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Florida Power & Light Co. v. Cook

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

July 31, 2019

Florida Power & Light Company, Petitioner,
v.
Larry E. Cook, Respondent.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          On Petition for Writ of Certiorari from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower Tribunal No. 17-25717 Jose M. Rodriguez, Judge.

          Joseph Ianno, Jr., Charles L. Schlumberger, and Kevin I. C. Donaldson, (Juno Beach), for petitioner.

          The Ferraro Law Firm, and Mathew D. Gutierrez and Juan P. Bauta, II, for respondent.

          Before SALTER, LOGUE, and MILLER, JJ.

          LOGUE, J.

         Defendant Florida Power & Light Company ("FPL") petitions this Court for a writ of certiorari to quash two orders denying its motions for protective orders from Plaintiff Larry E. Cook's first and third notices of taking deposition duces tecum. Because we do not have jurisdiction, we dismiss the petition.

         Background

         In 2017, Larry E. Cook filed suit against FPL seeking to recover damages under theories of negligence and premises liability for injuries he claimed he incurred as a result of his exposure to asbestos while working in FPL power plants.

         On September 20, 2018, Cook served FPL with his first notice of taking deposition duces tecum of a corporate representative. Cook designated thirty-five topic areas for examination, some of which covered information potentially dating back as far as 1925. Cook sought production of "[a]ny and all documents in Defendant's possession and or control pertaining in any way to the matters listed in paragraph 1 through 35 of this Notice."

         On February 8, 2019, Cook served FPL with his third notice of taking deposition duces tecum of a corporate representative. Cook designated matters relating to "FPL's responsibility for compliance with asbestos regulations during construction and shutdowns/overhauls and for possession and control of the premises during construction and shutdowns/overhauls" of six specified FPL power plants from 1962 through 1992. In request number four, Cook sought production of "[a]ny and all documents in your possession and or control pertaining in any way to the matters listed in the designation."

         FPL moved for protective orders from each notice and in support, submitted an affidavit prepared by its senior attorney, stating that compliance and production would require FPL to expend significant time, be voluminous, and would cost millions of dollars. The trial court heard argument on FPL's motions on February 28, 2019. Cook withdrew the entire duces tecum request of his first notice, and duces tecum request number four of his third notice. The trial court denied both of FPL's motions. FPL timely filed for a writ of certiorari to review both orders.

         Standard of Review

         To grant certiorari relief, there must be: "(1) a material injury in the proceedings that cannot be corrected on appeal (sometimes referred to as irreparable harm); and (2) a departure from the essential requirements of the law." Nader v. Fla. Dep't of ...


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