SKYDIVE SPACE CENTER, INC. AND CRISTOFER PARENTE, Appellants,
HENRI POHJOLAINEN, DAVID STROBEL AND TANDEM SOLUTIONS, INC. D/B/A WINGS TANDEM, Appellees.
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
from the Circuit Court for Brevard County, Charles J.
Frederick C. Morello, of Frederick C. Morello, P.A., Daytona
Beach, for Appellants.
A. Hanna, of Wright & Casey, P.A., New Smyrna Beach, for
Appellees, Henri Pohjolainen and Tandem Solutions, Inc. d/b/a
Schultz, of Law Office of Joelle Schultz, PLLC, Clearwater,
for Appellee, David Strobel.
Skydive Space Center, Inc. (SSC) and Cristofer Parente,
appeal the final summary judgment entered by the trial court
in favor of Appellee, Henri Pohjolainen. We reverse and
remand, holding that the trial court committed error by
granting final summary judgment prior to the completion of
relevant ongoing discovery.
purchased four skydiving tandem rigs from Tandem Solutions
d/b/a Wings Tandem, a company which Pohjolainen owned.
Following the sale, the SSC instructors met to discuss an
issue concerning the certification training provided by a
Wings Tandem examiner. During that private meeting, someone
recorded statements made by Parente, SSC's head
instructor. Ultimately, Appellants sued Pohjolainen, David
Strobel (a Wings Tandem examiner), and Tandem Solutions,
alleging that the recording had been obtained and used in
violation of the Florida wiretap statute.
his deposition, Pohjolainen filed a motion for summary
judgement, arguing that there was no evidence suggesting that
he violated the wiretap statute. Within a month of this
motion, Appellants filed a motion to compel production of
emails between Pohjolainen and other parties involved in the
dispute. Additionally, the court ordered that the cloned hard
drive from Strobel's work laptop be provided to
to the scheduled hearing, Appellants filed a response in
opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Appellants
argued that relevant and material discovery had yet to be
produced. At the time of the hearing, the court had not ruled
on the motion to compel the requested emails nor had the
cloned hard drive been provided to Appellants for forensic
the hearing, the trial court granted Pohjolainen's motion
for summary judgment over Appellants' objections
regarding the outstanding discovery. The court noted,
"If subsequent discovery [as to the remaining litigants]
shows that this Court is in error, Plaintiff[s] will be
entitled to amend the complaint. The amendments will relate
back to the original complaint. Mr. Pohjolainen will be added
back in . . . ." This appeal timely followed.
order granting summary judgment is reviewed de novo."
Roussell v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon, 263 So.3d 100, 102
(Fla. 4th DCA 2019) (citing Volusia Cty. v. Aberdeen at
Ormond Beach, L.P., 760 So.2d 126, 130 (Fla. 2000)).
Appellants argue that the trial court prematurely granted
summary judgment as their motion to compel was outstanding
and they had not yet received the cloned hard drive as
previously ordered by the court. We agree with
the information contained in outstanding discovery could
create genuine issues of material fact, summary judgment [is]
not . . . proper." Osorto v. Deutsche Bank
Nat'l. Tr. Co., 88 So.3d 261, 263 (Fla. 4th DCA
2012); see also Colby v. Ellis, 562 So.2d 356, 357
(Fla. 2d DCA 1990). The emails subject to the motion to
compel as well as the cloned hard drive could contain
evidence leading to a genuine issue of material fact.
Therefore, as relevant discovery had yet to be completed and
there was no finding that the discovery requests were
intended to cause delay, it was error for the trial court to
enter summary judgement. See ...