FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2021
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB WINS APPEAL: TRIAL COURT’S SUMMARY JUDGMENT AFFIRMED
EVERYTHING DRY RESTORATION, LLC A/A/O JACQUE PIERRE V. UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY NORTH AMERICA, CASE NO. 3D21-62, 2021 WL 2944716 (FLA. 3D DCA JUL. 14,2021)
MIAMI ― This first party property (AOB) case was handled by George L. Fernandez and Manuel A. Fernandez; Partners in QPWB’s Miami office. The Fernandez team argued the trial court should enter summary judgment in favor of their client based on the fact the Plaintiff failed to offer competent evidence in opposition to the evidence offered by QPWB in support of its motion for summary judgment. They argued Plaintiff’s failure in that regard was inexcusable, given the fact Plaintiff failed to produce its corporate representative for a scheduled, court ordered deposition. The trial court agreed and entered summary judgment in favor of the insurer. Subsequently, Plaintiff filed a motion for rehearing that included, for the first time, a sworn affidavit from its corporate representative that amongst other things attempted to explain away his failure to attend his scheduled deposition. The Fernandez team argued that the trial court should deny that motion as well. The trial court agreed and entered an order denying that motion. Plaintiff appealed.
On appeal, Thomas A. Valdez and Vilma Martinez, Partners/Members of QPWB’s Appellate Practice Group, argued the trial court’s grant of summary judgment was appropriate because the sole item Plaintiff offered in opposition to QPWB’s motion for summary judgment was a document that constituted unauthenticated hearsay (as opposed to competent evidence) and that the court acted within its authority in rejecting the conclusory and self-serving affidavit Plaintiff offered for the first time along with its motion for rehearing for the sole purpose of escaping summary judgment. The Third District Court of Appeal agreed and affirmed the trial court’s decisions, upheld the entry of final judgment in favor of the insurer, and granted QPWB’s Conditional Motion for Attorneys’ Fees.
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Thomas A. Valdez is a Partner in the Tampa office and Chairs 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. He earned his law degree with high honors from Florida State University College of Law in 1997.
Vilma Martinez is a Partner in the Tampa office. Her practice is emphasized in the areas of medical and dental malpractice defense, nursing home, and assisted living negligence defense, and the representation of healthcare providers in administrative proceedings. She is a Florida licensed Health Care Risk Manager and provides legal counsel to healthcare facilities and others since 2010 in all of her areas of practice and pertaining to electronic health records, e-discovery, healthcare technology, HIPAA compliance and data breach response. Her practice is also focused in premises liability, automotive liability, catastrophic injury and wrongful death matters. Ms. Martinez received her law degree from Stetson University College of Law in 2009. She is fluent in Spanish, and proficient in Mandarin Chinese and French. She served in the United States Army for two years and received numerous military honors before her honorable discharge in December 1997.
QPWB is the largest minority and women owned law firm in the nation with more than 380 lawyers serving clients from 27 offices in the U.S. and abroad. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]