The motion for summary judgment argued Florida law grants immunity to tow operators when asked by law enforcement to remove a vehicle after a written inventory of personal effects and property is completed by an officer. In this case, Wicker Smith’s client was asked by law enforcement to tow the Plaintiff’s RV after the motorhome went up in flames. The inventory prepared by law enforcement only reflected “fire damage” causing the Plaintiff to claim over $15,000 in cash, jewels, and tools were stolen while the RV was in the client’s possession. Despite there being no case law on the applicable statute, the court agreed that full immunity was afforded to the client. This decision was based on the Plaintiff’s personal property not being identified within the inventory prepared by law enforcement prior.
After Mr. Ramsey and Mr. McDermott filed a motion for summary judgment, the Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to amend his complaint to try a new claim under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Wicker Smith attorneys quickly opposed this amendment, arguing their client was immune from such a claim under the same statute that served as the basis of the previously granted motion for summary judgment. The judge agreed, not allowing a new claim to be brought.
Richard E. Ramsey joined Wicker Smith in 1990. He is one of four managing partners within the firm and is located in the Jacksonville office where he is responsible for overseeing office operations. Mr. Ramsey has over 32 years of experience focusing on professional liability including medical and legal malpractice. He has been asked by several legal malpractice carriers to defend their insureds on cases ranging from complex business transactions, personal injury, trust & estate and taxation matters. His medical malpractice experience is equally varied and his success rate in 56 trials is ninety percent. He is also well-versed on a broad array of complex litigation involving transportation matters, retail and restaurant defense, healthcare law and risk management, casualty claims defense, products liability, construction, product liability, nursing home, and employment litigation.
John P. McDermott is an associate in Wicker Smith’s Jacksonville office where he handles cases involving commercial litigation matters. Mr. McDermott graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a minor in leadership. He then continued his education at the University of Florida Frederic G. Levin College of Law earning a Juris Doctor cum laude in 2020 and placing on the Dean’s List for two consecutive years. During law school, he served as a judicial extern with the Honorable William P. Dimitrouleas in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.