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					                        VERNIS                         &       BOWLING
                                   ATTORNEYS AT LAW • EST. 1970                            FLORIDA LAW UPDATE                                         Summer 2007
            A Newsletter on Developments in the Law for Clients and Friends of Vernis & Bowling

                      G. Jeffrey          $79.5 million in punitive damages.          there was no legal authority to
                      Vernis              Phillip Morris appealed, arguing            support the use of punitive damage
                      Managing Partner    the jury awarded punitive damages           awards for the purposes of punishing
                      Palm Beach          for injuries to persons not before          a defendant for harming others not in
                      Liability           the court (other smokers) and               the litigation.
                                          that the roughly 100 to 1 ratio
                                          the punitive damage award bore to                Additionally, the Court discussed
                                          the compensatory damages was                the issue of caps or limitations on
                                          “grossly excessive.”                        punitive damages awards. Citing its
                                                                                      previous decision of State Farm v.
    Punitive damages may only be               In the original trial, Plaintiff’s     Campbell, the Supreme Court stated
awarded under very specific circum-       counsel argued to the jury that             that the long-standing historical
stances and, and in most states, if       Phillip Morris not only cause harm to       practice of setting punitive damages
specific procedures are followed.         the Plaintiff in this action, but to many   at two, three or four times the size of
Punitive damages, which are not           people in Oregon. Specifically, they        the compensatory damages, while
ordinarily covered by insurance           argued “think about how many                “non-binding,” is “instructive” and
policies, may have a significant          other Jesse Williams” in the last           that single-digit multipliers are more
impact in cases involving large or        forty years in the state of Oregon          likely to comport with due process.
national corporations. Understanding      there have been... In Oregon, how
the significance and the procedural       many people do we see outside                   In this opinion, the United States
requirements of pursuing a claim for      driving home....smoking cigarettes.         Supreme Court expressed its
punitive damages is important when        Cigarettes are going to kill ten            disfavor of punitive damages award
defending or preparing to defend          [of every hundred]. Phillip Morris          in general, and the importance of
such a claim.                             argued that this, among other               proper safe guards to prevent
                                          arguments, persuaded the jury to            “grossly excessive” awards and
     Whether a punitive damages           consider punishing Phillip Morris not       constitutionally protected fairness.
award, which is based in part on a        only for their harm to this particular
jury’s desire to punish a defendant for   Plaintiff, but for all those other             Should you have any questions
harming non-parties, is appropriate       smokers in Oregon. In its opinion,          concerning this article, please
and whether there should be any limit     the United States Supreme Court             contact G. Jeffrey Vernis at
to the amount of the award are some       stated “in our view, the Constitution’s     (561) 775-9822 or via email at
of the issues addressed by the United     Due Process Clause forbids the state
States Supreme Court in the narrowly      to use a punitive damages award to
decided case of Phillip Morris USA v.     punish a defendant for injury that it
Williams, which was decided on            inflicts upon non-parties or those
February 20, 2007. In that case, a        whom they directly represent, i.e.,
jury found that Jesse Williams’ death     injury that it inflicts upon those who
was caused by smoking and that            are, essentially, strangers to the
Phillip Morris, knowingly and falsely     litigation.” They reasoned that to
led him to believe that smoking was       permit punishment for injuring a
safe. The jury awarded the Estate of      non-party victim would add a near
Williams $821,000.00 in compensa-         standardless dimension to the punitive
tory damages, but also awarded            damages equation. They noted that
  VERNIS               &     BOWLING                                                         

                        Kenneth W.           an operator of a commercial motor             since July 1st, 2002! It imposes a duty
                        Moffet               vehicle     not    transporting     any       on every driver to vacate the lane
                        Palm Beach           hazardous materials in amounts                closest to a parked emergency vehicle
                        Trucking Liability   which require placarding may, after 8         making use of any visual signals
                                             hours’ rest, be permitted to drive “any       or a wrecker displaying amber
                                             part of the first 15 on-duty hours in         rotating or flashing lights that is
                                             any 24-hour period, but may not be            performing a recovery or loading on
                                             permitted to operate a commercial             the roadside as soon as it is safe
                                             motor vehicle after that until the            to do so. Furthermore, a motorist
     Chapter 316, Florida Statutes,          requirement of another 8 hours’ rest          shall slow to a speed that is 20 miles
entitled “state uniform traffic control”,    has been fulfilled.”                          per hour less than the posted speed
adopts the federal motor carrier                                                           limit when the posted speed limit is
safety regulations found in chapter               In a statute routinely violated by       25 miles per hour or greater (always
49, Code of Federal Regulations(CFR)         truckers, no vehicle, including cars;         the case on an interstate highway).
in the governance of operation of            suvs; and all other vehicles, may be
commercial motor vehicles. Recently,         driven unless the vehicle is loaded as           Should you have any questions
some of the Florida statutes have            to prevent any of its load from               concerning this article, please contact
been amended or modified. This               “dropping, shifting, leaking, blowing,        Ken Moffet at (561) 775-9822 or via
article is but a brief summary of some       or otherwise escaping therefrom...”           email at
of these newly enacted provisions.           Fla. Stat. 316.520.

     As recently as October, 2006,               One of the statutes I believe is
                                                                                            KEEP      ON      TRUCKIN’           !!!
and specifically effective October 1st,      noteworthy and important to the                KEEP      ON      TRUCKIN’           !!!
2006, the legislature changed the            safety of law enforcement personnel
hours of service(hos) rules for              is section 316.126. This section is            KEEP      ON      TRUCKIN’           !!!
intrastate commerce. These provisions
are found in Florida Statute
                                             commonly referred to as the “move              KEEP      ON      TRUCKIN’           !!!
                                             over law” and most people think it’s a
316.302(2)(b)(1) & (2). Essentially,         new law. In fact, it has been in effect        KEEP      ON      TRUCKIN’           !!!

 G. Jeffrey Vernis, Managing Partner (Palm Beach) and John Unzicker, Managing Attorney (Pensacola)
 Have been selected by Law and Politics, Super Lawyer Magazine, as one of Florida’s super lawyers in personal injury defense
 litigation for 2007.

 We are pleased to announce the relocation of our Jacksonville office. Vernis & Bowling of North Florida, P. A. has moved to 4309
 Salisbury Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32216.

 Vernis & Bowling is pleased to announce that SIU Attorney Melissa McCullough (DeLand), has been appointed by the National
 Association of Professional Insurance Investigators (NSPII) to serve as the Florida Delegate to NSPII's National Board. Melissa will
 represent the interest of the NSPII Florida Chapter at the National Board.

 We are pleased to announce that John Unzicker (Pensacola) has been appointed to Chairman of the Florida Bar Workers'
 Compensation Certification Committee. This Committee is responsible for preparing and rating the Board Certification Examination
 taken by Workers' Compensation Attorneys.                                                        VERNIS                &    BOWLING
       We are pleased to announce the addition of the
     following attorneys to the Vernis & Bowling team:
                         Terrence Lavy                                Cary Woods, II                                Brian Mills
                         Fort Myers                                   Miami                                         Jacksonville
                         TLavy@                                       CWoods@                                       BMills@

     Terrence L. Lavy was born in                  Cary Woods, II attended Florida              Brian Mills was born in Live Oak,
Syracuse, NY in 1967. He obtained              State University and graduated with a       Florida in 1974. He attended the
a Bachelor of Science in Criminal              Bachelor of Arts degree in Political        University of West Florida and
Justice with Psychology minor from             Science and International Affairs and       received his B.A. degree in English
SUNY College at Buffalo in 1989. In            a minor in Communications.                  in 1997. Brian received his Juris Doctorate
1993, Terry graduated from Rutgers                                                         degree from Florida Coastal School of
School of Law, Camden, NJ with a                   After college, Cary had the             Law in 2000.
Certificate in International Law.              valuable opportunity to work for
                                               The Honorable Christ Craft in the                Brian’s professional experience
     Prior to coming to Vernis &               Shelby County Government, Criminal          includes litigation in premises and
Bowling, Terry practiced law in New            Division II in Memphis, Tennessee as        auto liability, construction law, commercial
Jersey and Pennsylvania. For several           a courtroom clerk. This court is one of     law, employment law and consumer
years, he served as an Assistant               only three major violator courtrooms        law. His professional associations
City Attorney for Camden NJ where              in Memphis, Tennessee.                      include Florida Bar Association and
he defended the City at trial and                                                          American Bar Association (with section
appellate courts. His work included                 Cary attended St. Thomas               membership in Litigation, Business
contractual matters, torts, civil rights       University School of Law and attained       Law with E-Commerce and Intellectual
and employment discrimination. This            a Juris Doctorate degree in 2006.           Property subcommittees, and Real
included trials in both state and              During his time in law school he            Property, Probate and Trust), Phi Delta
federal courts. Terry successfully             furthered his study of law abroad           Phi legal fraternity, and Sigma Alpha
argued the application of the NJ               while studying in El Escorial, Spain.       Epsilon social fraternity.
Tort Claims Act to an accidental               He also earned two book awards for
police shooting before the NJ                  his outstanding participation and               Brian is licensed to practice in the
Supreme Court. Alston v. City, 168             knowledge in Constitutional Law II          State of Florida and the Northern and
NJ 170 (2001). In 2003, Terry                  and Trial Advocacy, which was               Middle Federal Districts of Florida.
was recruited by The Philadelphia              taught by the now retired Honorable
Contributionship Insurance Company             Judge Levy of the Third District
to serve as its in-house counsel. There,       Court of Florida. While attending law
he expanded the operations of the              school, Cary worked for Vernis &
legal department and established               Bowling as a law clerk for a year and
a record of successful trials and              a half before becoming an attorney
arbitrations. He represented the               for Vernis & Bowling in 2006. Cary’s
Contributionship in coverage disputes          extra curricular activities in law school
and its policy holders in defense of           extended to being the treasurer for St.
negligent and intentional torts, defamation,   Thomas Law School’s Business Law
wrongful death and catastrophic                Society and volunteering for United
injury cases.                                  Way/Hands on Miami.

    Terry moved to Southwest Florida               Cary is a member of North
where he joined Vernis & Bowling               Dade Bar Association, Dade Bar
in 2006. His practice is primarily civil       Association and Young Lawyers
defense litigation and insurance issues.       Division.
                                         VERNIS                                            &            BOWLING
                                                        ATTORNEYS AT LAW • EST. 1970                                                            FLORIDA LAW UPDATE                                                                              Summer 2007

                                              VERDICTS & DISPOSITIONS
  Carl Bober and Jose Font (Ft. Lauderdale) obtained a defense verdict in                               County, Florida, a case filed in the United States District Court for the
  favor of their client, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, in a jury trial                       Southern District of Florida. The plaintiff in that case claimed that his employ-
  that took place in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and that was styled                               ment was terminated because of a disability, but more specifically a
  Adolfo & Estee Gonzalez v. Citizens Property Ins. Corp. Plaintiffs in this case                       condition in the plaintiff's back. The plaintiff was of the position that the
  had a homeowner's insurance policy with Citizens covering their five                                  School Board knew of his disability and terminated him because he was
  bedroom home. In February 2003, they sustained a total fire loss at their                             unable to perform job functions requiring strain on his back. To the contrary,
  residence. Plaintiffs filed suit against Citizens alleging that it breached the                       the School Board contended that the plaintiff was not disabled as set forth
  contract by failing to pay them over $218,000.00 for substantial damages                              in the Americans with Disabilities Act, that the School Board did not know
  sustained to the home and their contents. In defense of Citizens, it was                              the plaintiff had a disability, assuming for argument's sake that he did have
  argued that the Plaintiffs had made material misrepresentations, false                                a recognized disability, the plaintiff was terminated for other legitimate,
  statements, and/or engaged in fraudulent conduct related to their claim,                              nondiscriminatory reasons, and in any event, the plaintiff was a probationary
  specifically in the submission of allegedly altered and fake documentation.                           employee that could be terminated from employment with the School Board
  Plaintiff's disputed this defense, however, the jury expressly found that                             for any lawful reason or no reason whatsoever. The court found that: (1) that
  Citizens did not breach the contract of insurance. Final judgment was                                 the plaintiff did not meet the standard required for demonstrating a
  entered in favor of Defendant Citizens and our motion to tax costs against                            recognized disability; (2) assuming for the purposes of argument that a
  the Plaintiffs was granted.                                                                           disability existed that the School Board knew of the disability; and
                                                                                                        (3) regardless of the foregoing, the plaintiff had failed to meet the
  Carl Bober (Ft. Lauderdale) successfully argued and obtained final                                    nondiscriminatory reasons proffered by the School Board for his termination
  summary judgment in the case of Josh Johnson v Jose Burgos, a negligence                              head on, as required. Judgment as a matter of law was consequently
  action brought before the Hon. Ronald Friedman in Miami-Dade County,                                  entered in favor of the School Board.
  Florida. Plaintiff was an employee of a major termite fumigation company
  which was tenting our client's/the Defendant's home. While Plaintiff was                              Stephanie Alexander (Pensacola), obtained a Workers’ Compensation
  physically on the roof of the Defendant's residence during the tenting                                Final Order awarding E/C an off-set of compensation benefits, in Robert A.
  process, he came into contact with a Florida Power and Light ("FPL") service                          LaNoue V. Office Max and Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. Claimant
  cable which fed electricity through a mast on the roof and was nearly                                 assumed the safety ladder would not pass pallets in the storeroom and
  electrocuted, causing him substantial personal injuries. Plaintiff claimed that                       climbed to the top shelf to retrieve merchandise. After handing it down to a
  the FPL service cable was corroded/defective at the point it entered the mast                         co-worker he fell/jump and fractured both heel bones. Judge Nolan S. Winn
  on our client's roof, and that as the homeowner, the insured owed a duty to                           held that by not utilizing the ladder, he knowingly refused to use a safety
  keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition and to warn of dangerous                             appliance provided by the employer. Therefore, E/C was awarded 25%
  conditions. After our filing of a Motion for Summary Judgment which argued                            reduction in compensation benefits, pursuant to FS440.09(5).
  that our client/homeowner, despite the fact that the accident occurred on his
  roof, had no control over the allegedly defective FPL cable that he did not                           Henry J. Roman (Ft. Lauderdale) obtained a Per Curium Affirmed
  own nor maintain, as well as the fact that the homeowner had no notice                                decision from the First District Court of Appeals in the matter of Sanchez v.
  actual or constructive of a dangerous condition, the Judge granted our                                Gold Coast Towing/Unisource. In the underlying workers compensation
  motion and final judgment was entered in favor of the Defendant. The Trial                            case, the Defense successfully argued that the claimant did not suffer an
  Judge thereafter granted our Motion seeking Attorney's Fees and Costs from                            accident arising out of work performed in the course and scope of his
  the Plaintiff pursuant to the Proposal for Settlement served upon him.                                employment as a tow truck driver while he was in his truck, and uniformed,
                                                                                                        parked in front of a market. The claimant alleged he went to the market to
  Ken Moffet and Jason Blevins, (Palm Beach) obtained a defense verdict on                              attend to his "personal comfort". The trial court found he was at the market
  behalf of Enterprise Leasing and Stephen Simone, the renter, in Volusia                               to cash a personal check and failed to show that this personal mission was
  County, Daytona Beach, after a three day jury trial in January, 2007.The                              of any benefit to his employer. The First DCA agreed.
  Plaintiff, Larry Weinraub, was rear-ended by the out-of-state renter, Simone,
  and Larry Weinraub claimed significant injuries. The jury was unpersuaded                             Henry J. Roman (Ft. Lauderdale) obtained a reversal of the lower court's
  and returned with a defense verdict after an hour and a half of deliberations.                        decision that an accident was in the course and scope of employment in the
                                                                                                        matter of Restoration Technology/NELCO v. Andres Reyes. The claimant
  Larry Wang (Jacksonville) obtained a defense verdict in the Workers’                                  alleged that he was injured as a result of an alteraction with a co-worker.
  Compensation claim, Brett Spinning v. State of Florida and Florida                                    The claimant's testimony at trial contradicted deposition testimony when he
  Department of Environmental Protection. The Order issued by the Judge of                              testified at the former that the struck his hand with on a hard object. The
  Compensation Claims denied the claimant’s claim for compensability for all                            lower court found that an altercation with a co-worker where: (1) the
  conditions related to alleged exposure to toxic substances. Claimant                                  claimant's injury results from the co-workers unprovoked aggression; (2) the
  claimed that his employment with the Florida Department of Environmental                              claimant's work brings him or her into close proximity with the aggressive
  Protection placed him in situations that allowed him to be exposed to toxic                           co-worker; and (3) the object causing the injury was an implement of the
  substances that caused him to be inflicted with basilar migraines and                                 employment. The First District Court of Appeals disagreed with the lower
  essential tremors. Claimant’s expert witness testified that, based upon the                           Court and agreed with the Defense in finding the claimant's injury was
  nature of the claimant’s employment and contact with potentially toxic                                self-inflicted and thus not compensable.
  chemicals, there could be no other reason for the claimant’s condition. The
  employer/carrier argued that the claimant never came into contact with any                            Henry J. Roman (Ft. Lauderdale) successfully argued for the Defense in
  chemical that was known to cause basilar migraines or essential tremors.                              opposition to a motion to enforce a prior mediation agreement that the
  Furthermore, the employer/carrier argued that the claimant failed to prove                            mediation was was not enforceable as the contingencies had not been met
  that he came into contact with chemicals more than the average person.                                at the time of the claimant death in the matter of Gilmore v. Cracker
  Lastly, the employer/carrier was proved that the claimant’s condition was                             Barrel/Gallagher Bassett Services. The parties entered into a mediation
  genetic in nature and not a result of his contact with chemical substances                            agreement with certain contingencies. Prior to the contingencies being met,
  while employed with the employer.                                                                     the claimant died. The trial judge ruled a settlement agreement between a
                                                                                                        workers’ compensation Claimant and an employer is not final and
  Curtis W. Mollohan (Florida Keys) obtained summary judgment in an                                     enforceable before the claimant dies due to outstanding contingencies.
  Americans with Disabilities claim in King v. School Board of Monroe

The Florida Law update is published by Vernis & Bowling for the benefits of clients, friends and fellow professionals on matters of interest. The information contained herein is not to be construed as legal
advice or opinion. We provide such advice or opinion only after being engaged to do so with respect to particular facts and circumstances.
This publication may be considered "advertising material" under the rules of professional conduct governing attorneys in some states. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based
solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written inforamtion about our qualifications and experience.
Michael A. Meadows (Florida Keys) obtained Summary Judgment in favor                 Len Hackett (Jacksonville) obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of the
of our client, the Defendant School Board in a Negligence action in Krathen          Nassau County School District in a matter brought by the parents of a
vs. The District School Board of Monroe County, in the Circuit Court of              disabled child pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Monroe County, Florida. Plaintiff brought suit claiming that the injuries she        (IDEA). The parents challenged the school district's decision to place the child in
sustained while participating in cheerleading practice were the result of the        a varying exceptionalities class. The parents argued that the child should be
Defendant's negligence. We moved for Summary Judgment asserting that                 placed in a general kindergarten class and that the child should be
the Plaintiff's claims for negligence were barred based upon the Consent             assigned a full-time one-on-one paraprofessional/interpreter. The judge was
and Release from Liability Certificate executed by the Plaintiff and the             persuaded by the school district's argument and ruled that the placement of
Plaintiff's parent/guardian which was required to be executed prior to               the child was proper and that the student was not entitled to a one-on-one
participating in school athletics such as cheerleading. Under the document,          paraprofessional/interpreter.
the Plaintiff agreed to,"release and hold harmless, my school, the school
against which it competes, the contest officials and the FHSAA (Florida High         Gery Levy (Miami) This is a case where we represent the condominium
School Athletic Association) because of any accident or mishap involving             association. A former unit owner sued the association for declaratory relief,
my participation". Plaintiff argued in part that the release did not apply           breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, and breach of
because the release did not specifically release Defendant from their own            fiduciary duty. The Plaintiff alleges that the association breached the governing
negligence. The Defense argued that under Hardage Enterprises Inc. v.                documents by failing to approve the application of a prospective buyer of
Fidesys Corp., N.V., 570 So. 2d 436 (Fla. 5th DCA 1990) that it is an                his unit. The Complaint states that as a result of the alleged delay, the
"...erroneous assumption that a release will not bar claims of negligence            Plaintiff suffered damages in excess of $32,000.00, as he was forced to
merely because it does not specifically contain the word 'negligence'. There         sell the unit at the time the real estate market began to soften. The Plaintiff
are no words of art required in a release if the intent of the parties is apparent   sought to have the Court declare that, under the governing documents, the
from the language use." The Court agreed with the cited authority and                association was obligated to act in a timely manner. The association's
entered Summary Judgment on behalf of the Defendant. Additionally, prior             position is that the Plaintiff had the right to proceed with the sale if the
to filing for Summary Judgment, a §57.105 notice letter was sent to the              association failed to approve the prospective buyer within 20 days of the
Plaintiff's counsel. Based upon the §57.105 notice letter, Defendant's Motion        submission of the application for approval. We moved to dismiss the counts
for Attorneys Fees and costs is pending.                                             for declaratory relief and breach of fiduciary duty. We argued the Plaintiff
                                                                                     had no cause of action for declaratory relief under Chapter 86, Florida
Terry Dixon (Central Florida/DeLand) obtained a defense verdict in the               Statutes, because the Act was intended to declare the rights of the parties
case of Vanderschaaf and Nancy Vanderschaaf , his wife v. Waste Services             with "present and actual" controversy. In this case, the Plaintiff's right to seek
of Florida Inc., Individually or d/b/a/ Daytona Hauling. In May 2004,                a determination of his rights vis-a-vis the association's was at the time he was
plaintiff Kevin Vanderschaaf, 40s, an independent lawn care maintenance              unit owner. The Plaintiff did not seek to have the parties' respective rights
contractor, was riding his motorcycle in South Daytona behind a dump truck.          until her was no longer a unit owner, and thus, no longer a member of
The truck stopped and Vanderschaaf stopped behind it. The truck then                 the association. The Court agreed that there was no "present, actual"
began to back up and he honked to get the truck’s attention, to no avail,            controversy, and, in a written opinion, dismissed the declaratory relief claim
and the truck struck him as he tried to lay the bike down. He claimed that           with prejudice. The Court also agreed with the association that, under the
the motorcycle was jerked out of his hand.                                           Condominium Act, Section 718.111(1)(a), Florida Statues, it is the officers
                                                                                     and directors who owe a fiduciary duty to the association's members, such
Claiming that his arm was injured in the collision, Vanderschaaf sued the            as the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff claimed the association breached its fiduciary
company that owned the truck, Waste Services of Florida, Inc. operating as           duty by failing to act in a timely manner, thereby causing pecuniary
Daytona Hauling, Inc. for its driver’s negligence.                                   damages to the Plaintiff. Because there were no claims of wrongdoing
                                                                                     against any individual Board Member, the Plaintiff had no cause of action
Vanderschaaf’s lawyers contended that he had been driving in a safe and              for breach of fiduciary duty against the association itself. The Court dis-
legal manner when the dump truck negligently backed into him.                        missed the claim with prejudice.
The defense admitted liability, but argued that Vanderschaaf was partially
negligent. They contended that he should have realized that the truck would
not notice him to stop in time and that he should have laid down the bike
immediately instead of trying to honk and get the trucks attention.

Vanderschaaf testified that he did not have time to get out of the way.

Vanderschaaf claimed that he wrenched his right, dominant arm when the
truck hit the bike as he was laying it down. He also claimed soft-tissue
injuries to his neck and back. His treating neurologist, John Orlani, testified
that Vanderschaaf was suffering from reflex sympathetic disorder in his right
arm annular tear in his neck. Orlani testified that a thermogram showed that
the right arm was cold which showed significant lack of blood flow to the
arm. The RSD caused his right arm and hand to become virtually useless
and made it painful. He treated with pain and medication, physical
therapy and calcium channel blockers. He sought past and future medical
expenses for continued treatments.

Vanderschaaf testified that he was able to continue working, but only 10 to
12 hours a week. He was also forced to modify his equipment to run with
his left hand. He sought damages for reduced past income and reduced
future income.

Vanderschaaf testified that his right arm was almost entirely useless. While
he could use it, it had almost no strength and after prolonged use became
very painful. He testified that he couldn’t do simple things like type on a
keyboard, use zippers, put on ties or button shirts. He also testified that the
RSD caused his arm and hand to change colors, to red and purple as well
as change temperatures. He showed the jury his arm, which was a reddish
purple. He sought damages for past and future pain and suffering.

In total Vanderschaaf sought more than $1 million. His wife claimed loss

The defense contended that Vanderschaaf did not have RSD. The defense’s
expert orthopedist, Lawrence Halperin, testified that after performing an
IME, he found Vanderschaaf to not have RSD.

The defense also argued that Vanderschaaf could have sought work that did
not require manual labor which wuld allow him to use his hand.

The jury found that Daytona Hauling was 51% liable and Vanderschaaf was
49% liable. It awarded $1551,205, which was reduced to $77,116.
                           VERNIS                           &        BOWLING
                                     ATTORNEYS AT LAW • EST. 1970                                ALABAMA LAW UPDATE                                               Summer 2007
             A Newsletter on Developments in the Law for Clients and Friends of Vernis & Bowling

                         James T.             hearing loss sustained. Accordingly,           be more than episodic, momentary, or
                                              defense counsel should work to determine       incidental to non-maritime work. Stone,
                                              whether the claimant has ever had an           30 BRBS at 209; Coleman v. Atlantic
                         Mobile, AL
                         Long Shore and       audiogram prior to the date of injury          Container Service, Inc., 22 BRBS 309
                         Harbor Workers’      referenced in the LS-203. Interestingly, if    (1989), aff'd, 904 F.2d 611, 23 BRBS
                         Compensation         the claimant ever served in the military,      101(CRT) (11th Cir. 1990). A key factor
                                              audiograms are normally performed on           in determining status is the nature of the
                                              both entrance and exit physicals.              activity to which an employee may be
                                                                                             assigned. Ford, 444 U.S. at 82, 11 BRBS
                                                   Generally, for any claim to be            at 328. Moreover, under § 920 of the
                                              covered by the LSHWCA, a claimant must         LSHWCA, in any claim for benefits there
     The federal Long Shore and Harbor        establish that his or her injury occurred in   are four presumptions in favor of the
Workers’ Compensation Act (LSHWCA),           an area covered by Section 3(a) of the         claimant. They are: (1) that the claim
Code of Federal Regulation, Title 33,         Act, and that his or her work constitutes      comes under the provisions of the Act; (2)
Chapter 18, § 901 et. seq., controls          “maritime employment” under Section            that sufficient notice was given; (3) that
claims for benefits related to “maritime      2(3) of the Act. 33 U.S.C. § § 902(3),         the injury was not occasioned solely by
employment.” LSHWCA claims are heard          903(a); Director, OWCP v. Perini North         the intoxication of the injured party; and
by federal Administrative Law Judges. Per     River Associates, 459 U.S. 297, 15 BRBS        (4) that the injury was not occasioned by
the Administrative Law Judge’s bench          62(CRT) (1983); P.C. Pfeiffer Co. v. Ford,     willful intention of the injured employee.
book, the statute of limitations on a hear-   444 U.S. 69, 11 BRBS 320 (1979);
ing loss claim begins to run only after the   Northeast Marine Terminal Co. v. Caputo,             Per the LSHWCA, the employer
employee becomes aware of the full char-      432 U.S. 249, 6 BRBS 150 (1977);               is liable to a successful claimant’s counsel
acter, extent, and impact of the claimed      Stone v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., 30        for an attorney’s fee for all work
injury.     Paducah Marine Ways v.            BRBS 209 (1996); Kennedy v. American           performed. Expenses are also author-
Thompson, 82 F.3d 130 (6th Cir. 1996).        Bridge Co., 30 BRBS 1 (1996). In order         ized. The award of interest on benefits
Accordingly, self serving representations     to demonstrate that coverage exists, a         awarded is not statutorily mandated, but
in pleadings and/or testimony as to when      claimant must satisfy the “situs” and the      has been repeatedly upheld as consistent
the claimant first noticed hearing prob-      “status” requirements of the Act. Id.; see     with the Congressional purpose of fully
lems can preserve and prolong the statute     also Crapanzano v. Rice Mohawk, U.S.           compensating claimants for their injuries.
of limitations for hearing loss claims. The   Constr. Co., Ltd., 30 BRBS 81 (1996). A        See Foundation Constructors, Inc. v.
statute of limitations issue must be          claimant satisfies the situs and status        Director, OWCP, 950 F.2d 621, 25 BRBS
addressed in the first responsive pleading    requirement as a maritime employee if he       71 (CRT)(9th Cir. 1991); Quave v.
using form LS-207, which functions as the     or she is an employee engaged in work          Progress Marine, 912 F.2d 798, 24 BRBS
‘answer’ to the employee’s claim.             which is integral to the loading, unload-      43 (CRT), on reh'g, 918 F.2d 33, 24
                                              ing, constructing, or repairing of vessels.    BRBS 55 (CRT) (5th Cir. 1990), cert.
     Discovery in LSHWCA hearing loss         See Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. Co. v.               denied, 500 U.S. 916 (1991); Strachan
cases operates under the framework of         Schwalb, 493 U.S. 40, 23 BRBS 96(CRT)          Shipping Co. v. Wedemeyer, 452 F.2d
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.         (1989).      Other types of ‘maritime’         1225 (5th Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 406
Defense counsel has the right and the         employment should be examined carefully        U.S. 958 (1972). Interest in hearing loss
need to look backward into a hearing loss     to see whether they afford defenses under      cases is generally awarded starting four-
claimant’s medical history to determine       the Act. A claimant need only “spend at        teen days after the employer is first noti-
whether he or she had any prior notice of     least some of [his or her] time” in            fied of the injury or has knowledge of the
hearing loss before the date alleged on       indisputably maritime activities. Northeast    injury. See Wilkerson v. Ingalls
the LS-203 form, which functions as the       Marine Terminal Co. v. Caputo, 432 U.S.        Shipbuilding, Inc., ___ F.3d ___, No. 96-
employee’s ‘complaint’ for benefits.          249, 6 BRBS 150, 165                (1977).    60676 (5th Cir. Oct. 23, 1997); Renfroe
Section 908(13) of the Act regarding loss     Although an employee is covered if some        v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., 30 BRBS 101
of hearing states that an audiogram is        portion of her activities constitutes          (1996)(en banc).
presumptive evidence of the amount of         covered employment, those activities must
     Due to the presumptions afforded by                              lucrative nature of these claims as related                           has passed retirement age, a Medicare
the act, the character of a claimant’s                                to the actual amount of work involved in                              Set Aside may be required to close
employment will be considered maritime                                prosecuting them, there are many                                      out   all   liability  in  conjunction
by merely pleading so--unless rebutted by                             claimant’s attorneys who advertise for                                with any settlement. See 42 U.S.C.
the employer. LSHWCA hearing loss                                     and specialize in hearing loss claims                                 1395y(b)(2)(A) (1980).
claims are common among those who                                     involving older and retired workers.
spent a lifetime loading and unloading                                                                                                           Should you have any questions
ships or working around the water,                                          Per § 908(13)(B) of the LSHWCA,                                 regarding hearing loss cases brought
especially those older workers who spent                              compensation for loss of hearing in both                              under the Long Shore Harbor Workers’
the majority of their working life without                            ears is calculated at 200 weeks of bene-                              Compensation Act, please contact Jim
the hearing protection now required by                                fits. Benefits awarded to successful                                  Patterson at (251) 432-0337, or via
the U. S. Occupational Safety and Health                              claimants for hearing loss will also include                          e-mail at
Administration (OSHA). Because of the                                 future medical expenses. If the claimant

       We are pleased to announce that Vernis & Bowling of Southern Alabama, LLC has moved to
                              204 South Royal Street, Mobile, Alabama.

                                              VERDICTS & DISPOSITIONS
   James T. Patterson (Mobile) obtained summary judgment in a workers’ compensation                      James T. Patterson (Mobile) obtained a favorable recovery for clients St.
   claim in Cunningham v. Sea Breeze Nursing Home, et. al., in the Circuit                               Paul/Travelers and Caddell Construction Company, Inc. of Montgomery Alabama
   Court of Mobile County, Alabama. There, the claimant filed a verified                                 in a subrogation case alleging breach of contract, contractual and
   complaint alleging that she was permanently and totally disabled as a result of two                   common law indemnification, negligent failure to procure insurance, and veil
   different injuries to different parts of her body sustained on different dates. The                   piercing claims against a subcontractor and its insurance agent. The underlying
   claimant’s attorney later created a favorable window of opportunity when he filed a                   claims involved the construction of a federal courthouse in Tennessee in year 2001.
   motion to compel payment of temporary total disability and medical benefits,                          There, an employee of the subcontractor was injured at work and was eventually
   averring that the claimant had been ready, willing, and able to return to light duty                  awarded a permanent total disability. When it became clear the subcontractor did
   work since the month prior to when he filed her verified complaint. The                               not have the correct statutory workers’ compensation insurance--notwithstanding the
   inconsistency in alleging on the one hand that she was permanently and totally                        fact that the subcontractor’s insurance agent produced certificates of insurance that
   disabled, and on the other hand claiming that she had been ready, willing, and                        clearly referenced the Tennessee project-- Caddell became liable for the disability
   able to return to work since before her complaint was filed was only one factor in                    award under Tennessee law. The instant subrogation lawsuit was brought in the
   the Court’s decision to grant summary judgment. Other factors included arguable                       United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Caddell is among
   job abandonment, and the fact that the claimant was released from her first injury                    the 200 largest U. S. contractors, and is the 26th largest U.S. General Contractor
   with a zero percent impairment rating from her doctor. Because a different                            working abroad and the nation’s 68th largest design/build firm. The majority of
   insurance policy from a subsequent carrier was involved in the second injury,                         Caddell’s volume consists of work for federal clients including the U. S. State
   Alabama’s “last injurious exposure” rule was used to show the Court that the burden                   Department, the General Services Administration (GSA), the Federal Bureau of
   for all indemnity and future medical expenses was owed by the second carrier and                      Prisons, the U. S. Department of Energy, and all branches of the U. S. military.
   not the first.

          We are pleased to announce the addition of the
         following attorney to the Vernis & Bowling team:
                                      Jon Green                       moved to Mobile to work with an insurance                             Probate practice involving estate administration,
                                      Mobile, Alabama                 defense firm. He later became heavily involved                        guardianships, conservatorships, and commitments.
                                                                      in asbestos defense litigation, and was                               He has over twenty published Appellate
                                                                      admitted to practice in Mississippi in 1989.                          opinions including cases of first impression
                                                                                                                                            such as Amerada Hess v. Owens-Corning, 627
                                                                           Jon is admitted to practice in Alabama,                          So. 2d 367 (Ala. 1993), Sheffield v. Owens-
                                                                      Mississippi, and Texas, as well as Federal                            Corning, 595 So.2d 443 (Ala. 1992), and
                                                                      Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of                        Gilmore v. M&B Realty Co., 895 So. 2d 200
                                                                      Texas, the Northern and Southern Districts of                         (Ala. 2004). Jon was also Appellee’s counsel
                                                                      Mississippi, the Southern District of Alabama,                        in the first case to uphold the constitutionality of
                                                                      the 5th and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeal, and                        the workers’ compensation Act amendment in
     Jon Green was born in Tyler, Texas and
                                                                      the United States Supreme Court.                                      Alabama granting co-employee immunity for
raised in El Paso, Texas. He graduated from
                                                                                                                                            negligence actions, Reed v. Brunson, 527
Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama in
                                                                             Jon has a long history of experience in                        So.2d 102 (Ala. 1988).
1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Political
                                                                      defense litigation, ranging from mass tort
Science. After college, he returned to Texas to
                                                                      litigation to State Worker’s Compensation,                            PUBLISHED APPELLATE DECISIONS:
study law at the University of Texas at Austin,
                                                                      Longshore and Harbor Worker litigation,                               Amerada Hess v. Owens-Corning, 627 So. 2d
where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1977.
                                                                      construction defect litigation, arson, Errors                         367 (Ala. 1993), Sheffield v. Owens-Corning,
Jon began his legal career as a Hearings
                                                                      and Omissions (E&O) coverage and general                              595 So.2d 443 (Ala. 1992); and Gilmore v.
Examiner for the State of Texas. In 1982, Jon
                                                                      liability. In addition, Jon has developed a                           M&B Realty Co., 895 So. 2d 200 (Ala. 2004).
was licensed to practice in Alabama and
The Alabama Law update is published by Vernis & Bowling for the benefits of clients, friends and fellow professionals on matters of interest. The information contained herein is not to be construed as legal
advice or opinion. We provide such advice or opinion only after being engaged to do so with respect to particular facts and circumstances.
This publication may be considered "advertising material" under the rules of professional conduct governing attorneys in some states. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based
solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written inforamtion about our qualifications and experience.
                        VERNIS                         &       BOWLING
                                 ATTORNEYS AT LAW • EST. 1970                           GEORGIA LAW UPDATE                                          Summer 2007
            A Newsletter on Developments in the Law for Clients and Friends of Vernis & Bowling

                      James G.            Ga. App. 88, 561 S.E.2d                    employer can establish a change in
                      Jackson             225(2002). However, the cases              condition by proving that available,
                      Atlanta             primarily emphasize the third              suitable employment exists in the
                      Workers'            requirement - that evidence show the       general, local economy; the proof
                      Compensation        availability of suitable work - and in     can be offered through the testimony
                                          at least one case, the Court               of a vocational expert, usually a
                                          of Appeals did not mention a               qualified rehabilitation supplier.
                                          requirement for the employer to prove
                                          a physical change for the better, but            In Mountainside Medical v.
                                          instead merely stated “the employer        Tanner, 225 Ga. App. 722, 484
     In Georgia, once a claim for         must show that the employee is able        S.E.2d 706 (1997), the claimant
workers’ compensation disability          to return to work and that suitable        Tanner had qualified for temporary
benefits has been accepted, or an         work is available.” Freeman v.             total disability benefits. The claimant
all issues determination of compens-      Continental Baking Company, 212            made no actual or attempted return to
ability and disability has been made,     Ga. App. 855, 443 S.E.2d 520               work.      Nonetheless, the Court of
much of the subsequent litigation         (1994).                                    Appeals allowed the employer to
may involve attempts by the                                                          utilize O.C.G.A.       § 34—9—104
employer/insurer to establish a                One of the more frequent, frustrat-   and 34-9-262 to decrease benefits
change in condition for the better, so    ing and expensive workers’ compen-         to temporary partial levels by “theo-
as to decrease or suspend in their        sation fact situations — encountered       rizing” as to the amounts Tanner
entirety the disability benefits          virtually everyday in the handling         could earn if he did take advantage
owed. This is most difficult in those     of compensable, disabling injuries —       of      available,   suitable     work.
cases where the claimant is given         is that situation in which a claimant      Significantly, the Court of Appeals
continuing work restrictions related to   can work, with restrictions, but           reversed the State Board’s decision
the job injury, and the employer          the employer cannot provide light          preserving TTD benefits, while
cannot offer light duty work. It is the   duty employment, for any one of            announcing that “the legislature did
intent to this article to discuss a way   a variety of reasons. However, in          not intend claimants to not work and
in which employers, insurers and          many of these cases there are jobs         thereby avoid a reduced benefit.”
servicing agents can lawfully seek a      available in the local economic            As the Court of Appeals stated:
termination of disability benefits in     community, particularly in urban           “according to the statutory scheme,
these costly cases.                       areas, which the claimant could            the ability to earn — not the propen-
                                          perform within restrictions and -          sity to earn — controls the issue ...”
    Generally, the case law in            where the claimant refuses to
Georgia states the employer can           avail himself/herself of relevant               The implications of this distinction
establish a change in condition for       employment opportunities within the        have been highlighted and further
the better, where evidence shows: (1)     community - there is a process by          defined in subsequent decisions.
the employee has undergone a              which an employer can effect a             Most significantly, in Jones County
physical change for the better; (2) as    change in condition for the better, on     Board of Education v. Patterson, 255
a result of the improvement, the          the basis that the proximate cause of      Ga. App. 166, 564 S.E.2d 777
employee is capable of working; and       the claimant’s unemployment is the         (2002), the Court specifically allowed
(3) work is available to decrease or      claimant’s unwillingness to work,          expert evidence that a claimant
terminate the loss of income caused       rather than the unavailability of          qualified for suitable jobs currently
by the job injury. See ABB Risk           suitable employment. Under a               available in the local economy to
Management Service v. Lord, 254           specific line of case decisions, the       justify a finding of change in
condition for the better. Also see ABB                                claimant refuses to return to suitable                                injury-related restrictions. Aggressive
Risk Management Services v. Lord,                                     work available in the local economy -                                 litigation of such change in condition
254 Ga. App. 88, 561 S.E.2d 225                                       the employer can prove a change                                       defenses can cut the costs of
(2002) and Shaw Industries, Inc. v.                                   in condition for the better, by                                       these cases.
Shaw, 262 Ga. App. 586, 586                                           establishing    the    existence    of
S.E.2d 80 (2003).                                                     available, suitable work through the                                      Should you have any questions
                                                                      testimony of a vocational expert.                                     regarding this ar ticle, please
    These cases show that, even                                       Indeed, if suitable work is available                                 contact    James    Jackson    at
where the employer can offer no light                                 within the local economy, the                                         (404) 846-2001 or via e-mail at
duty work and the claimant is                                         proximate cause of the claimants’                           
drawing disability benefits while                                     unemployment is the claimant’s
given valid work restrictions - but the                               unwillingness to work, not the job

   Vernis & Bowling will be presenting its Atlanta Legal Educational Seminar on Friday, September 21,
   2007 at the Marriott Atlanta Gwinnett Place. For further information please visit our website at or email Online registration is also available.

                                              VERDICTS & DISPOSITIONS
   James G. Jackson (Atlanta) obtained a decision of the Georgia Court of Appeals                        traffic control device, striking her vehicle and causing bodily injuries. Through
   reversing the State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s award of catastrophic                            investigation of incident, use of police dashboard camera tapes, trial testimony and
   designation to the claim of Reid v. Georgia Building Authority, et al. Ms. Reid had                   cross-examination of the plaintiff, we were able to show that the plaintiff was unable
                                                                                                         to meet her burden of proof regarding liability. Damages, were liability to be found
   previously sustained a work-related injury while an employee of the Georgia
                                                                                                         against the defendant, were also addressed and portions of the plaintiff's medical
   Building Authority. She asserted the injury was catastrophic pursuant to O.C.G.A. §                   record narratives were removed from consideration. We were also able to get the
   34-9-200.1 (g) (6). At trial, on behalf of the employer, Mr. Jackson contended that                   defendant's mother dismissed from the suit, in which she has been named under
   Reid had provided no competent evidence showing a lack of available work in                           the Family Purpose Doctrine. Ultimately, a defense judgment was entered in favor of
   substantial numbers within the national economy, an essential element of the statuto-                 the defendant.
   ry requirements. The Administrative Law Judge and the Appellate Division of the State
   Board rejected the defense and entered Orders designating the claim as catastrophic,                  Jeff Raasch (Atlanta) obtained a defense judgment in Carmen Johnson v. Hardee’s,
   and awarding the significantly increased benefits attendant with such designation.                    in Muscogee County, Georgia. In this matter, the plaintiff claimed that she had
   Appeals were taken and, ultimately, the Court of Appeals determined "the State                        broken her tooth on a foreign object in a Hardee’s sandwich. A defense judgment
   Board concluded that Reid was essentially unemployable based upon her age, skill                      was entered in favor of the defendant, since we were able to show the court that
   level, training, education, and work limitations. However, the record contains no                     the plaintiff was unable to meet her burden of proof.
   competent evidence regarding Reid’s training, skill level, or education. There is no
   evidence of a lack of available work in the national economy for which Reid is                        Jeff Raasch (Atlanta) obtained a defense judgment in Lynda Kapsch and Michael
   otherwise qualified. In other words, the Board determined that the injury was                         Craig v. Today Management & Norgate Manor Condo Assoc., DeKalb County,
   catastrophic based solely on its own experience. Thus, the issue is whether the                       Georgia. In this matter, the plaintiffs claimed water leak related property damage in
   Board may reach such a conclusion in the absence of competent evidence that the                       her condominium unit, alleging responsibility for the condominium association. The
                                                                                                         court ruled in favor of the condominium association on the grounds that the
   employee is unable to perform any work available in substantial numbers within the
                                                                                                         association’s by-laws provided that the condominium association could assist
   economy. We hold that it cannot." Accordingly, the Court of Appeals denied the                        individual unit owners with repairs, but it was not obligated to do so. Therefore,
   claimant’s request for catastrophic designation.                                                      based upon the same condominium by-laws that were signed by the plaintiffs, the
                                                                                                         court ruled that no duty was owed to the plaintiffs, and a defense judgment was
   Ian Neil Matthes (Atlanta) obtained a defense judgment in an auto                                     entered in favor of the defendants.
   liability case, Belinda Hunt v. Tangenek McDonald, et. al., in Lowndes County,
   Georgia. In this matter, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant disregarded a

          We are pleased to announce the addition of the
         following attorney to the Vernis & Bowling team:
                                                                      University with a Political Science degree                            motorist liability, general liability, premis-
                                      John W.
                                                                      (Cum Laude) in 2002. He earned his J.D.                               es liability, products liability, insurance
                                      Hurst, III                      from Emory University Law School                                      coverage and subrogation cases.
                                      Atlanta, Georgia                in 2005 and was admitted to the
                                                                      Georgia Bar that same year. While in                                       Currently, John is admitted to the
                                                                      law school, he clerked for two insurance                              Court of Appeals of Georgia, the U.S.
                                                                      defense firms in Atlanta. Prior to joining                            District Court for the Southern District of
                                                                      VERNIS & BOWLING of Atlanta,                                          Georgia, and is licensed to practice in all
                                                                      John practiced law in Savannah, where he                              Georgia trial courts.
                                                                      represented insurance carriers and their
    John Willis Hurst, III is a native of                             insureds. John practices primarily in
Atlanta. John graduated from Auburn                                   automobile liability, uninsured/underinsured
The Georgia Law update is published by Vernis & Bowling for the benefits of clients, friends and fellow professionals on matters of interest. The information contained herein is not to be construed as legal
advice or opinion. We provide such advice or opinion only after being engaged to do so with respect to particular facts and circumstances.
This publication may be considered "advertising material" under the rules of professional conduct governing attorneys in some states. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based
solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written inforamtion about our qualifications and experience.
                                 VERNIS                                     &         BOWLING
                                             ATTORNEYS AT LAW • EST. 1970
VERNIS &BOWLING                   VERNIS &BOWLING                    VERNIS &BOWLING                    VERNIS &BOWLING                    VERNIS &BOWLING
OF MIAMI, P.A.                    OF PALM BEACH, P.A.                OF C ENTRAL FL, P.A.               OF SOUTHERN ALABAMA, LLC           OF NORTH FLORIDA, P.A.

1680 N.E. 135th STREET            884 U.S. HIGHWAY ONE               1450 S. WOODLAND BLVD.             204 SOUTH ROYAL STREET             4309 SALISBURY ROAD
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33181              N. PALM BEACH, FL 33408            DELAND, FL 32720                   MOBILE, AL 36602                   JACKSONVILLE, FL 32216
TEL.   (305) 895-3035             TEL.   (561) 775-9822              TEL.    (386) 734-2505             TEL.   (251) 432-0337              TEL.   (904) 296-6751
FAX.   (305) 892-1260             FAX.   (561) 775-9821              FAX.    (386) 734-3441             FAX.   (251) 432-0244              FAX.   (904) 296-2712

VERNIS &BOWLING                   VERNIS &BOWLING                    VERNIS &BOWLING                    VERNIS &BOWLING                    VERNIS &BOWLING
OF BROWARD, P.A.                  OF SOUTHWEST FL, P.A.              OF THE GULF C OAST, P.A.           OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA, P.A.         OF ATLANTA, LLC

1901 S. ANDREWS AVE.              2369 WEST FIRST STREET             1346 S. FT. HARRISON AVE.          315 SOUTH PALAFOX STREET           NORTHPARK CENTER
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL 33020          FORT MYERS, FL 33901               CLEARWATER, FL 33756               PENSACOLA, FL 32502                1200 ABERNATHY ROAD
TEL.    (954) 522-1299            TEL.  (239) 334-3035               TEL.   (727) 443-3377              P.O. BOX 12108                     SUITE 1700
FAX.    (954) 522-1302            FAX.  (239) 334-7702               FAX.   (727) 443-6828              PENSACOLA, FL 32591                ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30328
                                                                                                        TEL.   (850) 433-5461              TEL.    (404) 846-2001
                                                                                                        FAX.   (850) 432-0166              FAX.    (404) 846-2002
VERNIS &BOWLING                   VERNIS &BOWLING                    VERNIS &BOWLING

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ISLAMORADA, FL 33036              TEL.   (205) 445-1026              TEL:    (305) 294-7050
TEL.   (305) 664-4675             FAX.    (205) 445-1036             FAX.   (305) 294-7016
FAX.   (305) 664-5414

                                                           Web Site:
Areas Of Practice - Trial and Applellate practice in General Insurance Defense, Products Liability, Automobile Liability, Negligent and Inadequate Security, Premises
Liability, Personal Injury, Insurance Coverage Issues, Directors and Officers Liability, Errors and Omissions, Professional Liability, Workers Compensation, Longshore and
Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, Construction Defect, Public Law, Employment Law including Secual Harassment, Wrongful Discharge and Employment
Discrimination, EEOC, ADA, Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Transactions and Foreclosures, Elder Law, and 1st/3rd Party Property Litigation.

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 PERMIT #11                                                                                                                1680 NE 135th Street
     PAID                                                                                                              ATTORNEYS AT LAW • EST. 1970
U.S. POSTAGE                                                                                                   BOWLING                          &    VERNIS

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