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Florida Supreme Court Declines to Adopt Florida Legislature’s Daubert Amendment

Posted in Articles, Legal Alerts by Robert C. Graham, Jr. and Jeffrey M. Paskert on Thu Feb 16, 2017

For many years Florida followed the Frye standard for the admissibility of expert testimony based upon new or novel scientific evidence.  See Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923).   In 2013, the Florida Legislature, through what has been dubbed the Daubert Amendment, replaced the Frye standard with the Daubert standard.  The Daubert standard stems from the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), which established the federal court standard for expert testimony.  Since then, federal courts have continued to apply the Daubert standard, and 36 states have adopted the Daubert standard. read more

Motor Vehicle Dealer Bonds: Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal Punts on Attorneys' Fees Issue

Posted in Articles, Legal Alerts by Matthew G. Davis on Wed Feb 15, 2017

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently had the opportunity to provide much needed guidance on the issue of whether a statutory motor vehicle dealer bond caps the surety’s liability for plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees at the penal sum of the bond.  Unfortunately, the court found another issue to be dispositive and declined to rule on the attorneys’ fees issue. 

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Southern District of Florida Upholds the Bond Pre-Claim Terms as Conditions Precedent to Filing a Claim Against a Surety

Posted in Legal Alerts by Ryan J. Weeks on Wed Jan 4, 2017

In Arch Insurance Company v. John Moriarty & Associates of Florida, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-22403-RNS (S.D. Fla. December 12, 2016), Arch Insurance Company (“Arch”) sued John Moriarty & Associates of Florida, Inc. (“Moriarty”) seeking a declaration that there was no coverage under a performance-and-payment bond (“Bond”) that Arch issued on a project naming Moriarty as the obligee.  Moriarty was the general contractor and sought $995,239.83 from Arch, under the performance side of the Bond, related to alleged shortfalls of the subcontractor/principal.

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Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal Finds Unsupported Expert Testimony Inadmissible under Daubert

Posted in Legal Alerts by Jeffrey M. Paskert and Dara L. Dawson on Fri Sep 23, 2016

On September 14, 2016, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed an $8 million verdict for the plaintiff in Crane Co. v. Delisle, finding that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting unreliable expert testimony upon which the plaintiff relied to prove causation. 2016 WL 4771438 (Fla. 4th DCA September 14, 2016).  The plaintiff alleged that the defendants’ asbestos-containing products were substantial contributing causes of his mesothelioma, and the plaintiff presented multiple experts to support this allegation.  read more

Middle District of Florida Judicially Expands Definition of Statutory Payment Bond

Posted in Legal Alerts by Matthew G. Davis on Mon Jul 18, 2016

Maschmeyer Concrete Co. of Fla. vs. American Southern Ins. Co., Case No. 6:15-cv-912-Orl-37KRS (M. D. Fla. 2016), involved a materialman’s claim against a payment bond for materials furnished to the bonded contractor on a City of Orlando concrete repair and construction project.  read more