On behalf of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Kansas Gooden and Kevin Franz filed an amicus brief in Baker v.Dottson-Pruett, Case No. 1D17-4048, in support of the Appellee insurance company. Dottson-Pruett’s insurance company provided a rental car to him. While operating the rental car, Dottson-Pruett was involved in an automobile accident with Baker. In the tort suit, Baker sued the insurance company asserting that it was strictly liable under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine as the bailor of the vehicle. The trial court entered summary judgment on behalf of the carrier and Baker appealed. The brief argues that Baker is trying to improperly circumvent the Graves Amendment to find a deep pocket and if this cause of action is recognized, it will have a catastrophic effect on the insurance industry. In 2015, there were over 6,296,000 police-reported motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Currently, there are over 2.1 million rental cars. Thus, adopting Baker’s bailment theory would potential impose strict liability in millions of circumstances each year involving millions of rental cars. Further, a contrary ruling will affect other businesses who facilitate rental vehicles, such as hotels, Orbitz, and Priceline, and could place liability on them.
Kansas Gooden is a Board Certified Appellate Specialist and serves as the firm’s appellate practice group leader. She has extensive experience handling all types of civil appellate proceedings, including extraordinary writs and plenary appeals, in state and federal courts. She also provides trial and litigation support to attorneys throughout the state. Kansas is highly involved in the state and local bar associations and has served in many leadership roles. She currently is the Chair of the FDLA’s Amicus Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the organization. Kansas is a frequent lecturer and travels the state presenting seminars and presentations on various topics to both attorneys and adjusters.
Kevin Franz is a senior associate in the appellate practice group. His practice focuses on insurance defense with an emphasis on litigation support and appeals. Kevin has received the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating. He has handled appeals and petitions in all five district courts of appeal for the State of Florida and the Supreme Court of Florida, argued before all five district courts of appeal, and handled appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Click on the following link to read Amicus Brief - FDLA
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