In a tort case (GISELLE GATTORNO and DAVID IGLESIAS, Appellants, v. STEVEN SOUTO, Appellee. 3rd District. Case No. 3D23-0639. L.T. Case No. 21-22353. March 27, 2024) involving a pedestrian struck by a vehicle, the plaintiff sustained permanent and severe injuries when he was pinned between two vehicles after the defendant reversed out of a parking space. The plaintiff sought punitive damages, alleging that the driver was intoxicated when she struck him with a car owned by a codefendant. The trial court permitted the plaintiff to amend the complaint to include the claim for punitive damages. Upon review, it was determined that the trial court appropriately considered and weighed the evidence presented by both parties, acting as a factfinder and fulfilling its role as a gatekeeper. Consequently, the trial court’s decision to grant the plaintiff’s motion for punitive damages was deemed appropriate, as the plaintiff provided a reasonable evidentiary basis for such recovery.

In Florida, punitive damages serve not to compensate the plaintiff further but to penalize the defendant for wrongful behavior and to discourage similar actions by them and others in the future (Manheimer v. Fla. Power & Light Co., 48 Fla. L. Weekly D1495, 2023 WL 4919540, at *2 (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 2, 2023), quoting Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. v. Ballard, 749 So. 2d 483, 486 (Fla. 1999)). Section 768.72(1) outlines that in any civil action, punitive damages can only be pursued if there is sufficient evidence in the record or presented by the claimant to justify such damages. Essentially, the statute requires the trial court to act as a gatekeeper, preventing claims for punitive damages where there is no reasonable basis for recovery (KIS Grp., LLC v. Moquin, 263 So. 3d 63, 65 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019)). This role is crucial because punitive damages significantly impact litigation, exposing the defendant to financial scrutiny and potential uninsured losses (Manheimer, 48 Fla. L. Weekly D1495 at *2). In determining whether punitive damages are warranted, the trial court must carefully evaluate the evidence presented by both parties, weighing each party’s submissions and acting as a factfinder (Manheimer, 48 Fla. L. Weekly D1495 at *3). However, the statute does not demand that plaintiffs prove entitlement to punitive damages by clear and convincing evidence at the pleading stage, as imposing such a requirement would undermine the statute and hinder a claimant’s ability to seek punitive damages (Deaterly v. Jacobson, 313 So. 3d 798, 801 (Fla. 2d DCA 2021)).

Giselle Gattorno and David Iglesias, who were defendants in the lower court, are appealing a nonfinal order that granted Steven Souto’s motion to amend his complaint to include a claim for punitive damages. The appellants argue that the trial court made an error in allowing the amendment, stating that Souto failed to present sufficient evidence to justify the claim for punitive damages, as required by section 768.72(1) of the Florida Statutes (2021). The lawsuit stems from an incident in which Gattorno, driving Iglesias’ car, reversed out of a parking space, causing Souto severe injuries. Souto sued Gattorno and Iglesias for negligence, alleging that Gattorno operated the car negligently and that Iglesias, as the car owner, was vicariously liable.

Selecting the right personal injury law firm is a crucial decision that can greatly impact the outcome of your case. In Florida, where accidents are unfortunately common, it’s essential to have reliable legal representation to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. However, many people make mistakes when choosing a personal injury law firm, which can have serious consequences for their case.

It is a decision that is as serious as selecting the best surgeon or specialist for your child’s critical condition. In light of the importance of making the right decision, it is informative to look at the mistakes people make when selecting the best Florida personal injury law firm for their case.

Types of Claims and Injuries That You May Need a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

In bustling urban areas throughout Florida, children often rely on school crossing guards to safely navigate busy streets and intersections on their way to and from school. These dedicated individuals play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of young pedestrians, particularly in crosswalks where traffic can be unpredictable. However, the effectiveness of crossing guards hinges not only on their presence but also on their training and adherence to established guidelines.

In Florida, the Department of Transportation (FDOT) has outlined comprehensive School Crossing Guard Training Guidelines to equip crossing guards with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their duties effectively. These guidelines encompass various aspects, including understanding traffic patterns, proper positioning at intersections, and strategies for safely guiding pedestrians across the street. Despite the availability of these training guidelines, instances of children being injured in crosswalks still occur. Often, these incidents highlight a critical gap in implementation: the failure to ensure that crossing guards are adequately trained and positioned to mitigate potential risks.

3 million Dollar Settlement After Child Killed in Pembroke Pines

Cruise Ship Injuries and Accidents

Cruise ship passengers may have grounds to sue for a variety of injuries depending on the circumstances. Some common injuries that could lead to lawsuits include:

  1. Slip and fall accidents: Passengers may slip and fall on wet decks, slippery surfaces, or uneven flooring, leading to injuries such as fractures, sprains, or head trauma.

Miami cruise ship accident attorneys find themselves at the forefront of an emerging trend in litigation—a trend spurred by the vibrant tourism sector of the region. With the allure of sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear waters, Miami has long been a hub for cruise ship travel. However, beneath the surface of this thriving industry lies a complex legal landscape rife with challenges and concerns.

Cruise Lines’ Responsibility for the Sexual Assault of Passengers

Whether a cruise line is legally responsible for a sexual assault of a passenger depends on various factors, including the circumstances of the assault, the actions (or inaction) of the cruise line, and the laws governing maritime and personal injury liability. Here are some key points to consider:

Walmart, with its numerous locations across Florida’s major metropolitan areas, is a ubiquitous presence in the lives of many Floridians. While Walmart strives to maintain a safe environment for its customers, accidents can still happen. Whether it’s a slip and fall, a merchandise falling incident, or a parking lot mishap, knowing what steps to take after being injured in an accident at Walmart is crucial. In this guide, we’ll outline specific instructions and examples to help you navigate the aftermath of such accidents, along with some historical context on Walmart’s presence in Florida.

Walmart in Florida

Walmart has a significant presence in Florida, with stores located in major metropolitan areas such as Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and more. Since opening its first store in the state in the early 1980s, Walmart has expanded rapidly, becoming a go-to destination for groceries, household items, clothing, and more for millions of Floridians.

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of modern life, and they can happen to anyone at any time. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Florida, knowing what steps to take afterward is crucial to protect your health, safety, and legal rights. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the specific actions to take after a car accident, including scenarios involving driver injuries, passenger injuries, and multi-vehicle accidents.

          1. Ensure Safety: The first priority after a car accident is ensuring the safety of everyone involved. If possible, move to a safe location away from traffic. Turn on hazard lights to alert other drivers, and if necessary, use flares or reflective triangles to increase visibility, especially at night.

Example: “After the collision, pull over to the side of the road if it’s safe to do so. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries, and if anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately.”

Accidents happen, and when they do, it’s crucial to ensure that accurate and timely reports are filed to document the details of the incident. In Florida, individuals involved in accidents may benefit from what is known as the accident reporting privilege. This legal concept provides protection for statements made in the immediate aftermath of an accident, allowing individuals to provide information without fear that their statements will be used against them in potential litigation. In this blog article, we’ll delve into the accident reporting privilege in Florida, explaining what it entails and how it can impact individuals involved in accidents.

What is the Accident Reporting Privilege?

The accident reporting privilege, also referred to as the accident report privilege or accident report immunity, is a legal principle that applies to statements made by individuals involved in accidents while reporting the incident to authorities or other relevant parties. Under this privilege, statements made for the purpose of reporting or investigating an accident are generally considered privileged and cannot be used as evidence against the person who made the statement in subsequent legal proceedings.

The Importance of Hiring the Best Personal Injury Attorney in Florida After an Accident

Being injured in an accident can be a traumatic and life-altering experience, and navigating the legal complexities of personal injury claims in Florida can add further stress and uncertainty. In such challenging times, seeking the assistance of a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney is crucial. In this comprehensive blog article, we’ll explore the reasons why it’s essential to get the best personal injury attorney if you’re injured in a Florida accident, highlighting the dangers of self-representation and the benefits of hiring a qualified legal professional.

Complex Legal Process

Publix Super Markets, Inc., commonly known as Publix, is a beloved grocery store chain with a rich history in Florida. With its numerous locations across the state’s major metropolitan areas, Publix is a familiar destination for millions of Floridians. However, accidents can happen anywhere, including at Publix stores. Whether it’s a slip and fall, a trip and fall, a parking lot mishap, merchandise falling, or injuries caused by shopping carts, knowing what steps to take after being injured in an accident at Publix is essential. In this guide, we’ll outline specific instructions and examples to help you navigate the aftermath of such accidents, along with some historical context on Publix’s presence in Florida and a detailed description of its financials.

Publix in Florida

Publix has deep roots in Florida, dating back to its founding in 1930 by George W. Jenkins in Winter Haven. Over the decades, Publix has grown into one of the largest employee-owned companies in the United States, with a reputation for exceptional customer service and quality products. Today, Publix operates hundreds of stores across Florida, with a strong presence in major metropolitan areas such as Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and more.

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