Taylor Day Law

The Briefing

Substantial Hit to Indivisible Injury Argument in Florida

Substantial Hit to Indivisible Injury Argument in Florida

July 27, 2020 For Immediate Release Written by: Christopher J. Mueller, Esq. & Taylor Schmidinger, Law Clerk Recently, the Fourth District Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s apportionment of damages between an engineering firm, a general contractor, and a program manager in the matter of Broward County, Florida v. CH2M Hill, Inc. In doing so, the appeals court dealt a substantial, if not fatal, blow to the concept of indivisible injury among multiple breaches of contract causing a single harm. In the underlying case, Broward County alleged that the general contractor for a project to construct a taxiway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport breached its contract with the County by performing defective work which contributed to the defective construction of the taxiway. The County also alleged that an engineering firm, breached its contract with the County through errors, omissions, or defects in the design of the project as well.  The trial court entered a final judgment in favor of the County and subsequently allocated damages for breach of contract between Triple R, CH2M, and a former party in the lawsuit that had settled before trial.  The trial court allocated the damages as follows: (1) 60% of the damages to the former party; (2) 25% of the damages to Triple R; and (3) 15% of the damages to CH2M. In doing so, the trial court rejected the County’s argument that judgment should be joint and several, arguing the County’s breach of contract damages were indivisible and therefore not subject to […]

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The Artemis Accords – Law for Lunar Explorers

The Artemis Accords – Law for Lunar Explorers

While the Artemis Accords sounds like a treaty to come out of a sci-fi film, Japan joins the latest group of nations to agree to collaborate on the Artemis Program. The goal of the Artemis Program is for NASA to corroborate with other nations for lunar surface exploration and establishment of a foothold to Mars. NASA’s immediate goal is to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, heralding a new era for space exploration and utilization. And signing the Joint Exploration Declaration of Intent, code-named JEDI, along with the Artemis accords establishes a common set of principals to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967[1] (“Treaty”) of both governments and private companies. Among the agreements of the Artemis Accords are to promote international cooperation for peaceful purposes, transparency, interoperability through implementation of international standards, provide emergency assistance when needed, register space objects, release scientific data to the world at large, protect historic sites around the moon (such as the Apollo 11 landing site), space resource extraction and utilization to be conducted under the tenets of the Treaty, the creation of “safety zones” and information of locations off-limits to the general public, and the mitigation of orbital debris and Spacecraft disposal. The Artemis Accords are just one small step to continued space exploration and our return to the moon and the giant leap beyond. [1] The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 is a list of […]

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Sharpening the Axe: Forging the Tools Needed to Optimize Your Response to the COVID-19 Disruptions.

Supply shortages, stay-at-home orders, mandatory business closures, businesses today are facing unprecedented challenges. ALFA members, John Osgathorpe, Joseph Fortner, Angela Higgins and Jennifer Pedevillano, examine theories related to excusing non-performance, discuss which insurances may be relied upon and action steps to take in re-negotiating or litigating Covid-19 related issues. OptimizeResponseToCovid-19

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Is the Carrier also the Client?

Is the Carrier also the Client?

Recently, the Florida Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction and set for oral argument the matter of Arch Insurance Company v. Kubicki Draper, LLP.  Arch asked the Fourth District Court of Appeal to certify the following question to the Florida Supreme Court: WHETHER AN INSURER HAS STANDING TO MAINTAIN A MALPRACTICE ACTION AGAINST COUNSEL HIRED TO REPRESENT THE INSURED WHERE THE INSURER HAS A DUTY TO DEFEND. In the underlying case, Arch alleged that Kubicki Draper, LLP, a sizeable state-wide Florida law firm whom it hired to defend an insured, did not timely assert a viable statute of limitations defense, which in turn, caused Arch to have to pay a large settlement (within the policy limits) that may have otherwise been avoided.  Kubicki won summary judgment by asserting that Florida law limits standing on suits for attorney malpractice to only the client-insured, with whom the firm has privity of contract.  On appeal, Arch conceded that there was no Florida case on point that extended the privity from insured to insurer, nor cast the insurer as an intended third-party beneficiary of the attorneys’ advice and counsel (the lone exception recognized in Florida law).  Still, Arch asked the Fourth DCA to consider relevant federal case law that “guessed” how Florida courts might rule on such a question, and put forth a public policy argument that lawyers are insulated from malpractice suits if the insurer is unable to sue on behalf of its insured for a lawyer’s negligence. The Fourth DCA ultimately incorporated the trial […]

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2019 – 2020 ALFA – Florida Construction Law Compendium Now Available.

Each year, the Construction Practice Group of ALFA International publishes a State-by-State Construction Law Compendium, designed to serve as a single resource for ALFA clients regarding important construction law issues in each of the states where ALFA firms are located.  This Compendium provides a synopsis of significant case law or statutes for a variety of topics.  Attorneys Michael Cox, Job Fickett and Katherine Rafferty teamed up to author the ALFA – Florida Construction Law Compendium (2019). About ALFA International:  ALFA International is an exclusive global network of independent law firms, who partner together, to provide clients and in-house counsel high quality, cost-effective legal solutions.  Only one law firm represents the ALFA network in each metropolitan area, state, or country. Taylor Day is proud to be the ALFA International representative firm for the Jacksonville area.

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Taylor, Day, Grimm & Boyd Welcomes New Associate Emily W. Pribisco

Taylor, Day, Grimm & Boyd Welcomes New Associate Emily W. Pribisco

Taylor, Day, Grimm & Boyd is pleased to announce that Emily W. Prisbisco has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney.  Emily began her practice as an Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit.  She then transitioned into dependency law where she was a Senior Attorney for The Department of Children and Family Services.   Subsequent to working for the State, Emily gained experience in civil litigation working in insurance defense in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Having relocated to St. Augustine, she now joins the firm’s growing PIP practice, focusing on Personal Injury Protection Defense and Insurance Coverage. 

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Taylor Day Welcomes Kenneth A. Tomchin

Taylor Day Welcomes Kenneth A. Tomchin

The law firm of Taylor, Day, Grimm & Boyd is pleased to announce the addition of Kenneth A. Tomchin. With over 30 years of experience, Ken is one of only 18 Jacksonville lawyers certified by the Florida Bar as a Specialist in Business Litigation. Mr. Tomchin has also been selected as a Florida Super Lawyer on multiple occasions, including his most recent selection for 2019. Ken was previously a shareholder of the former law firm of Mahoney, Adams & Criser before founding Tomchin & Odom in the spring of 1997. He is a member of the Florida Bar and is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. Ken will continue his business litigation practice for Taylor Day, teaming up with Board Certified Construction Law attorneys, Reed Grimm & Chris Mueller. We are excited to welcome Ken to the team. His skills and knowledge greatly complement our firm’s focus on providing client-oriented legal services.

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Limiting Liabilities of Spaceflight in Florida: A Step Towards Space Tourism?

Limiting Liabilities of Spaceflight in Florida: A Step Towards Space Tourism?

Fifty years ago, the world held its breath as it could hear and see mankind walk upon the surface of another world. Fast-forward to today and a lot has changed: technology, politics, and the space race, but still no casino on the Moon as in Andy Weir’s book Artemis. Even though we have access to over 100,000 times the processing power in our small, half-pound smartphone, as compared to the 70-pound behemoth known as the Apollo Guidance Computer, Commercialized Space, specifically Space Tourism, is still in its infancy. However, that slowly started to change when the United States enacted the Commercial Space Launch Act and retired its Space Shuttle Program. Companies such as Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Orion Span, and Boeing (to name just a few) have started the slow ascent into commercializing spaceflight with some even providing launch vehicles to both the government and commercial companies at a reduced cost. In order to keep U.S. companies in competition with the rest of the world, the United States passed the previously mentioned Commercial Space Launch Act (“Launch Act”). The Launch Act requires companies to either obtain third-party liability insurance[1] or show it has the financial responsibility in order to cover third-party claims up to the maximum probability loss (“MPL”) when the company is issued a launch or reentry license by the United State Government. Each MPL is determined on a case-by-case basis; however, the cap is set at $500 million in 1988 dollars. Adjusting to current market inflation, that […]

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WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR A CONTRACTOR BEING INJURED OR KILLED ON YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY?

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR A CONTRACTOR BEING INJURED OR KILLED ON YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY?

If you hire a contractor to perform services at your business, you might be interested to know that your legal standard of care is different from the duties owed to a customer.  Of course, when a workplace injury occurs to an employee of an independent contractor on your premises, you probably expect workers’ compensation coverage to be available, and it may be.  However, the existence of workers’ compensation coverage might not preclude third-party liability.  In other words, the premises owner or possessor—regardless of whether you lease or own the premises— may still be liable for the injury. The legal analysis of an injury or death of an employee of an independent contractor on your premises is significantly different than that of a customer. Under Florida law, a premises owner or possessor owes two duties to business invitees, including customers: (1) a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition; and (2) a duty to warn of latent dangers. As to an independent contractor, a premises owner or possessor (a lessee) who hires an independent contractor is generally not liable for injuries sustained by that contractor’s employees in performing their work.  That’s true even when the work is dangerous, as long as the risks are disclosed and/or clearly incidental to the work. Of course, every general legal rule has exceptions.  A premises owner or possessor may be held liable for damages sustained by the employee of an independent contractor when (1) the owner or possessor actively participates in or […]

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Ryan W. Reese Attends June 2019, The Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee Meeting

Ryan W. Reese Attends June 2019, The Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee Meeting

Helping clients stay ahead of legal developments is a critical part of our practice. Whether it’s taking advantage of new technologies, serving on committees dedicated to studying new legislation and regulations, to continuously develop our client-specific service offerings, we assist our clients in staying ahead of economic, regulatory and legislative developments. Attorney, Ryan Reese, who was recently appointed by The Florida Bar President, John Steward, is seen here attending last Friday’s The Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee meeting

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