GWEN E. RICHBELL and ALAN RICHBELL, as Personal Representatives of the ESTATE OF DEVON LEIGH RICHBELL, deceased, on behalf of Estate and on behalf of themselves as surviving parents, Appellants,
ERNST TOUSSAINT, WHOLFNEY K. JEAN FRANCOIS, GRADY GRAY, GRADY GRAY TRUCKING, INC., SHADY GRADY TRUCKING, INC., TRIPLE "H" TRUCKING, INC., JEFFREY L. LENNARD, and B.E. LENNARD & SONS, LLC., Appellees.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Consolidated appeals from the Circuit Court for the
Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Martin County; George Shahood,
Senior Judge; L.T. Case No. 432011CA000989CAAXMX.
D. Rockenbach and Adam Richardson of Burlington &
Rockenbach, P.A., West Palm Beach, and Gregg Schlesinger and
Zane Berg of Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A., Fort Lauderdale,
Shannon Kain of Hicks, Porter, Ebenfeld & Stein, P.A.,
Miami, and Peter A. Miller of Peter A. Miller &
Associates, P.A., Coral Gables, for appellee Ernst Toussaint
and Wholfney K. Jean Francois.
D. Webster of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A., Tallahassee,
and David M. Goldstein of Marcos Rothman Scharf Valdez Nguyen
& Goldstein, P.L., Hollywood, for appellees Jeffrey
Lennard and B.E. Lennard & Sons, LLC.
A. Cole and Daniel M. Schwarz of Cole, Scott & Kissane,
P.A., Fort Lauderdale and Melinda S. Thornton of Cole, Scott
& Kissane, P.A., Miami, for appellee Triple "H"
Kwavnick of Cooney Trybus Kwavnick Peets, Fort Lauderdale,
for appellee Grady Gray and Grady Gray Trucking, Inc.
plaintiffs appeal a final judgment in a wrongful death
action. They argue the trial court erred in certain
evidentiary rulings and in giving a special jury instruction.
Two of the defendants cross-appeal an order denying their
motion to limit the judgment against the owner of one of the
vehicles, pursuant to section 324.021(9)(b)(3), Florida
Statutes (2014). We affirm all issues on direct appeal
without further comment. We reverse on the cross-appeal.
bizarre sequence of events on a two-lane road resulted in the
tragic death of the plaintiffs' daughter. Their daughter,
and a second vehicle following her, attempted to pass two
tractor-trailers. They began their attempt in a passing zone,
but ended their attempt in a no-passing zone. When they cut
back in front of the two tractor-trailers, they encountered a
vehicle stopped to make a left turn.
plaintiffs' daughter was able to stop, but the vehicle
following her rear-ended her car, forcing her into oncoming
traffic where another truck traveling in the opposite
direction collided with her vehicle. She died as a result of
the accident. The plaintiffs filed suit against the driver
and owner of the vehicle that rear-ended their daughter's
vehicle, the driver and owner of the truck that ultimately
collided with her, and the owner of the trailer attached to
plaintiffs' theory against the truck driver in the second
collision was that he negligently failed to avoid the
accident, due in part to his age and physical condition,
which caused him to have a slower reaction time than
reasonable. The plaintiffs' accident-reconstruction
expert rendered his opinion on the truck driver's
negligence without having reviewed his medical records.
to trial, the plaintiffs obtained the truck driver's
medical records, and deposed his treating physicians, over
his objection and request for a protective order. The
plaintiffs ultimately sought a compulsory medical examination
just prior to trial. The trial court granted the motion, but
we granted a petition for writ of certiorari. Gray v.
Richbell, 144 So.3d 573 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014).
on our decision, the trial court quashed its order permitting
the compulsory medical examination and ruled that "until
the Fourth issues a final ruling, there will be no mention of
the medical condition." The plaintiffs proffered their
expert's medical testimony outside the presence of the
jury. He would have testified that the truck driver suffered
from a form of dementia that causes poor reaction time and
perception. The trial court also granted ...