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Ed Guedes Secures Appellate Win for Publix Supermarkets

Member & Chair of the Firm's Appellate Practice group Edward Guedes was retained by Publix Supermarkets after it had been found liable by a jury in a premises liability case.  The plaintiff appealed an award of fees in favor of Publix that had been offset against the jury verdict.  Ed cross-appealed the jury verdict, arguing that the conduct of Publix’s employee – under the circumstances and with the limited time available to him – was entirely reasonable and, as a matter of law, could not support any determination of liability.  Therefore, the jury verdict should be reversed and a judgment directed in Publix’s favor.  The plaintiff argued primarily that the store employee had admitted not following Publix’s internal procedures relating to how the detergent spill should be handled, and therefore, the jury’s verdict was supported by evidence and should be affirmed.  In response, Ed argued that the internal procedures, while arguably relevant, could not create a heightened duty of care in favor of the plaintiff if the store employee’s conduct was otherwise objectively reasonable.  The Third District Court of Appeal agreed, affirmed the trial court’s award of fees without discussion, and reversed the verdict with directions to enter judgment in favor of Publix.

Categories: Appellate Law & Practice
Tags: Edward G. Guedes