Bechtel Corporation v. Batchelor – (3rd DCA)
In this premises liability action, the Bechtel Corporation Court held that the Trial Court erred in denying the defendant’s motion for directed verdict where there was insufficient evidence that the defendant exercised possession and control of the premises required to satisfy a premises liability claim. The Bechtel Corporation Court agreed that where more than one person is under a duty to maintain the premises, liability is predicated upon the person who has control of egress and ingress and not ownership of the property. Given that no witnesses testified that the defendant had controlled the property, the Trial Court should have granted a directed verdict.
Wallace v. Keldie – (1st DCA)
The Court held that the Trial Court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing a personal injury suit for fraud upon the court where the plaintiff fraudulently concealed his history of chronic low back pain by falsely testifying about his medical history during deposition. According to medical records, seven months prior to the accident at issue, the plaintiff slipped and fell off a stepladder resulting in pain radiating into his left leg. Additionally, a medical records from an emergency room visit 9 days after the accident at issue reflected that the plaintiff stated that his back pain began a long time ago and it was made worse by the first accident. The court did not accept the plaintiff’s explanation that a poor memory caused his memory loss or that his testimony was influenced by heavy drinking or medications.
City of Coral Gables v. Blanco – (3rd DCA)
In this case, the Court held that it did not have jurisdiction to review a non-final Order where the Trial Court found that the City, as a matter of law, was not entitled to sovereign immunity at the Motion to Dismiss stage. The Trial Court found that the City failed to establish that sovereign immunity was self-evident under the facts as pled. This case reinforces the standing rule of the Courts of Appeal that at the Motion to Dismiss stage, sovereign immunity is not an appealable issue unless the Trial Court holds, as a matter of law, that the party is not entitled to sovereign immunity.