Justia Florida Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Business Law
White v. Mederi Caretenders Visiting Services of Southeast Florida, LLC
Home health referral sources can be a protected legitimate business interest under Fla. Stat. 542.335. In these two cases consolidated for review before the Supreme Court, both Employees were former employees of licensed home health care companies. Both Employees engaged in conduct in violation of their non-compete compliment contracts by working for direct competitors of their prior employers within the non-compete territories during the relevant periods. Because a contract providing restrictions on competition must involve a legitimate business interest as defined by statute to be enforceable, at issue was whether home health service referral sources can be a protected legitimate business interest under section 542.335 sufficient to support a restriction on competition in a contract. The Supreme Court held that home health service referrals may be a protected legitimate business interest depending on the context and proof adduced. View "White v. Mederi Caretenders Visiting Services of Southeast Florida, LLC" on Justia Law
Citrus County Hosp. Bd. v. Citrus Memorial Health Found., Inc.
Due to a dispute between the Citrus County Hospital Board and the Citrus Memorial Health Foundation, Inc., the Legislature enacted a special law that reeancted the Board’s charter. Section 16 of the charter included subsections that specifically addressed the Board’s relationship with the Foundation. The Foundation filed suit against the Board seeking a declaratory judgment that the the special law was an unconstitutional impairment of the parties’ contracts. The circuit court granted summary judgment for the Board, concluding (1) the Foundation was prohibited from challenging the constitutionality of the special law because it was a public or quasi-public corporation; and (2) the special law did not impair the Foundation’s contracts. The First District Court of Appeal reversed, holding that, as applied to the Foundation, the special law significantly altered the parties’ contractual rights and was an unconstitutional impairment of their contracts. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Contract Clause of the Florida Constitution applies to the Foundation’s contracts; and (2) as applied, the special law unconstitutionally impairs the Foundation’s contracts. View "Citrus County Hosp. Bd. v. Citrus Memorial Health Found., Inc." on Justia Law
Cortez v. Palace Resorts, Inc.
Petitioner, a California resident, was sexually assaulted while vacationing in Mexico. The assault occurred while Petitioner received a complimentary massage in exchange for her attendance at a resort's timeshare presentation. Petitioner sued the resort, a corporation with its primary place of business in Florida, (the Florida Defendants) for negligent vacation packaging. The Florida Defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens, arguing that Mexico would be a more convenient forum. The trial court granted the motion. The court of appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court quashed the court of appeal's decision, holding that the court misapplied the forum non conveniens analysis, particularly by failing to afford a strong presumption in favor of Plaintiff's initial choice of an otherwise proper forum. View "Cortez v. Palace Resorts, Inc." on Justia Law
Tiara Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Cos.
Tiara Condominium Association (Tiara) retained Marsh & McLennan (Marsh) as its insurance broker. Marsh secured windstorm coverage through Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens), which issued a policy that contained a loss limit in an amount close to $50 million. Tiara's condominium subsequently sustained damages caused by two hurricanes. After being assured by Marsh that the loss limits coverage was per occurrence, Tiara spent more than $100 million in remediation efforts. However, when Tiara sought payment from Citizens, Citizens claimed that the loss limit was $50 million in the aggregate, not per occurrence. Tiara filed suit against Marsh, alleging, inter alia, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence. The trial court granted summary judgment for Marsh on all claims. The appeals affirmed with the exception of the negligence and breach of fiduciary claims, as to which it certified a question to the Supreme Court to determine whether the economic loss rule prohibits recovery, or whether an insurance broker falls within the professional services exception that would allow Tiara to proceed with the claims. The Court answered by holding that the application of the economic loss rule is limited to products liability cases. View "Tiara Condo. Ass'n, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Cos. " on Justia Law