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CourtCases2010

CourtCases2010 - 1 Employment Law Court Cases Click on the...

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Employment Law Court Cases Click on the name of a case in the window at left to go to that case 1
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Negligent Hiring, Retention, Training, & Supervision 2
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Case #1 MARTINO , v. METROPOLITAN DADE COUNTY NICOLAS MARTINO, UNITED PLASTICS, INC., a foreign corporation and UNITED SHOE ASSOCIATION, INC., a foreign corporation, Appellants, v. METROPOLITAN DADE COUNTY, a political subdivision of the State of Florida, ERICK MARINO and ALFRED PETTY, Appellees. CASE No. 94-1102 COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA, THIRD DISTRICT 655 So. 2d 151; 1995 Fla. App. LEXIS 4644; 20 Fla. Law W. D 1085 May 3, 1995, Filed SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: [**1] Rehearing Denied June 21, 1995. Released for Publication June 21, 1995. PRIOR HISTORY: An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Dade County, Gisela Cardonne, Judge. DISPOSITION: Affirmed, in part, and reversed and remanded, in part. COUNSEL: Jerome H. Shevin and Jed L. Frankel, for appellants. Merritt, Sikes & Wright and Martin E. Leach, for appellees. JUDGES: Before BASKIN, LEVY and GODERICH, JJ. OPINIONBY: GODERICH OPINION: [*151] GODERICH, Judge. The plaintiffs, Nicolas Martino [Martino], United Plastics, Inc. [United Plastics], and United Shoe Association [United Shoe], appeal from an adverse jury verdict and from the denial of their motion for new trial. Metropolitan Dade County [Dade County] cross- appeals from the denial of its motion for directed verdict. We reverse as to the main appeal, but affirm as to the cross-appeal. [*152] The plaintiffs contend that the trial court erred in denying their motion for new trial where defense counsel's inflammatory and prejudicial comments constituted fundamental error. We agree. 3
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The facts in the instant case are simple. Plaintiff Martino is a Haitian businessman, and plaintiffs United Plastics and United Shoe are foreign corporations. They sued Dade County for the negligent [**2] hiring, retention, and supervision of a Dade County temporary employee, Erick Marino. As a result of Marino's employment at a declaration counter at Miami International Airport, Marino learned that the plaintiff, Mr. Martino, was entering the country from Haiti with approximately $ 234,000. Marino, who was involved in a conspiracy to rob passengers carrying large sums of money into the United States, had Mr. Martino robbed at gunpoint. This case proceeded to trial and during closing argument, Dade County's counsel made several, unobjected to comments. For example, during closing argument, he argued as follows: So this verdict will ring out through the State of Florida and it will say, hey, Dade County is really vulnerable in these negligent hiring cases and we are going to start now every time an employee steals something, every time an employee assaults somebody, you are going to have a dearth of lawsuits here. This is a signal case and I will tell you right now it was I, me, Mr. Sikes who decided to try this lawsuit based upon my recommendation to Dade County.
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