Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Niagara Industries, Inc. v. Giaquinto Electric LLC

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

February 28, 2018

GIAQUINTO ELECTRIC LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company, GUARDIAN AMERICAN PROPERTIES, LLC, f/k/a GUARDIAN MERICAN RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES OF BROWARD COUNTY, LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company, 20 PLUMBING SERVICES, INC., a Florida Corporation, FUENMAYOR & LINDA ENTERPRISES, LLC, d/b/a ACE FLOOD & INSPECTIONS, LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company, MARK BECKERMAN, individually, and SCOTT WESLEY FRANK, Sr., individually, Respondents.


         Petition for writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Patti Englander-Henning, Judge; L.T. Case No. CACE 16-11632 05.

          Diane H. Tutt, Thomas J. McCausland, and Evan Roberts of Conroy Simberg, Hollywood, for Petitioners.

          Daniel M. Schwarz of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A., Plantation, for Respondent H20 Plumbing Services, Inc.

          Glen R. Goldsmith of Glen R. Goldsmith, P.A., Miami, for Respondent Giaquinto Electric, LLC.

          Armando P. Rubio of Fields Howell LLP, Miami, for Respondent Guardian American Properties, LLC.


          Kuntz, J.

         We deny Respondent, H20 Plumbing Services, Inc.'s motion for rehearing, grant the motion for clarification in part, withdraw our prior opinion, and issue this opinion in its place.

         In this proceeding, the Petitioners-Niagara Industries, Inc. and Rheem Sales Company-challenge the second prong of the two-part test for disclosure of trade secrets. The issue before us is whether the production of material containing trade secrets was "reasonably necessary." We conclude the circuit court departed from the essential requirements of law when it ordered the Petitioners to disclose their trade secrets, because the party requesting the disclosure failed to present any evidence to establish that the production of the privileged information was reasonably necessary. We therefore quash the order.


         Scott Wesley Frank, Sr. purchased a tankless water heater from Rheem Sales Company, and designed by Niagara Industries, Inc. At some point later, Mr. Frank experienced problems with the water heater and hired H20 Plumbing Services, Inc. While Mr. Frank's water heater was being repaired, it exploded, causing Mr. Frank physical injury. As a result of the injuries, he filed a four-count complaint against the Petitioners, asserting claims of negligence and strict liability against both.

         During the pendency of Mr. Frank's lawsuit against the Petitioners, the court required them to disclose what they describe as "their confidential and highly confidential documents, including Niagara's trade secrets, relating to the manufacturing and testing of the subject tankless water heater." Pursuant to a protective order that permitted only certain people to view them, the Petitioners disclosed the documents. Testimony indicates the documents were disclosed to a total of four people. The case proceeded to a jury trial. One of the experts permitted to view the documents testified at the trial and, in this case, the circuit court stated that the expert "opined at trial that the product failed in an unreasonably safe manner." However, the parties dispute whether the actual documents were ever presented to the jury. Regardless, prior to the jury returning a verdict, the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal, which the court accepted. At the conclusion of the case, the previously-disclosed documents were returned to the Petitioners.

          After the dismissal of the lawsuit against the Petitioners, Mr. Frank filed a new lawsuit against Giaquinto Electric, which he later amended to add claims against Guardian American Properties, LLC, H20 Plumbing Services, Inc., Fuenmayor & Linda Enterprises, LLC, and Mark Beckerman.

         Guardian American Properties, LLC, one of the defendants in the second lawsuit, served a notice of production from non-parties and a subpoena duces tecum without deposition, indicating they intended to seek various documents from the Petitioners. Among the documents at issue were those contained in the seventy-ninth category of documents sought, which asked for those documents from Mr. Frank's first lawsuit: "Any and all documents received pursuant to any subpoenas and/or request for copies in the case Scott Wesley Frank v. Niagara Industries, Inc. and Rheem Sales, Case. No. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.