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NO ERROR IN DENYING MOTION TO AMEND TO ASSERT CLAIM FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES – EVIDENCE FAILED TO DEMONSTRATE THE REQUISITE STANDARD

Jun 21st, 2024 in by admin

Friedler v. Faena Hotels and Residences, LLC, 49 Fla. L. Weekly D902 (Fla. 3rd DCA Apr. 24, 2024):

The plaintiffs sued the defendant after one of them was injured in a fall in the spa at a hotel. The plaintiffs sought to add a count for punitive damages, based on defendant having authorized the installation of a type of marble in the spa that proved to be slippery.

On de novo review, the court concluded that the plaintiffs’ evidence did not rise to the level to seek punitive damages, when the record showed that the defendant after receiving results of the friction tests, failed to clean and seal the marble before its installation, or that it knew it had anything more dangerous there than the apparently slippery condition of a wet spa floor that it tried to mitigate by offering sandals to each customer.

The court found that the evidence did not demonstrate that the defendant’s conduct was so willful or wanton as to warrant the punishment of punitive damages, which is reserved for only the most egregious of cases.