Legal Issues

DEATH PENALTY  The Florida Attorney General’s Office has stated that they intend to appeal the recent Florida Supreme Court death penalty ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Florida court ruled that jury death penalty recommendations must be unanimous.

DEATH SENTENCE REVIEWS  Reacting to their unanimous death penalty sentencing ruling, the Florida Supreme Court has begun reviewing cases and issuing re-sentencing orders for several inmates.  In a case involving an inmate killing a North Florida corrections officer and a Polk County quadruple murderer case, the Court upheld their convictions, but ordered new sentencing hearings.

MALPRACTICE APPEAL  The estate of a deceased woman has filed an appeal with the Florida Supreme Court seeking to overturn a 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling.  The woman died on the operating table at Tampa General Hospital at the hands of two doctors employed by the University of South Florida.  The estate sued the hospital for negligence but the District Court ruled the hospital had no liability because the doctors were University employees.

ARBITRATION REQUIREMENT  The Florida Supreme Court has refused to reconsider a case involving mandatory arbitration.  A father, who suffered the loss of an eye while at a nursing home, sued the Miami home.  The home demanded arbitration as required by their agreement.  However, the man’s son had executed the agreement on behalf of his father and the Court ruled the mandatory requirement did not apply.

GAMING AMENDMENT LANGUAGE  Voters in Charge, the group behind a proposed Florida constitutional amendment concerning gaming, recently appeared before the Florida Supreme Court to present their proposed amendment language.  The amendment, which the sponsors want to be on the 2018 ballot, seeks to ensure that voters have the final say in all gaming questions.  During the hearing, Justices appeared skeptical of the language because it may not meet the one subject requirement as required by law.

SMOKER’S DEATH AWARD  The 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that an $18.5 million award to a deceased woman’s daughter was excessive, and ordered the circuit judge to either reduce the amount or order a new trial.  The woman died in 1993 from lung cancer and the adult child had sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.


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