FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2018
Contact:Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB OBTAINS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
DISMISSAL ON A PER CURIAM AFFIRMANCE ISSUED BY
FLORIDA’S FOURTH DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
ORLANDO, Florida ― Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. attorneys Steve E. Baker, a partner in the Orlando office, Thomas A. Valdez, a partner in the Tampa office and Christina J. Shephard, an associate in the Orlando office, obtained a Dismissal in Fortunoff v. McPherson. The Fourth District Court of Appeal issued a per curiam affirmance of the trial court decision. This case was argued by the defense at the trial court level and a Motion for Summary Judgment was granted. This action sought to hold a home health aide liable for her failure to report that the patient was missing from his home during their appointment, so a silver alert could have been issued and prevent his death in a car collision several miles from his home.
The Court of Appeal affirmed the order granting summary judgment on behalf of the firm’s client by demonstrating that the aide owed no legal duty, under either contract or tort law, to supervise the patient’s activities outside of the time the aide was contracted to assist him within his home. This is a victory for the Florida defense bar where it reaffirms that a home health aide’s duty to his or her patient is limited temporally and substantively, despite the close relationship they may share and despite the patient or patient’s family’s expectations and reliance to the contrary.
This argument had the potential for statewide and wide-ranging implications regarding the expansion of duty for home health aide and other non-licensed health care providers. The potential impact of this decision is straightforward, because the case makes no new law and is further validated by the amicus brief filed by the Private Care Association of Florida, Inc.
This matter was tried with national appellate counsel Caryn L. Lilling and Melissa A. Danowski of Mauro Lilling Naparty LLP.
# # #
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is the largest minority and women owned law firm in the nation with more than 370 lawyers serving clients from 21 offices in the United States and abroad across a spectrum of industries in over 40 areas of practice. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.
Steve E. Baker is a partner in the Orlando office focusing on complex administrative, civil, commercial and professional liability claims. His practice includes the defense of privately held and publicly traded corporations; public institutions and agencies; healthcare providers, hospitals, nurse staffing and home health agencies; skilled nursing and assisted living facilities; construction companies; commercial carriers and rental car companies; and insurance carriers and their insureds.
Thomas A. Valdez is a partner in the Tampa office and serves as Chair of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group which provides clients with both traditional appellate services and proactive trial support services before, during and after trial. Although his practice is mainly focused on appellate practice he also devotes his time to defending long term care, medical malpractice, general liability, commercial and construction claims.
Christina J. Shephard is an associate in the Orlando office practicing in the areas of insurance defense, general civil litigation, medical malpractice, and nursing home defense litigation. She is recognized by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Education and Specialization as a Board Certified expert in Criminal Trials.