Gattorno v. Souto

Gattorno v. Souto

3d DCA, 3/27/24

No. 3D23-0639, 2024 WL 1289889

Judge Emas

Topics: Punitive Damages

In Florida, juries can impose punitive damages for negligent acts that involve the defendant being intoxicated. Plaintiff moved to add a claim for punitive damages where she alleged that Defendant was drunk when she backed her car into her in a parking lot and pinned her between the driver’s car and another parked car causing permanent injuries.

While Defendant’s level of intoxication was disputed, there was a reasonable basis to move forward with punitive damages. Citing 1976 Supreme Court of Florida precedent, the court observed that both Florida courts and the Florida Legislature “have evolved the notion that drunk drivers menace the public safety and are to be discouraged by punishment,” including punitive damages.

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