Appellate Practice

Falk Waas attorneys are experienced in representing clients in appellate matters related to all areas of our practice.

This includes the handling of all pretrial motions, as well as pursuing appeals during litigation and post-trial. We represent our clients in both the state and federal appellate courts.

Collectively, our attorneys leverage their decades of experience across various practice areas to strategically deliver the best results for our clients.

Representative Cases

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.

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