PROPOSALS FOR SETTLEMENT
Lyons v. Chamoun, 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 14493 (Fla. 4th DCA Aug. 29, 2012) held that where the Proposal for Settlement was directed to the defendant owner and offered to release the defendant, the proposal was ambiguous because the plaintiff had sued both the owner and driver of the vehicle. The better practice is to attach the proposed settlement rather than attempt to describe it. See Juan Ramirez, Jr., Florida Civil Procedure, § 21-5, at n.415.2 (2d. ed.).
FORECLOSURE / MOTION TO VACATE
Gascue v. HSBC Bank, 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 14491 (Fla. 4th DCA August 29, 2012) reversed the denial of a motion to vacate summary judgment at a non-evidentiary hearing. The motion alleged that the defendant had retained counsel who did not appear at the hearing on the motion for summary judgment. In addition, defendant asserted a meritorious defense that the bank had no standing as it was not the holder of the note and mortgage at the time suit was filed.
CERTIORARI / MOTION FOR REDUCTION OF TRANSFER BOND / AFFIDAVITS
TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE WITH A DEAD BODY / RECKLESS INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
Hall v. White, 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 14328 (Fla. 1st DCA August 29, 2012) concluded that the trial court erroneously taxed $84,898.25 in attorney’s fees against the defendant on the plaintiffs’ unpaid wage claim under Chapter 448, F.S., because the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof and because the trial court erred in concluding that the issues and claims in the case were inextricably intertwined. Under F.S. § 448.08, attorney's fees and costs may be awarded to the prevailing party in an action for unpaid wages, but F.S. § 448.08 does not apply to independent contractors. Here, the plaintiffs brought a claim for unpaid wages, but also brought a claim concerning Dr. White’s service as an independent contractor. The jury awarded plaintiffs $916.14 on their unpaid wage claim and $23,707.94 in damages on the remaining claim. The issues in the case were not inextricably intertwined because the claims could support independent actions and were not simply alternative theories of liability for the same wrong. As to the fees awarded under F.S. § 57.105, the trial court erred in not splitting the fees between the defendant and her attorney.