CourtCases2010

In mcfarland there were separate issues relating to

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Unformatted text preview: could be allocated on the basis of fault among each of the defendants. In McFarland, there were separate issues relating to the negligence of each driver and the negligence of the employer of one of the drivers in hiring, training and supervising him. In contrast, the complaint in the instant case alleged only [**7] the negligent act of Arthur P. Strahan, Jr. The other defendants, Strahan's parents and Strahan Music, Inc., and Strahan Management, were included in the complaint only under theories of vicarious liability. Unlike the plaintiff in McFarland, 9 Gauldin could not logically apportion his offer among the Strahans because each of the individual defendants were liable for the entire amount of damages. Because of that joint and several liability, none of the individual defendants were adversely affected by the joint offer. c.f. Flight Express, Inc. v. Robinson, 736 So. 2d 796 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999) (lack of apportionment of defendants' offer did not affect plaintiff's ability to consider it). Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court was correct in finding Gauldin's offer of judgment valid. III. AWARD OF ATTORNEY'S FEES The Strahans urge that there was an absence of sufficient findings of fact by the trial court to support the use of a multiplier in calculating the amount of attorney's fees awarded to Gauldin. The multiplier applied in this case was 2.0 and resulted in an award of fees to Gauldin's attorney of $ 145,000, an amount in excess of 73 percent of the [**8] verdict. We note that no evidence was presented that Gauldin's counsel could not have been retained but for a multiplier. See Bell v. U.S.B. Acquisition Co, 734 So. 2d 403 (Fla. 1999) ("The importance of this policy consideration is highlighted by the fact that the very first factor listed in Quanstrom for courts to consider in determining if a multiplier should be utilized in tort and contract cases is whether the relevant market requires a contingency fee multiplier to obtain competent counsel.") Nor, perhaps, could there have b...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.

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