Rob Klein and Lisa Harris were successful in a multi-week trial of a legal malpractice claim against a large national defense firm, which had purportedly failed to advise an insurance carrier client that it was being “set up” for bad faith in a claim against an insured, who was represented by the Firm. The insurance company ultimately settled the underlying claim and a potential claim for bad faith for $7.5 million. The law firm’s primary defense was based upon its contention that the carrier had no legitimate exposure to a bad faith claim in Florida, and that the Firm simply did not have sufficient information to advise the carrier to settle the claim, which was not yet in suit. The Plaintiff in the underlying action failed to provide any meaningful information whatsoever as to the scope of the claimant’s injuries, and there was a legitimate question as to whether or not the insured was at fault for the accident. The defendants also argued that the carrier settled the potential bad faith case claim for reasons which were wholly unrelated to any exposure posed by the underlying claim, to the extent that the carrier was using unlicensed claims personnel to adjust claims in Florida, and had established policy limits reserves on the underlying claim without ever consulting the firm. The jury returned a verdict in less than an hour.
Michael Shelley and Richard Jones obtained summary judgment in favor of a government contractor who provided security services at an immigration detention center in the case of Rodriguez v. Akal filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The plaintiff, a detainee, was rendered a quadriplegic when he was injured after either falling or jumping from gym equipment installed in the detention center. The plaintiff alleged that the contractor was negligent in failing to supervise him, provide him instruction in the use of the equipment, or otherwise warn him of a dangerous condition. Summary judgment was granted on the theory that the danger created by the gym equipment was open and obvious and that the plaintiff was the proximate cause of his own injuries.