Creed and Gowdy helped a client reach a settlement with the City of North Port regarding allegations of brutality by the North Port Police Department's K-9 unit. This is the first of three suits filed against the K-9 unit since 2014, all alleging the use of excessive force. The lawsuit asserted that the client, a 17-year old, was allowed to be attacked and bitten by a North Port police canine for anywhere from two to five minutes, which left him with injuries that required plastic surgery and 30 staples in his leg. Scott Jeeves, of the Jeeves Law Group, who was primary counsel, said the settlement was amicable and in the best interest of the client and his family. You can read the full article here.
Creed & Gowdy successfully defended a trial court's judgment from attack by a former spouse who claimed that the trial court did not have personal or subject matter jurisdiction over him and improperly awarded attorney's fees. In a written opinion, the First District Court of Appeal rejected all of the former husband's arguments. Briefing for the case was handled by attorneys Jessie Harrell and Bryan Gowdy. The opinion of the First District Court of Appeal can be found here.
On November 2, firm partner Bryan Gowdy filed a motion for certification in the First District Court of Appeal. The motion asked the court to certify to the Supreme Court of Florida that its recent decision in Southern Baptist Hospital v. Charles - which held that federal law trumps the 2004 Florida constitutional amendment allowing all citizens to access reports of adverse medical incidents - is both in conflict with the decision of another appellate court and an issue of great public importance. Patient access to adverse incident reports is an issue that is drawing attention from around the country. Mr. Gowdy's efforts were recently discussed in more detail in Law360, a copy of which can be viewed here.
Creed & Gowdy won a partial reversal of summary judgment in a class action dispute involving an alleged violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). The First District Court of Appeals held that a person "aggrieved" by a violation of FDUTPA can still bring a claim for a declaratory judgment and an injunction, even in the absence of monetary loss or damages. Briefing and oral argument for the case was handled by Bryan Gowdy. The opinion can be found here, and a recording of the oral argument can be found here.
The New York Times recently had a three-part series on arbitration. The third part of the series covered religious arbitration agreements and prominently featured the case of Creed & Gowdy's former client, Pamela Spivey, who was compelled to arbitrate under a religious arbitration agreement. The Times article quoted from Bryan Gowdy's brief filed on Ms. Spivey's behalf that argued the religious arbitration agreement violated her First Amendment rights. A copy of the court's opinion in Ms. Spivey's case can be found here. The first two parts of the New York Times series can be found here and here.