Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

Pacheco v. Gonzalez

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

May 16, 2018

Ramon Pacheco, et al., Appellants,
v.
R. Randy Gonzalez, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower Tribunal No. 10-46125 Jerald Bagley, Judge.

          Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A., and Kathryn L. Ender and George R. Truitt; White & Case LLP, and Raoul G. Cantero, for appellants.

          Coffey Burlington, P.L., and Jeffrey B. Crockett and Kevin C. Kaplan, for appellee.

          Before LAGOA, LOGUE, and SCALES, JJ.

          LAGOA, J.

         Appellants, Ramon Pachecho ("Pacheco") and Ramon Pacheco and Associates, Inc. (the "Corporation"), appeal the trial court's final judgment for attorneys' fees in the amount of $232, 440 in favor of appellee, R. Randy Gonzalez ("Gonzalez"), based upon a Proposal for Settlement (the "Proposal") served pursuant to section 768.79, Florida Statutes (2011), and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442. Because the conditional nature of the Proposal divested Pacheco and the Corporation of their ability to independently evaluate and accept the Proposal irrespective of the other party's decision, we hold that the Proposal was invalid under Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund, Inc. v. Gorka, 36 So.3d 646 (Fla. 2010), and reverse.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On August 24, 2010, Gonzalez filed suit against Pacheco and the Corporation, among others, seeking damages for the defective design of an air conditioning system in his new home. The complaint alleged claims against Pacheco and the Corporation, which the complaint referred to collectively as the "PACHECO Defendants, " for breach of contract (Count I), negligence (Count II), and negligent misrepresentation (Count III). On September 27, 2011, Gonzalez served the Proposal on "Defendants RAMON PACHECO and RAMON PACHECO AND ASSOCIATES, INC. (collectively, 'PACHECO DEFENDANTS')" pursuant to rule 1.442 and section 768.79, Florida Statutes. Making no distinction between Pacheco and the Corporation, the Proposal stated that it was made to the "PACHECO DEFENDANTS" and was offered to resolve all claims against the "PACHECO DEFENDANTS." The Proposal stated, in part:

4. Total amount of proposal:
The monetary amount of this Proposal is payment by the PACHECO DEFENDANTS to Plaintiff in the total amount of $300, 000.00, which shall include payment for all alleged damages of any kind, compensatory, punitive or otherwise, which may be awarded in a final judgment in this action against the PACHECO DEFENDANTS, including costs and prejudgment interest upon the total damages, and is to settle all claims which have been brought or which could have been brought by Plaintiff against the PACHECO DEFENDANTS in the above-styled matter. The payment shall be allocated as follows: $150, 000.00 from Defendant RAMON PACHECO, and $150, 000.00 from Defendant RAMON PACHECO AND ASSOCIATES, INC.
5. Except as provided herein, Plaintiff and the PACHECO DEFENDANTS will otherwise bear their own respective attorneys' fees and costs.
6. Acceptance of this Proposal: Upon acceptance of this offer by the PACHECO DEFENDANTS, Plaintiff and the PACHECO DEFENDANTS shall authorize their counsel to sign and file a stipulation of voluntary dismissal with prejudice in the form attached hereto as Exhibit "A."

         Attached as Exhibit A to the Proposal was a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal With Prejudice (the "Stipulation"), stating that the "PACHECO DEFENDANTS dismiss with prejudice all claims, counterclaims and third-party claims that were brought or could have been brought by them in this action" and that "Plaintiff voluntarily dismisses with prejudice all claims that were brought or could have been ...


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.