United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
GREGORY A. PRESNELL, UNETED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter arises, without a hearing, from the Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 24) filed by the Defendant, the United States
of America; the Response in Opposition filed by the
Plaintiff, Luis Dyer; the United States' Reply (Doc. 30);
and Defendant's Sur-Reply (Doc. 34).
September 18, 2013, Dyer was riding his bicycle on the
sidewalk adjacent to Tradeport Drive in Orlando, Florida. At
approximately 10:57 a.m., Angel Figueroa, an employee of the
United States, began exiting a driveway that intersected the
sidewalk that Dyer was riding on. (Doc. 24-1 at 7.) Neither
party stopped as he approached the intersection. Figueroa was
looking toward the left, away from Dyer. (Id.) And
Dyer only noticed Figueroa's vehicle after he had already
begun crossing the driveway. (Id.) Dyer collided
with the front, right portion of Figueroa's vehicle and
suffered bodily injuries as well as damage to his bicycle.
(Doc. 24-5 at 20.) The entire incident occurred within one or
two seconds. (Id.)
claims that he was lawfully riding his bicycle, that Figueroa
negligently failed to yield to him, and that Dyer suffered
both bodily and property damage as a result. (Doc. 1 ¶
9.) In its Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 24), the United
States argues that Dyer is solely responsible for the
collision because: (1) he was riding his bicycle on the
sidewalk, in violation of Orlando's municipal code, and
(2) by riding from the sidewalk onto the driveway in such
close proximity to Figueroa's vehicle, it was impossible
for Figueroa to yield-a violation of Florida Statute.
is entitled to summary judgment when it can show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c); Beal v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 20 F.3d
454, 458 (11th Cir. 1994). Which facts are material depends
on the substantive law applicable to the case. Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The
moving party bears the burden of showing that no genuine
issue of material fact exists. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Clark v. Coats
& Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d 604, 608 (11th Cir. 1991);
Watson v. Adecco Emply't Servs., Inc., 252
F.Supp.2d 1347, 1351-52 (M.D. Fla. 2003). In determining
whether the moving party has satisfied its burden, the court
considers all inferences drawn from the underlying facts in a
light most favorable to the party opposing the motion, and
resolves all reasonable doubts against the moving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
party moving for summary judgment points out an absence of
evidence on a dispositive issue for which the non-moving
party bears the burden of proof at trial, the non-moving
party must “go beyond the pleadings and by [its] own
affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324-25 (internal
quotations and citations omitted). Thereafter, summary
judgment is mandated against the non-moving party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish a genuine issue of
fact for trial. Id. at 322, 324-25; Watson,
252 F.Supp.2d at 1352. The party opposing a motion for
summary judgment must rely on more than conclusory statements
or allegations unsupported by facts. Evers v. Gen. Motors
Corp., 770 F.2d 984, 986 (11th Cir. 1985)
(“conclusory allegations without specific supporting
facts have no probative value”) (citations omitted);
Broadway v. City of Montgomery, Ala., 530 F.2d 657,
660 (5th Cir. 1976).
succeed in a motion for summary judgment in a negligence
action under Florida law, “[t]he movant . . . must
demonstrate as a matter of law either that there is no
negligence or that the sole proximate cause of the injury was
the plaintiff's negligence.” Oken ex rel. J.O.
v. CBOCS, Inc., No. 8:12-CV-782-T-33MAP, 2013 WL
2154848, at *4 (M.D. Fla. May 17, 2013) (quoting Smith v.
Grove Apartments, LLC, 976 So.2d 582, 585 (Fla. 3d DCA
brings his claim pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act
(“FTCA”). “‘The FTCA is a specific,
congressional exception' to the United States'
sovereign immunity for tort claims, under which the
government may ‘be sued by certain parties under
certain circumstances for particular tortious acts committed
by employees of the government.'” Turner ex
rel. Turner v. United States, 514 F.3d 1194, 1200 (11th
Cir. 2008) (quoting Suarez v. United States, 22 F.3d
1064, 1065 (11th Cir. 1994)). The law applicable to an FTCA
claim is the law of the state where the tortious act
occurred. 28 U.S.C. 1346(b)(1); Zelaya v. United
States, 781 F.3d 1315, 1322 (11th Cir. 2015). All the
events in the current case occurred in Florida; thus, Florida
Florida law, a cause of action for negligence comprises four
elements: (1) a duty requiring the defendant to conform to a
certain standard of conduct, (2) the defendant's breach
of that duty, (3) a causal connection between the
defendant's breach and the plaintiff's injury, and
(4) actual loss or damage resulting from the injury. See
Clay Elec. Co-op., Inc. v. Johnson, 873 So.2d 1182 (Fla.
2003) (citation omitted). Florida follows the comparative
fault doctrine, therefore, the fact-finder must apportion the
respective fault of the parties. See Hoffman v.
Jones, 280 So.2d 431 (Fla. 1973) (adopting the doctrine
of comparative negligence).
the United States argues that Dyer is solely responsible for
the accident because he rode his bicycle in a way that
violated both Florida statute and Orlando municipal
code-giving no weight to the negligent actions of Figueroa.
As the record currently stands, there remain genuine issues
of material fact as to the potential negligence of each party
and how that negligence should be apportioned.
therefore ORDERED that Defendant's
Motion for Summary ...