Rissman Trial Results

  • Howe. v. Rental Car Company
    Congratulations Howard Citron and Jesse Shurman for obtaining a defense verdict for one of the firm’s rental car company clients. Plaintiff alleged that the company charged him for pre-existing and fraudulently manufactured damages to a vehicle that he rented. His complaint included counts for fraud, civil theft and breach of the covenants of good faith and fair dealing. Plaintiff asserted that damage was pre-existing and/or ordinary wear and tear and that the company chose to pursue him despite knowledge of same. Plaintiff further alleged that a branch manager assured him that the company would not pursue when he returned the vehicle. Ultimately, the company sent plaintiff notice of the debt and then chose to forgive it in the interest of customer satisfaction. Plaintiff’s pre-trial demand was $1,000,000 for damages related to attempting to collect a “bad debt” and travel expenses for visits with the Attorney General’s Office and members of Congress which were made in an effort to promote legislation meant to regulate and reform practices in the rental car industry. The court entered a verdict for the company and reserved jurisdiction on its motion to seek attorney’s fees and costs as authorized to the prevailing party by Florida’s civil theft statute.
    Verdict Date: August 22, 2018
  • Callaghan v. Vasquez
    Congratulations Dean Hewitt, Juan Ruiz and Aaron Eagan for obtaining a final summary judgment in favor of Fernando Vasquez on behalf of State Farm. This case arose out of a vehicle versus pedestrian accident. The accident occurred at dusk as plaintiff, Michael Callaghan, was attempting to cross eight lanes of travel on foot as defendant, Fernando Vasquez, proceeded through the intersection under a permissive green light. Mr. Callaghan was crossing in the dark without any lights or reflective devices and was not using a crosswalk. In the motion for summary judgment, the defense argued that a motorist is not an insurer of the safety of a pedestrian who thrusts himself into a vehicle’s pathway and that an oncoming motorist who is exercising due care has no reason to suspect that a pedestrian will project himself into the line of traffic. Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that Mr. Vasquez was acting unreasonably or driving his vehicle in a negligent manner at the time of the impact. Accordingly, the court granted the summary judgment.
    Verdict Date: August 09, 2018