E. I. du Pont de Nemours Benlate Litigation, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County; Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Florida; Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, Seminole County, Florida; Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida. These cases involved claims by hundreds of farmers and nursery proprietors against our client for negligence and strict products liability for damages the plaintiffs suffered when their crops were allegedly injured or destroyed as a result of an alleged defect or contaminant in a pesticide manufactured by our client. The plaintiffs’ claims in these cases totaled well in excess of $200 million. The vast majority of these cases have been settled under terms that are to remain confidential.
In re Ecuadorian Shrimp Litigation, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida, Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, and U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This products liability action involved 30 separate but consolidated lawsuits against multinational fungicide and pesticide manufacturers, their alleged distributors, and our client, a multinational fresh fruit distributor. The plaintiffs were Ecuadorian shrimp farm owners who are claiming that fungicide run off from Ecuadorian banana plantations has caused millions of dollars in damages to their shrimp beds located in the Guayaquil region of Ecuador. After many years of litigating venue and jurisdictional issues, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal ordered the dismissal of all of the lawsuits pursuant to the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The plaintiff shrimp farmers attempted to have their claims reinstated in Florida circuit court. The defendants opposed those efforts and the plaintiffs ultimately dismissed their claims with prejudice, ending the litigation.
Diamedix Corporation v. Florida Department of Revenue, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida. This case involved a claim for declaratory relief by our client, a subsidiary of Ivax Corporation, that the Department had wrongly assessed more than $500,000 in taxes. After several years of litigation, the matter was favorably settled for our client for a small fraction of the taxes originally assessed against our client.
Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co. v. United States of America, United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee. This case involved a claim by our client for a declaratory judgment that its claims payment method was not improper or in violation of law. The United States claimed that for a period of more than 10 years our client had improperly underpaid millions of medical claims at a cost of more than $2 billion to Medicare, which amount the United States sought to recover. In a case of first impression, we successfully argued that the government had the burden of proof at trial, and that the government was obligated to prove its right to recovery on a claim-by-claim/transaction-by-transaction basis. After a six week preliminary trial before a General Master, the government failed to establish its entitlement to recover on the vast majority of the claims and transactions there tried. Shortly after the trial the United States agreed to settle the litigation with our client for an undisclosed amount representing a minuscule portion of the amount the government sought in the litigation.
Air Ambulance Central, Inc. v. United States of America & Lawrence R. Bercu v. United States of America, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. Our client sued for refund of federal excise taxes paid on an assessment by the Internal Revenue Service of more than $300,000. The case is ongoing.
Casa Clara Condominium Association v. Marine Midland Bank of New York City, et. al., Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Monroe County, Florida. This case was one of a series of suits brought by the plaintiffs and involved a claim against our client, among others, for negligence and strict liability as a result of the allegedly defective construction of the plaintiffs’ condominium buildings. We, along with our co-defendants, successfully argued to the trial court that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the economic loss rule. The issue was ultimately litigated to the Florida Supreme Court and decided in our client’s favor in one of the Florida Supreme Court’s landmark economic loss rule decisions.
City of Hollywood v. Florida Power & Light Co., Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida. This case involved a claim by a municipality against our client seeking to declare a portion the parties’ franchise agreement ultra vires and therefore unconstitutional and void. At the agreement of the parties, this case is presently stayed.
Home Infusion Therapy Corporation v. AIG, et. al., United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. This case involved a claim under ERISA against our client, among others, for payment of medical services rendered. In light of our motion to dismiss arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were not cognizable under ERISA, the court dismissed with prejudice the plaintiff’s claims against our client.
Feliz Industries, Inc. v. General Star Insurance Co., et. al., Second Judicial Circuit, Leon County, Florida. This case involved a claim against our client, a subsidiary of General Re, for the refund of premiums paid by the insured. The case was settled within a few months of our involvement for a very small fraction of the amount sought by the plaintiff.
Dechellis v. Home Savings of America, FSB., Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida. This case involves claims against our client for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty for the alleged improper payment of the plaintiff’s funds to a third person. This case is ongoing.
Burger King Corporation v. Kellogg, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. This case involved claims by our client against a former franchisee for, among other things, trademark infringement and breach of the franchise agreement.
Chiquita International Limited v. Fresh Del Monte Produce, N.V., et al., Eleventh Judicial Circuit , Dade County, Florida, Florida Third District Court of Appeal. This lawsuit , currently ongoing, involves business tort and conspiracy claims against this multinational fresh fruit company arising out of the termination of a Philippines banana supply contract and the execution of another. The plaintiff is seeking more than $100 million in damages and the termination of the Philippines contract. The Del Monte defendants successfully moved at the trial court level for an order of dismissal pursuant to the doctrine of forum on conveniens. The appeal of that order is pending.
R. L. Laroche, Inc., et. al., v. Quarles & Brady, et. al., Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida. This lawsuit involved claims for malicious prosecution, bad faith bankruptcy filings, and defamation against our client, among others, in connection with bankruptcy litigation handled by our client. The damages sought by the plaintiffs exceeded $1 million. In response to our motion to dismiss, the trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint.
Air Ambulance Central, Inc. v. United States of America., United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. This case involves an action for a refund and cancellation of approximately $500,000 in air transportation excise taxes. The Case is ongoing.
Andre Laager v. Peter Krüger, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida. This lawsuit involves a claim against our clients to enforce judgments from the Cayman Islands and Switzerland in excess of $35 million. We have been successful in having the trial court refuse to recognize or enforce the $35 million dollar Cayman Islands judgment. The matter is on appeal and the case is ongoing.
Gill v. Marquez de Gill, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida. This case involved a claim by an estranged husband for an injunction and return of approximately $2 million held by our client, his wife. After a one-day bench trial, the court concluded that all of the funds were rightfully held by our client, and that our client had the unfettered right to use the funds at her sole discretion. The case was settled while on appeal.
Gonzalez v. Hilton Estates of Hialeah, et. al., Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Florida. This case involved an approximate $1 million claim by our client for breach of contract and fraud arising out of an agreement to develop two apartment complexes consisting of several hundred units. After a one-day bench trial on the issues of our client’s right to a lis pendens effectively enjoining our opponent’s ability to close on a multi-million dollar sale and the disqualification of our opponent’s counsel, the trial court held that our client was entitled to the lis pendens and that opposing counsel would be disqualified. Shortly after these favorable rulings, the case was settled for terms very favorable to our client.
Cuban American Bar Association, et. al., v. Warren Christopher, et. al., United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. This case involved the pro-bono representation of more than 30,000 Cuban immigrants detained at the Guantanamo Naval Base to improve their living conditions and gain their freedom.
Routly v. State, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, United States Supreme Court. This case involved the pro-bono representation of a Florida death row inmate in his appeals through the federal court system.