final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Okaloosa County. Terrance
R. Ketchel, Judge.
Woodburn S. Wesley, Jr., of Wesley, McGrail & Wesley,
Fort Walton Beach, for Appellant.
Samantha D. Costas and Linda H. Wade of Wade, Palmer &
Shoemaker, P.A., Pensacola, for Appellee.
the plaintiff below, appeals the order dismissing his
personal injury suit against Appellee with prejudice for
fraud on the court. We find no abuse of discretion in the
dismissal of the suit because the record supports the trial
court's finding that Appellant fraudulently concealed his
history of chronic low back pain by falsely testifying about
his medical history during his deposition. Accordingly, we
affirm the dismissal order.
separate occasions in May 2014, Appellant was riding in a car
owned by Appellee, his "fiancée,
" when the car was allegedly rammed by a
white pickup truck. Both times, the pickup truck fled the
scene after hitting Appellee's car.
2016, Appellant filed a complaint alleging that Appellee was
negligent with respect to the second accident and that he
suffered permanent injuries to his neck and low back as a
result of that accident. During discovery, Appellant disclosed
that he injured his low back in the early 1980s, but he
testified in his deposition that the injury
"healed" and that he had not had any problems with
his low back in the 30 years since. He also denied having
been to see a doctor for low back pain since 2000.
medical records told a different story. A record from an
emergency room visit in October 2013-seven months before the
accidents-states that Appellant reported that he hurt his low
back by slipping off a stepladder, resulting in pain that he
described as "aching and crushing" at a level of
"10 out of 10" and radiating to his left leg. The
record also states that Appellant reported having a
"chronic" history of similar episodes and of a
herniated disc. Additionally, a record from an emergency room
visit in May 2014, nine days after the second accident,
states that Appellant reported that his back pain started
"a long time ago" but was made worse by the
filed a motion to dismiss based upon the discrepancies
between Appellant's deposition testimony and his medical
records. The trial court held an evidentiary
hearing on the motion at which Appellant admitted his history
of low back pain as reflected in the medical records, but he
claimed that his contrary deposition testimony was not due to
an intent to deceive but rather was attributable to his
"poor memory" caused by mental health issues, heavy
drinking, and his medications. The trial court granted the
motion to dismiss, finding that Appellant's deposition
testimony was "patently false" and that he had
"fraudulently concealed . . . his prior personal