policy. Following summary judgment being entered in favor of our client, the insured filed an appeal with the 3rd District Court of Appeal. Our firm successfully defended the appeal, with the appellate court affirming summary judgment for our client.

Medical Malpractice

  • Past liens not recoverable

    Child with a history of sickle cell anemia presented to the hospital and had sepsis and a quadruple amputation. The case was submitted to arbitration. Past liens were excluded as not being recoverable in arbitration and the court allowed for evidence of future collateral sources including what Medicaid and Medicare would pay for. Following these rulings, the case was resolved.

  • Summary judgment granted on statute of limitations defense

    Medical malpractice claim involving a failure to delay labor and delivery in 2005, where the child had a catastrophic brain injury. Plaintiffs filed a petition to extend the statute of limitations in 2008 and did not send a Notice of Intent until 2013. Defendant filed a Motion for Final Summary Judgment because the statute of limitations barred the claim. After an extensive hearing on the motion, the Judge granted the motion and entered judgment in the Defendants’ favor.

  • Summary judgment granted on brain injury case

    Represented hospital sued for medical malpractice for brain injuries allegedly caused by the physicians and staff of the neonatal intensive care unit. Successfully obtained Final Summary Judgment based on the statute of limitations citing appellate decision holding the statute which extends claims for minors to eight years old applied only to the statute of repose and did not affect the two year statute of limitations.

  • Summary judgment granted for failure to comply with Fla.Stat. § 768.28(6)(a)2

    Secured Final Summary Judgment in favor of a hospital based on the expiration of the statute of limitations by determining on receipt of the case file that Plaintiff failed to provide the required notice of the claim to the Florida Department of Financial Services within 2 years of the accrual date as required by Fla.Stat. § 768.28(6)(a)2. Also successfully fought off argument by Plaintiff that prior defense counsel and presuit third party adjuster waived the requisite separate notice that had to be given to the Department of Financial Services.

  • Lawsuit dropped after damaging surveillance

    Plaintiff claimed blindness following a neurosurgical procedure. We retained a private investigator to surveil Plaintiff. Video surveillance captured the Plaintiff driving a car and using power tools. The lawsuit was dropped after the surveillance video was shown to Plaintiff’s counsel.

  • Defense verdict returned in catastrophic brain injury trial

    Case involved an alleged delay in transfer from a community hospital to a tertiary care center of a 13 year old girl with a longstanding history of hydrocephalus with signs of increasing intracranial pressure. Toward the end of transfer, the child sustained a brain herniation causing catastrophic brain damage. The trial lasted over 5 weeks and over 60 witnesses were called. The plaintiffs asked for over $60 million in damages. After 6 hours of deliberations the jury returned a defense verdict.

  • Judgment on the pleadings granted in shoulder dystocia case

    Malpractice action involving a delivery resulting in shoulder dystocia. Claim against the hospital was one for vicarious liability. Patient had established prenatal care with the Defendant physician. Defendant moved for Judgment on the Pleadings on the claim for vicarious liability. The trial court granted the Motion in Defendant’s favor. The remaining count against Defendant was for alleged nursing negligence. Defendant then filed Motion for Summary Judgment which the Court granted.

General and Premises Liability

  • Proving hazard was open and obvious

    Represented a residential property owner in a trip-and-fall lawsuit involving a tenant. The Plaintiff alleged she tripped on cracks in the outdoor walkway. We filed a motion for Final Summary Judgment alleging that the walkway constituted an open and obvious condition and that the Plaintiff’s knowledge of the condition was greater than, or equal to, the Defendant’s. At hearing, the Court granted our motion and dismissed the matter with prejudice.

  • Client lacked actual or constructive knowledge of danger

    Represented a hotel owner in a slip-and-fall lawsuit involving a guest. The Plaintiff alleged that she slipped on a puddle of water in the lobby. We filed a motion for Final Summary Judgment alleging that there was no evidence to show that the Defendant has actual or constructive notice of the alleged water. At hearing, the Court granted our motion and dismissed the matter with prejudice.

  • Lawsuit dropped after proving fraud on the court

    Represented a local hospital in a slip-and-fall lawsuit involving a then-patient. Plaintiff alleged that she slipped on a mopped floor and sustained injuries to her back. During her deposition, and throughout discovery, the Plaintiff denied ever sustaining injuries to her back prior to the incident. However, it was discovered that she had similar complaints in the past prior to the subject incident. We filed a Motion to Dismiss for Fraud on the Court Plaintiff’s counsel subsequently withdrew and the matter was ultimately dismissed.

  • Case dismissed for fraud on the court

    Plaintiff alleged hospital’s leaking toilet in the bathroom caused Plaintiff to fall and injure himself. Through discovery, it was determined that Plaintiff was dishonest about what he reported to the hospital on the date of incident and about his prior medical history. The Court granted the hospital’s Motion to Dismiss for Fraud on the Court and dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.

  • Plaintiff’s untruthful testimony results in dismissal

    Plaintiff alleged the hospital failed to identify him as a fall-risk resulting in Plaintiff falling from a stretcher and sustaining multiple injuries. After conducting written discovery, depositions and surveillance demonstrating that the Plaintiff was not truthful about the cause of the event or his alleged injuries, Plaintiff’s counsel withdrew from the case and the lawsuit was dismissed by the Court.

Product Liability

  • Defending claim without the product

    Suit filed by Plaintiff who was rendered paraplegic following a head on collision. Due to insufficient coverage available from the driver of the other vehicle, the case progressed as one for products liability, namely a defective steering module in the tortfeasor’s vehicle. Although the actual vehicle was sold following the accident, we were able to successfully defend the suit by ways of previous EDR download, testing of exemplar vehicles and deposition testimony of other customers of the same type of car.

  • Fire caused by user

    Successfully defended a claim that defective electrical wiring caused a vehicle to catch fire, leading to catastrophic injuries to the driver. Forensic evidence gathered proved that the fire was as a result of the acts of the driver. The evidence was provided to counsel representing the claimant, who then withdrew from the case.

First Party Defense

  • Motion to dismiss granted in false arrest claim

    Represented a vehicle leasing company in an alleged false arrest and breach of contract matter. The Plaintiff alleged that he was falsely detained by authorities after our client reported the vehicle in which the Plaintiff was operating as stolen. The Plaintiff claimed to be the lawful lessor of the vehicle at the time of the arrest. We filed a Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiff’s Complaint with Prejudice after the Plaintiff failed to attach any documents or evidence showing that he was the lawful lessor at the time of arrest. After several hearings and motions, our motion was granted the Plaintiff’s claim was dismissed in the initial pleading stages with prejudice.

  • Successful defense in water damage claim

    Represented homeowners Insurer for roof leak and interior water damage claims. We were able to have Plaintiff’s counsel pursue a liability case against their insured’s seller for failure to disclose roof defects as is required under the real estate law.  Plaintiff secured favorable results in the liability claim resulting in dismissal with prejudice of our client – insurer. 

Auto, Trucking and Rideshare Liability

  • Intoxication coverage exclusion upheld

    The driver of a rental vehicle was involved in a car accident, fatally injuring a husband and wife, who were driving in their car. The tortfeasor was arrested for DUI; however, the legitimacy of the blood draw and testing were questioned by the tortfeasor and his attorneys. After much litigation and expert discovery, our office prevailed in a federal declaratory action filed on behalf of the rental car company and its insurer, with summary judgment entered in its favor. The court ruled that the tortfeasor was, in fact, intoxicated at the time of the accident and that the intoxication exclusion in the insurance agreement was valid and not against public interest. 

  • Successfully defending a left turn case

    The Plaintiffs claimed serious bodily injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident, alleging that the Defendant improperly made a left-hand turn directly in front of them, violating their right of way. Our client claimed that he had a left green arrow, suggesting the Plaintiffs entered this intersection on a solid red light. Through intense discovery, light sequencing and investigation, our office was able to present forensic evidence at trial that proved that the Plaintiff entered the intersection on a solid red light. A defense verdict was returned for our client in under 30 minutes.

  • Plaintiff’s visual impairments caused the accident

    The Plaintiffs sustained serious injuries from a motor vehicle accident, with both eventually undergoing surgical intervention.  They claimed that our client improperly turned left in front of them at an intersection. The Plaintiffs maintained that they entered this intersection on a solid green light, whereas our client claimed he turned on a left green arrow, and that the Plaintiffs ran a red light. At trial, our office successfully proved to the jury that the driver of the Plaintiff’s vehicle had visual problems, and likely could not perceive the color of his traffic signal given his direction of travel, lighting and recent medical treatment for his eyes.  Our team put on forensic evidence to show the jury the significant reaction time the Plaintiff would have had to have avoided the accident and that his failure to do so is more evidence that in fact he simply did not see that his light was red due to visual problems. A defense verdict was returned.

  • Major injury case dismissed for fraud on the court

    The Plaintiffs alleged that they suffered neck and back injuries following an accident. In their depositions and answers to interrogatories, they denied sustaining any similar injuries before the subject accident. Discovery revealed that both Plaintiffs had sustained neck and back injuries in the past for which they sought treatment and filed claims. We filed a Motion to Dismiss for Fraud, Plaintiffs’ counsel withdrew and the matter was dismissed.

  • Dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of defendant

    County of Cumberland New Jersey v. Kwap, 220 So. 3d 1207 (Fla 4th DCA 2017): New Jersey county’s affidavit, that refuted the allegations in prisoner’s complaint, shifted the burden back to prisoner and required the court to look beyond the allegations in prisoner’s complaint, alleging that he was injured in accident while in van owned and operated by international prisoner extradition company, that was hired by county to transport prisoner from Palm Beach County to New Jersey, and court erred when it did not consider county’s affidavit and stated that the allegations in complaint, if true, provided basis to invoke Florida’s long-arm jurisdiction over county. Case dismissed by trial court on remand and dismissal was upheld on second appeal.

Construction Defects

  • Worker’s compensation immunity for owner of company

    Represented individual owner of construction company in a wrongful death action alleging owner personally acted with reckless indifference to the life and safety of employee killed in a construction accident, thus, Defendant was not entitled to statutory worker’s compensation immunity protection. Filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings arguing that a director, officer, owner, or shareholder of a corporation does not incur personal liability for the company’s torts merely by virtue of his relationship to the company. Specifically, he is not liable for torts committed by or for the corporation unless he has personally participated in or committed the tort. The Court granted the motion and agreed that the general factual allegations of the Complaint failed to adequately support a cause of action against the principal to establish that he was personally or actively involved in the subject incident which led to the Decedent’s death.

  • Defense verdict in multimillion-dollar claim

    Condominium unit owner claimed multiple construction design defects led to constructive eviction and made a multimillion dollar claim against our client.  The case was heavily contested and tried to jury verdict. The jury found in favor of our client on all claims. The case involved the need to locate construction documents which had been archived for decades and witness to the process, many of whom had relocated around the country.

  • Granting of motion to dismiss on laches defense

    Our firm was retained to defend allegations of defective design of security gates, which led to the death of a patron. This matter involved multiple defendants faulting each other, from the occupants of the building, to contractors and even governmental inspectors. After extensive litigation, we successfully prevailed on a motion to dismiss claiming that the action was time barred under the legal theory of laches.

  • Successful defense in residential mold case

    Successfully defended a heavily litigated construction defect case in which a home owner claimed damages ranging from economic losses in having to vacate her home, to major illness from mold exposure.  Our client, a subcontractor on the project, was the main target of not only the Plaintiff, but all the remaining defendants, namely general contractors and multiple subcontractors.  Through the discovery process, we were able to prove the culpability of the co-defendants, greatly reducing our client’s exposure and resulting in a nominal settlement.

Appellate Practice

  • Personal Injury Protection discovery into hospital’s billing practices

    Represented hospital at trial court and appellate level against PIP insurer seeking intrusive discovery of confidential financial information, pricing and revenue based on Fla. Stat. §627.736 (6)(b) which for “good cause shown” in limited circumstances can move for the discovery of non-party health care provider to determine the legitimacy of costs sought by PIP insured. Fourth District Court of Appeals agreed that discovery under the above statute is limited to facts of the treatment and to the related billing of the injured person only and not the hospital’s general billing practices. Therefore, the dismissal of the PIP insurer’s petition against the hospital was proper. Hospital was awarded all of its attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the circuit court and appellate forums. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Delray Medical Center, Inc. 178 So.3d 511 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015). 

  • Striking of expert’s conclusory opinion

    Mount Sinai Medical Center v. Gonzalez, 98 So. 3d 1198 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012): Engineering expert’s opinion testimony that defect in steps at hospital’s main bus stop was cause of fall in which wife’s husband was injured was insufficient to support finding in wife’s wrongful death action against hospital that such defect caused husband’s fall; expert’s opinion was conclusory in nature and was not supported by discernible factually-based chain of underlying reasoning. The Third District reversed with instructions to enter final judgment in favor of the Hospital.

  • Complaint amended after statute of limitations ran did not relate back

    Castro v. Linfante, 307 So. 3d 110 (Fla. 3d DCA 2020): Patient and her husband filed a claim for malpractice. After the statute of limitations expired, parents amended suit to bring a claim for their children. Third District held that the claims of the children did not relate back and, therefore, their claim was barred.

  • Attorney-client privilege does not protect all communications

    Coffey-Garcia v. South Miami Hospital, 194 So. 3d 533 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016): Attorney-client privilege protects only communications to and from a lawyer; it does not protect facts known by the client independent of any communication with the lawyer, even if the client later tells the fact to the lawyer; plaintiff was required to divulge information relating to names and dates of consultation with attorneys when statute of limitations was at issue.

  • Future damages struck as being purely speculative

    Wroy v. Parkway Regional Medical Center, 937 So. 2d 1116 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006): Plaintiff failed to present any evidence that defendants’ conduct in delaying breast cancer diagnosis resulted in a more likely than not chance of recurrence of breast cancer and, therefore, future damages were purely speculative.

  • Apparent authority only if appearance of the agency relationship created

    Guadagno v. Lifemark Hospitals of Florida, Inc., 972 So. 2d 214 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007):  No apparent agency relationship existed between hospital and emergency-room physician, and thus hospital was not vicariously liable for any negligence on the part of physician in the treatment of patient; physician was independent contractor where the hospital expressly disavowed an agency or employee relationship and conveyed that information to the patient, and patient acknowledged hospital’s disavowal of agency or employee relationship by signing admission documents. Apparent authority does not arise from the subjective understanding of the person dealing with the purported agent or from the appearances created by the purported agent himself; rather, apparent authority exists only where the principal creates the appearance of an agency relationship.

Administrative Law

  • Non-economic caps in arbitration

    Deno v. Lifemark Hospitals, 45 So. 3d 959 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010): Case of first impression. Established that the non-economic damage cap of $250,000 in arbitration was limited to per claimant, per incident; and not per claimant, per defendant.

  • Arbitration claims are subject to Florida Wrongful Death Act

    Lifemark Hospitals v. Afonso, 4 So. 3d 764 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009): Case of first impression. Established that medical malpractice arbitration claims were subject to the limitations of the Florida Wrongful Death Act.

  • Both spouses must accept or reject arbitration

    Bombalier v. Lifemark Hospital of Florida, 661 So. 2d 849 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995): Where a spouse of a patient has a derivative claim for loss of consortium, both spouses are required to either accept or reject arbitration under the medical malpractice pre-suit screening statute.

  • Past liens not recoverable in arbitration

    Matter involving a neonate that sustained a cardiac arrest in the NICU. The child had an anoxic brain injury, seizure disorder and was cortically blind. The arbitration panel ruled that past liens were not recoverable and would allow evidence of future collateral sources such as Social Security Disability and the availability of healthcare insurance. This substantially decreased plaintiffs’ past and future economic damages. The case was resolved shortly before arbitration.

Bad Faith Litigation

  • No bad faith in rejected tender

    Successfully defended an auto insurer in a bad faith lawsuit where the evidence was sufficient that the insurer promptly evaluated the claim and tendered policy limits of $10,000 with a proposed Release within 9 days. Plaintiff’s counsel rejected the tender claiming there was a conflict between decision on accepting liability on the property damage case and the tender on the bodily injury claim.  Auto case went to trial and a judgment was obtained with interest in excess of $500,000. Evidence developed in the bad faith lawsuit proved that the Plaintiff’s lawyer knew the difference between property damage subrogation issues with capped limits and receiving a check for the bodily injury limits was timely and in compliance with its duty to settle claims to protect their insureds from personal exposure. The case settled for a substantially lower amount shortly after our Motion For Summary Judgment was filed on behalf of the carrier.

Get the Latest
from Falk Waas

Keep up to date on the latest news, success
stories, legal advice and more.

Newsletter Signup