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Josifov v. Kamal-Hashmat

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

April 5, 2017

Mishko Josifov, et al., Petitioners,
v.
Iman Kamal-Hashmat, etc., Respondent.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         A Writ of Certiorari to the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower Tribunal No. 14-27829, Antonio Arzola, Judge.

          Restani & Dalmanieras, P.A., and Charles M-P George and Maria E. Dalmanieras, for petitioners.

          Podhurst Orseck, P.A., and Joel D. Eaton, for respondent.

          Before LAGOA, SALTER and FERNANDEZ, JJ.

          SALTER, J.

         Loews Miami Beach Hotel Operating Co., Inc. ("Hotel"), [1] petitions for a writ of certiorari quashing an order compelling disclosure of certain non-party identification information in surveys completed by guests at the Hotel. For the reasons which follow, we grant the petition and quash the order.

         The Lawsuit

         The respondent here, Iman Kamal-Hashmat, as personal representative of the estate of her late husband ("Plaintiff"), filed a complaint for damages for the tragic drowning death of her husband at the Hotel's swimming pool in Miami Beach in December 2013. During pretrial discovery, the Plaintiff subpoenaed the Hotel's guest survey service (a non-party) to produce:

All guest/customer surveys in any way related to the swimming pool; and/or supervision of guests using the swimming pool, at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, located at 1601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, 33139, from December 2008 to the present. Please also include any other documents related to such surveys.

         The Hotel objected. Initially, the trial court authorized the Hotel to redact any allegedly confidential financial or proprietary company information. The Hotel provided the Plaintiff with a spreadsheet provided by the guest survey service, but the Plaintiff moved to compel. The Hotel then received another database from the survey service containing information related to the swimming pool and extracted from the guest surveys. The Hotel informed the trial court that the database contained confidential information regarding guests; the court ordered the Hotel to produce the database with a privilege log pertaining to any information withheld from the survey responses.

         The Hotel filed the database with the guest names and contact information redacted, together with a privilege log claiming that the redacted information was private and protected under Article 1, section 23, of the Florida Constitution. The Plaintiff moved to compel the production of the redacted information, and the trial court granted the motion. The Hotel then filed the petition for certiorari under consideration here.

         Analysis

         The names and contact information of the non-party Hotel guests who completed the surveys are constitutionally protected, private details. Rasmussen v. S. Fla. Blood Serv., Inc., 500 So.2d 533, 536 (Fla. 1987); Amente v. Newman, 653 So.2d 1030 (Fla. 1995). There is no indication on the record before us that the Plaintiff's need ...


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