Kansas R. Gooden and Kevin D. Franz recently prevailed on appeal and obtained a new trial for a client. A financial services company sued an insured for diminished value of its vehicle allegedly caused by an automobile accident. At trial, the defendant sought to introduce evidence through a records custodian that Plaintiff’s vehicle had been involved in a prior accident. This evidence was critical to challenging Plaintiff’s argument that the subject accident diminished the value of Plaintiff’s vehicle. The trial court excluded this evidence. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff.
The appellate court held that it was an abuse of discretion to exclude the testimony of the records custodian and prohibiting introduction of the prior accident records. Therefore, the trial court should have granted the motion for new trial. Accordingly, the appellate court reversed the final judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial on damages.
Kansas Gooden is a Board Certified Appellate Specialist, an AV Preeminent Rated Attorney, 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 appellate proceedings in all five District Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.