Breger v. Robshaw Custom Homes, Inc. – 5th DCA
The Fifth District reversed a Trial Court Order enforcing a settlement and dismissing the complaint with prejudice. Plaintiffs owned certain real property as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. The Defendant entered into a contract with the Appellants to improve the property. After completion, the Plaintiffs were not satisfied with the quality of the work, filing a lawsuit for breach of contract and negligence. Plaintiffs each filed individual proposals for settlement, with the Defendants accepting one of them. The Defendant believed that acceptance of one would end the lawsuit. The Trial Court agreed, stating that the claims were “undifferentiated” and that settlement as to one Plaintiff was binding as to all. The Fifth District disagreed, noting that acceptance must be a mirror image of the offer. The Fifth District noted that the acceptance was not (as it included the other Plaintiffs) and further found that one Plaintiff could not bind the others to a settlement.
Younkin v. Blackwelder – 5th DCA 2019
In this case, the Fifth District held that a plaintiff was entitled to know the total number of times a defense firm has retained an expert to perform a Compulsory Medical Examination as well as the amounts paid to that physician. The Court based this decision on Allstate Ins. Co. v. Boecher, where the Florida Supreme Court held that similar information with respect to an insurer’s relationship with an expert was discoverable. The Fifth District also certified conflict with the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Worley v. Central Florida YMCA, which held that the attorney-client privilege prohibited a defendant from obtaining discovery from a Plaintiff’s law firm regarding the number of times it referred clients to a particular physician. As the Younkin Court noted, a plaintiff’s firm can refer all of its clients to the same physician and this information is not discoverable, yet the same protections are not afforded to Defendants.