Injury & Tort Law News - U.S. Eleventh Circuit
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Allstate Victorious in Unjust Enrichment Claims

The Eleventh Circuit has ruled that Allstate Insurance company is owed $663,000 in fees arising out of a multitude of false claims that were made by several Florida clinics. The circumstances of the case indicated that hundreds upon hundreds of insurance claims were completely bogus.

The defendants appealed their loss in federal court but lost again at the appellate level. Meanwhile, the doctor named in the case may want to consider retirement.

Greenpeace Wields RICO Claim, Gets Hit Back

When Greenpeace submitted a complaint alongside other environmental groups pushing for the investigation of BigOil and their friends, it looked as if the interest group had finally found a vulnerable point in the giant's armor. Greenpeace then used RICO to pry open an even larger vulnerability.

But RICO can giveth, and it can taketh away, as Greenpeace is now aware. The Canadian paper-pulping company Resolute Forest Products recently filed its own RICO suit in Georgia federal court, alleging that Greenpeace and its affiliates have waged a defamatory "enterprise" against the company.

Cadillac Window Sticker Class Action Gets Nod From Court

Here's some good news for litigious Cadillac drivers. The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a lower court's finding that purchasers of GM's 2014 Cadillac CTS sedans could properly be certified as a class for purposes of suit.

It's a second validation for the plaintiffs, who had earlier beat opposing motions by GM in a lower federal district court. Under the Eleventh Circuit's affirmation, all Floridian's who purchased 2014 Cadillac CTS sedans could be part of the class of plaintiffs suing under Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

11th Cir. Reverses Class Cert. in Frigidaire 'Smelly Washer' Case

The Eleventh Circuit recently reversed class certification for California and Texas plaintiffs who sought to bring a massive mass tort against home appliance maker, Electrolux. The case, which is about class certification of groups of plaintiffs in California and Texas, involved the unfortunate tendency of the company's washers to trap water and mold up.

Electrolux, dba Frigidaire still has some options litigation wise, but the circuit's decision can still be seen as a victory, at least because it has a tendency to make plaintiffs' lawyers jobs that much more difficult.

Fugees Rapper Can Revive Defamation Suit Against NY Post

Prakazrel Michel, aka "Pras" of the band Fugees, will be allowed to revive his defamation claim against the New York Post over allegations that the gossip publication's piece on him damaged his reputation. It had earlier been dismissed by a lower federal court because the judge there thought that a gossip column spoke for itself.

This case is interesting in that the appeals court affirmed the dismissal for a different reason. As a result, even though the district court dismissed with prejudice, this slight change gave Pras the hope he needed to keep fighting.

11th Circuit Rules That Defective Gun Design Killed Man

The Eleventh Circuit reversed a lower court judgment that granted a motion to exclude expert testimony in a gun malfunction case. The expert's testimony would have explained how a gun malfunctioned and shot its owner through his chest.

This case is a bit of a treat as lawyers do not often see a lower district court's opinion so completely disregarded by the appeals court.

Target Can Use Rosa Parks' Name and Image for Sales, 11th Cir. Rules

The name Rosa Parks evokes powerful imagery of the fight for Civil Rights in this country. Now, when people think of Rosa Parks, they will also be reminded of this appropriation lawsuits in the Eleventh Circuit.

The circuit court ruled in favor of Target, who sought to sell civil rights themed merchandise in its stores featuring Parks' likeness, much to the chagrin of the institute founded by Parks (The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development aka "RRPI) that sought to enjoin such sales.

11th Cir. Dismisses Challenge to Water Pollution Oversight

The Eleventh Circuit recently dismissed a petition for appeal by a small group of environmental groups seeking to remove Alabama's authority to run the local arm of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

This is not the final say on whether or not the case will move forward, since the circuit dismissed the case essentially for lack of ripeness.

Royal Caribbean Can Be Held Liable for Passenger's Death: 11th Cir.

It's well established that there's no respondeat superior liability levied on ship owners for the negligent medical care of the ship's crew, no matter how negligent they are. But what about an agency theory? That was an issue of first impression for the Eleventh Circuit in Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises.

The short, short version: Pasquale Vaglio fell, hitting his head while Royal Caribbean's "Explorer of the Seas" was docked in Bermuda. The ship's nurse failed to correctly diagnose his head trauma, had him wait for four hours, then "released him with no treatment to speak of." Vaglio died a week later.

11th Cir. Revives Lawsuit Over an Unseen Junk Fax

We were just talking about junk faxes, largely because our office keeps getting them. (And no, fool, I don't want to hire someone who uses a fax machine to design a mobile app for my company.) They're annoying as heck, and they're also prohibited by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The case of Palm Beach Golf Center-Boca Inc. v. John G. Sarris, DDS, involves a junk fax, sent by a dentist, that a golf club probably received -- the fax logs say that it was successfully transmitted and that the two fax machines connected for over a minute -- but nobody seems to have seen. Nonetheless, the Eleventh Circuit has revived the putative class-action lawsuit and will allow it to proceed on two grounds: the TCPA and common law conversion.