Recent Cases

Summary judgment in favor of employer who was sued for injuries allegedly caused by one of its employees in an off-site car collision.

Even though summary judgment is rarely granted in negligence cases in Florida, Rosenthal Law Group has once again successfully obtained summary judgment in its favor on behalf of its client, Park One of Florida, LLC, in a lawsuit filed by an individual who alleged he was injured in a motor vehicle accident with one of Park One’s employees who was driving in his own vehicle for the purpose of obtaining a meal for himself at the time of the collision. In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the employee, a valet parking attendant, was employed to drive vehicles and that because he was “driving” a vehicle at the time of the accident, Park One was liable for the injuries allegedly caused by the employee. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mavel Ruiz presided over a lengthy summary judgment hearing which was thoroughly briefed by the parties and considered the deposition testimony of multiple witnesses. The undisputed evidence at the hearing showed that the employee was never hired to drive his own vehicle to do any job functions for Park One, the accident occurred approximately ½ mile away from the employee’s job location, and the employee’s negligent conduct was not at all activated for any purpose to serve Park One. Thus, Rosenthal Law Group successfully established that Park One was not liable for the acts of its employee in this case as a matter of law and Park One was rightfully granted its exist from this lawsuit.

Rosenthal Law Group recently obtained a judgment at trial for $1,373,560.49 against
Restalia Grupo De Eurorestauracion, S.L., the franchisor for 100 Montaditos, for breach of guaranty of commercial lease agreement.
The case arose out of a lease of commercial restaurant space on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Florida. Restalia executed an absolute and unconditional guaranty of the tenant’s lease obligations. After a few years into the term, the tenant filed bankruptcy and rejected the lease in bankruptcy. The landlord filed suit against Restalia to enforce the guaranty. Prior to trial, Rosenthal Law Group successfully prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment as to liability arguing, among other things, that the guaranty contained a waiver of all liability defenses.

A non-jury trial on damages was conducted before the Honorable Abby Cynamon on February 26 and 27, 2018. The case was tried by Alex Rosenthal and Amanda Jones.

Success in overturning longstanding precedent in En Banc Proceedings before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. An appeal of summary judgment which resulted in an En Banc Argument before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Ga which then overruled more than 30 years of precedent in the Eleventh Circuit. Until this case, United States v. Stein, 881 F.3d 853 (11th Cir. 2018), the law in the Eleventh Circuit was that a taxpayer couldn’t overcome the government’s presumption of correctness in a summary judgment proceeding merely by filing a self-serving uncorroborated affidavit in opposition. As a result of the Firm’s efforts on appeal, the law of the land in the Eleventh Circuit is that the rules of summary judgment apply the same to all litigants and all cases, and tax cases do not receive special treatment. The Court held that “[w]e see no basis for imposing a corroboration gloss on Rule 56 … and reaffirm that “even in the absence of collaborative evidence, a plaintiff’s own testimony may be sufficient to withstand summary judgment.” The Court went on to hold that “[i]f corroboration is needed, then that requirement must come from a source other than Rule 56, such as the substantive law that governs the parties’ dispute or the Federal Rules of Evidence. The impact of this ruling will be far-reaching in this Circuit and, perhaps, others. Other than a single panel opinion in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Stein case is believed to be the only Federal Circuit Court opinion which has held that a taxpayer can defeat summary judgment by filing an otherwise admissible self-serving uncorroborated affidavit.

Summary judgment in favor of commercial property owner in a slip in fall case. It is a rare, challenging, feat to obtain summary judgment in a defendant’s favor in a negligence action involving a slip and fall. However, this is exactly what Rosenthal Law Group did when the Honorable Rodolfo Ruiz of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit entered a sixteen-page Final Judgment granting Rosenthal Law Group’s Motion for Summary Judgment filed in favor of the defendant/landowner.

Prior to the hearing on the motion for summary judgment, plaintiff filed an affidavit of her mother in an attempt to create a genuine issue of material fact in order to prevent the entry of summary judgment. Relying upon the arguments made by Rosenthal Law Group, the Court ultimately ruled that the affidavit was insufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact, and the entry of summary judgment was warranted.

Rosenthal Law Group argued that the plaintiff’s mother’s affidavit contradicted plaintiff’s previous deposition testimony wherein plaintiff testified that her mother had no personal knowledge of the conditions of the room where plaintiff slipped and fell and, further, the affiant provided no credible explanation for the discrepancy in the affidavit. Based upon such, the Court found that plaintiff was precluded from relying upon her mother’s affidavit in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Moreover, Rosenthal Law Group argued, and the Court agreed, that the affidavit was also nevertheless insufficient because if the Court were to rely upon it, the Court would be required to engage in an impermissible stacking of inferences in order to create a factual issue. The judgment was appealed by the plaintiff to the Third District Court of Appeal, but no decisions have been made on appeal.

Judgment and Writ of Possession, affirmed on appeal, in favor of commercial property owner against the tenant for failing to timely pay rent into the court registry. Rosenthal Law Group was successful in swiftly obtaining possession of leased premises for its client, the Landlord. In this case, on March 21, 2017, Landlord sought and obtained from the Court an Order requiring the Tenant to pay accruing Rent into the Court Registry on or before the first day of each month during the pendency of the eviction action.

The following month, April 1, 2017, happened to fall on a weekend and the Tenant did not deposit the rent into the Court Registry until the following Monday, on April 3, 2017. In accordance with the Court’s Order requiring the timely payment of rent on or before the first day of each month during the pendency of the eviction action, Landlord moved for a Final Judgment of Possession. The Tenant filed a Memorandum in Opposition claiming that the deadline fell on a weekend and should be extended to the following Monday to which Landlord replied arguing that nothing required the Tenant to wait until Saturday to pay the rent due when the order required it be paid on or before the first day of the month. The Court agreed with Landlord and entered a Final Judgment of Possession in favor of Landlord stating “[t]he fact that April 1, 2017, fell on a weekend does not extend the deposit date.”

Successful appeal affirming the amended judgment entered in favor of a personal injury plaintiff against local taxi cab company. Rosenthal Law Group prevailed in an appeal before the Third District Court of Appeal of an amended final judgment entered by the Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County arising out of a vehicle accident involving a cab. The underlying case was not handled by Rosenthal Law Group. However, after the judgment was entered and a sanctions judgment was entered against the defendant/judgment debtor, the plaintiff sought to amend the two judgments to correct a scrivener’s error in the judgments. The judgments were entered against Yellow Cab, Inc., even though the lawsuit was filed against Yellow Cab Company. After the trial judge granted the motion to amend the judgments, but long after the original underlying judgments were entered, the defendant/judgment debtor appealed the sanctions judgment arguing that the trial court lacked authority to enter sanctions in the case.

Rosenthal Law Group filed an Answer Brief on behalf of the plaintiff arguing that the appeal was untimely. Because the time to appeal the sanctions judgment was within thirty days of the original judgment, the mere fact that a scrivener’s error in the party name was changed did not resuscitate the time to appeal. A three-judge panel of the Third District Court of Appeal agreed and dismissed the appeal, leaving in place the underlying sanctions judgment.

Successfully obtained order compelling arbitration on behalf of the corporate defendant of a personal injury claim against trampoline park. Rosenthal Law Group prevailed on a motion to compel arbitration and to stay the pending action. In this case, plaintiff, a minor, through and with his parents, brought suit against our client, an indoor trampoline park for injuries allegedly sustained while jumping and flipping on defendant’s trampolines. In order to gain access to defendant’s trampoline park, plaintiff’s legal guardian was required to sign a waiver and release. Rosenthal Law Group effectively asserted that said waiver and release contained an enforceable mandatory arbitration clause.

In August 2017, the Honorable Lisa S. Walsh of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit entered an order granting Rosenthal Law Group’s motion to compel arbitration and ordered the parties to proceed to arbitration administered by JAMS pursuant to the terms of the waiver and release.

Successfully obtained order compelling arbitration of a commercial claim against the firm’s client, a credit card processing, alleging various business torts. Rosenthal Law Group prevailed on a motion to compel arbitration and to stay the pending action. In this case, plaintiff and defendant entered into a merchant card processing agreement that governed credit and debit card processing services provided by defendant to the plaintiff. The merchant agreement contained a broad and explicit arbitration clause which required the parties to submit to binding arbitration in Colorado. In November of 2016, plaintiffs improperly filed an action in Broward County, Florida seeking to litigate its claims against defendant, in clear violation of the terms of the agreement as all of the claims asserted against defendant were based solely on conduct concerning or relating to the merchant agreement and accordingly fell squarely under the merchant agreement’s broad arbitration clause.

On March 28, 2017, the Honorable Brenda D. Forman of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit entered an order granting Rosenthal Law Group’s motion to compel arbitration and to stay the action pending arbitration. Judge Forman held that the dispute was governed by the Federal Arbitration Act and that the parties merchant agreement which stated that all disputes or controversies concerning or relating to the merchant agreement be settled through binding arbitration.

Successfully obtained order staying legal proceedings in Florida pending prior filed action in New Jersey on behalf of the client. Rosenthal Law Group prevailed on a motion to stay proceedings in favor of the first-filed lawsuit which was pending in a different state.

This case involved a dispute between two members of a New Jersey limited liability company. The two members of the limited liability company were in a dispute regarding the percentage of their respective membership interests in the limited liability company. Additionally, each member accused the other member of unlawfully misappropriating the limited liability company’s assets. As a result of the dispute, our client filed a lawsuit against the plaintiff in New Jersey – the first-filed action. A week later, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against our client in Florida – the subsequent-filed action.

Rosenthal Law Group argued that because the issues in the subsequent-filed action mirrored the issues in the first-filed action and because there was substantial similarity between the parties and the actions, under the principle of priority, the subsequent-filed action must stay pending the outcome of the first-filed action.

On May 31, 2017, the Honorable Michael L. Gates of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit agreed with our position and entered an order granting Rosenthal Law Group’s motion to stay proceedings in favor of the first-filed lawsuit.

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