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.

Gordon v. Gatlin Commons Property Owners Association, Inc.

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

July 18, 2018

JUSTINE G. GORDON, Appellant,
v.
GATLIN COMMONS PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. and NORTHSIDE NURSERY, INC., Appellees.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, St. Lucie County; Janet Croom, Judge; L.T. Case No. 562012CA002369.

          Steven M. Katzman and Craig A. Rubinstein of Katzman, Wasserman, Bennardini & Rubinstein, P.A., Boca Raton, and Lauri J. Goldstein of A Law Firm of Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC, Stuart, for appellant.

          Hala Sandridge of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Tampa, for Appellee Northside Nursery, Inc.

          TAYLOR, JUDGE

         For the second time, the plaintiff, Justine Gordon, appeals an order dismissing her personal injury complaint as a sanction for her attorneys' failure to comply with court orders. [1] In the prior appeal, we reversed the trial court's order of dismissal and remanded the case for the trial court to make express findings under Kozel v. Ostendorf, 629 So.2d 817 (Fla. 1993). See Gordon v. Gatlin Commons Prop. Owners Ass'n, Inc., 199 So.3d 1120 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016). On remand, the trial court held an evidentiary hearing and entered an order of dismissal that considered the Kozel factors. We again reverse, concluding that dismissal was too harsh a sanction.

         In June 2012, the plaintiff filed her personal injury complaint against various defendants. After fifteen months of discovery, she amended the complaint in September 2013 to add Northside Nursery as a defendant. The plaintiff alleged that Northside owned, leased, operated, possessed, controlled, and/or maintained the premises where she had slipped and fallen into a hole.

         On December 9, 2014, the plaintiff filed a notice for jury trial, indicating that the case was at issue and ready for trial. On January 29, 2015, the trial court entered a pre-trial procedure order and set calendar call for non-jury trial on the March 24, 2015 - May 15, 2015 trial docket. On February 6, 2015, the trial court entered an amended order, which, among other things:

• instructed the Parties: "if Plaintiff's counsel fails to appear for calendar call, the complaint may be dismissed by the court";
•required the plaintiff's expert disclosures no less than forty-five days before calendar call;
•required all potential fact witnesses to be disclosed no less than thirty days before calendar call;
• required all discovery to be completed five days before calendar call, absent an agreement;
•warned that failure to comply with the pre-trial order must be reported by filing a "Suggestion of Noncompliance with Pre-Trial Order";
•warned that failure to appear at calendar call and failure to comply with the order may result in sanctions such as striking of pleadings, default, or case dismissal; and
• required that any motion to continue comply with Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.460 and include the requesting party's signature.

         On February 23, 2015, Northside filed an ex parte motion to compel the plaintiff to answer interrogatories that were served on November 24, 2014. Northside also filed a suggestion of non-compliance with the pre-trial order, a motion to strike, or in the alternative, a motion to continue. Northside alleged that the plaintiff had not disclosed any potential expert witnesses, as required, by February 9, 2015. It noted that the pre-trial order required discovery to be concluded by March 16, 2015, that the plaintiff's failure to disclose any experts rendered Northside unable to ...


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.