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.

American Airlines, Inc. v. Cimino

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

June 12, 2019

AMERICAN AIRLINES, INC. and EDWIN DIAZ, Petitioners,
v.
KIM CIMINO, individually, as Personal Representative of the Estate of MICHAEL CIMINO, andas Natural Guardian of MICHAEL DREW CIMINO, Respondent.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Patti Englander Henning, Judge; L.T. Case No. 15-1723 (26).

          Jennifer Olmedo-Rodriguez, Jesse H. Diner, Kelly H. Kolb, and Mary Beth Ricke, of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, for petitioners.

          Robert A. Rosenberg of The Law Offices of Robert A. Rosenberg, Coral Springs, and Chris Kleppin and Chelsea A. Lewis of Glasser & Kleppin, P.A., Plantation, for respondent.

         ON MOTION FOR REHEARING

          FORST, J.

         We deny Respondent's motion for rehearing, but withdraw our previously issued opinion, substituting the following in its place.

         Petitioners American Airlines, Inc. ("AA") and Edwin Diaz seek certiorari review of a discovery order that requires Petitioners to produce allegedly privileged documents to Respondent Kim Cimino, individually, as personal representative of the estate of Michael Cimino, and as natural guardian of Michael Drew Cimino (collectively, "the Estate"). The trial court determined that Petitioners "waived privileges" through affirmative defenses. The trial court reached this decision without conducting an in camera review of the material at issue, and without defining the scope of any waiver. As set forth below, we grant the petition and remand for further proceedings.

         Background

         The pending litigation arises from Michael Cimino's suicide, committed days after he was fired by AA. Diaz, who had only recently become Cimino's supervisor, told Cimino he was being fired for time card fraud. Cimino, a manager in the cargo area at the Miami airport, had worked for AA for over thirty-four years, purportedly without incident, until Diaz became his supervisor.

         In its operative complaint, the Estate alleges claims for violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent retention, and wrongful death. The Estate alleges that the pretextual firing of Cimino, a white, non-Hispanic male, followed Petitioner's long pattern of alleged discrimination and hostility based on race, national origin, and/or ethnicity. Specifically, the Estate alleges that Diaz "hates Anglos" and led the charge to fire Cimino and other Anglo employees before him, resulting in their replacement with Hispanic employees. The Estate further alleges that Diaz, who had been transferred from another location for bullying, bullied and harassed Cimino, threatening him with criminal charges and the loss of his pension and insurance.

         According to the complaint, Diaz hired Cimino's replacement well before accusing Cimino of any wrongdoing and firing him. Following purported claims that he was "piggybacking" into the employee parking lot, Cimino was placed on administrative leave. He invoked his right to have a co-worker, Michelle Chung, present for any discussions with Diaz. Discovery from Chung is one of the contested issues-the Estate alleges that Diaz scheduled his final meeting with Cimino when he knew Chung had left work for the day.

         The complaint further alleges that AA knew about the bullying and harassment, and that Cimino was suicidal after the firing, as he participated in AA's mental health program which had recommended medication and additional treatment. In short, the complaint alleges that all of the above led to Cimino's depression and ultimate suicide.

         The discovery at issue concerns AA's investigation, conducted by Jeanette Gibbs (an HR representative), after receiving anonymous letters from AA Miami cargo employees following Mr. Cimino's suicide (the "Gibbs Investigation"), and Gibbs' resulting report. The letters referenced a petition to remove Diaz and other bullying supervisors from their positions. According to AA, the purpose of the Gibbs Investigation was to gather information to allow AA's legal department to assess AA's liability ...


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.