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RECENT RELEASES - FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

INSURANCE--AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY--BAD FAITH FAILURE TO SETTLE. The Court held that the district court erred in holding that the evidence was insufficient to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in failing to settle the insured's claim. The insurer's obligation to its insured is to use the same degree of care and diligence as a person of ordinary care and prudence should exercise in the management of his own business. The insurer's duty to act in good faith is not fulfilled by tendering the policy limits. The district court also erred by finding that the insurer cannot be liable for bad faith where the insured's own actions or inactions result, at least in part, in an excess judgment.
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WRONGFUL DEATH--PRODUCT LIABILITY--TOBACCO--NONECONOMIC DAMAGES--REMITTITUR--INDEPENDENT ADULT SURVIVING CHILD. The district court of appeal misapplied the abuse of discretion standard when reviewing a trial court's denial of motion for remittitur of noneconomic damages awarded to the decedent's independent adult surviving child where the district court paid no deference to the trial court. The district court further erred in creating a bright-line cap on the amount of noneconomic damages a financially independent adult child may be awarded for the wrongful death of a parent.
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CRIMINAL LAW--DEATH PENALTY--HURST ERROR--WAIVER OF PENALTY PHASE JURY TRIAL. The Court held that a defendant who knowingly and voluntarily waives his right to a penalty phase jury cannot later claim relief under Hurst and its progeny.
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