Lawyers Defending the Interests of Businesses in Litigation
At St. Denis & Davey P.A., our skilled attorneys defend auto dealerships, homeowners’ associations, and other entities in a wide variety of matters, ranging from product defects and premises liability claims to insurance defense and construction defect litigation. Our firm represents insurance companies as well as automobile dealerships, boat and R.V. dealerships, tire dealers, and other retailers throughout Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, and other cities in Florida, devising appropriate strategies from the beginning of a case all the way through the duration of litigation if necessary.
Founding partner Donald W. St. Denis is a board-certified Florida Bar Civil Trial Practice attorney who received the highest AV rating from his peers. He has been named as a “Super Lawyer” for the past three years and counting. Mr. St. Denis and his associates are committed to protecting our clients’ interests while focusing on early and efficient settlement or dismissal of claims. Our attorneys have achieved recent successes at the summary judgment stage, as well as obtaining many denials of class action certification requests and dismissals of claims found to be frauds on the court.
Protecting Auto Dealerships Facing Lawsuits
Dealerships can be faced with a plethora of potential claims, from alleged Truth in Lending Act (TILA) violations to product liability, lemon laws, and Magnuson-Moss violations. TILA requirements are very specific, so creditors must take care to make accurate disclosures to consumers, or they may face possible litigation. As a result, dealerships may be vulnerable to consumers who may allege there are flaws within a disclosure notice, even if they are minute, inconsequential errors. TILA violations can result in actual damages being levied against auto dealerships as well as additional statutory damages.
Dealerships must also comply with what qualifies as permissible use of consumer credit reports under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Under this law, dealerships can be held liable for an employee’s mishandling of credit information as well as being pursued for claims made in any dealership advertisements or credit offers improperly portrayed in direct mailings.
Additionally, dealerships may face claims under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal statute that requires that written warranties contain certain stipulations for products used for household purposes. In defending claims brought under this Act, our firm can carefully examine any warranties provided as well as using our extensive knowledge of the law, including the Act’s terms and court cases, to argue that proper protocol was used. Manufacturers might also assume an auto dealership’s defense in these types of cases, in which case it is important to make a proper request in a timely manner.
St. Denis & Davey P.A. also defends dealerships against allegations of unfair competition or business practices that may be brought under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Under DUTPA, individual or class action suits may be pursued for acts or practices that “are likely to mislead” consumers.
Resisting Premises Liability Claims
Businesses and property owners are particularly susceptible to lawsuits alleging premises liability. Landowners, as well as occupiers, have a legal duty to those who enter their property to maintain reasonably safe conditions. Depending on the type of visitor, a landowner may owe differing degrees of care. Generally, people classified as businesses invitees, who are on the property for a commercial purpose, are owed the highest degree of care.
One of the most common claims brought against a business is a slip and fall case. To succeed, a plaintiff must show that the defendant did not exercise reasonable care, either in inspection or maintenance of the premises, or in failing to warn customers of the hazards that were present. These suits can be defeated by showing that employees regularly inspect the property and eliminate hazardous conditions, as well as adequately warn visitors of these conditions. Another common claim is that of negligent or inadequate security, brought on by alleged failures to provide reasonably expected security systems or failure to repair features such as locks or windows. In all types of premises liability claims, our firm focuses on thorough, prompt investigation to craft a solid defense.
Guidance and Support for HOAs
Homeowners’ and condominium associations are subject to a growing number of state statutes, regulations, and case law, in addition to duties set by their own declaration, bylaws, articles of incorporation, and rules. With so many requirements imposed on them, HOAs are often subject to improper litigation. They are responsible for maintaining common elements and areas of a community as well as providing certain insurance coverage for those areas. However, individual owners are also required to have insurance regarding their own units. Sometimes a homeowner will pursue action against an association for repairs or damage that they are responsible for themselves in order to cut costs.
In addition, HOAs must also be mindful of vendors, builders, contractors, developers, or insurers who may initiate disputes based on a variety of situations, including premises liability actions for injured workers. The attorneys at St. Denis & Davey understand the complexities often associated with these cases, and we can meticulously examine the details of a claim.
Contact an Attorney to Explore Your Legal Options
The premises liability defense lawyers at St. Denis & Davey P.A. have experience serving entities throughout Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, and other cities in Florida. Our firm focuses on early resolutions of claims, aiming for dismissals or settlements of cases that would be beneficial for our clients. Feel free to call us at (800) 785-2153 or (800) 775-8571 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.