Legal Updates

CIGARETTE ADDICTION Three separate Florida juries issued verdicts against cigarette manufacturers R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris.  The awards totaled $12 million, $2.5 million and $1 million respectively. 

SCOOTER LIABILITY Lime, a dockless scooter company, has been sued in state court because of injuries sustained by one of their users.  The company instructed users to not ride on sidewalks, which is a violation of Fort Lauderdale’s municipal code.  The user was subsequently hit by a car, suffering a traumatic brain injury.

GLORIA ESTEFAN HOTEL A Florida appeals court has reversed a $5.6 million judgment won by a hotel owned by singer Gloria Estefan.  The hotel had suffered significant hurricane damage in 2004 by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne.  The appeals court ruled the trial court had erred by not adhering to pretrial agreements.

EVERGLADES OIL WELL A Florida appeals court has reversed the denial of an exploratory oil well proposal by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  The court ruled the Everglades well could be permitted because the court could no longer defer to a state agency’s interpretation of Florida law.

SPERM BANK An appeals court has ruled in favor of a for-profit sperm bank stating that a couple had no legal standing to sue.  The couple accused the bank of selling sperm without disclosing the donor’s education level and schizophrenia diagnosis. 

AIRBNB A state court has ruled in favor of Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms when it determined they were not responsible parties under state law and therefore are not required to collect and remit a Florida county’s local tourist development taxes.RENTAL CAR FEES Attorney General Moody has settled the state’s lawsuit against Dollar and Thrifty Car Rental companies.  The settlement requires the rental agencies to disclose toll and PlatePass fees to customers and to provide refunds to customers who were previously forced to pay the exorbitant fees.  To see the claim form, go here.