Bayfront Medical Center, Inc. v. Kim Oang Thi Ly, No. 84-1568

CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtRYDER
Citation10 Fla. L. Weekly 842,465 So.2d 1383
Decision Date29 March 1985
Docket NumberNo. 84-1568
Parties10 Fla. L. Weekly 842 BAYFRONT MEDICAL CENTER, INC., Andrew Wilkerson, M.D. and Aaron Hasiuk, M.D., Appellants, v. KIM OANG THI LY and Ha Nguyen, Appellees.

Page 1383

465 So.2d 1383
10 Fla. L. Weekly 842
BAYFRONT MEDICAL CENTER, INC., Andrew Wilkerson, M.D. and Aaron Hasiuk, M.D., Appellants,
v.
KIM OANG THI LY and Ha Nguyen, Appellees.
No. 84-1568.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Second District.
March 29, 1985.

H. Dennis Rogers of Jacobs, Robbins, Gaynor, Burton, Hampp, Burns, Bronstein & Shasteen, P.A., Tampa, for appellants.

Page 1384

Jere' M. Fishback of Kleinfeld & Fishback, St. Petersburg, for appellees.

RYDER, Chief Judge.

Bayfront Medical Center, Inc., Andrew Wilkerson, M.D., and Aaron Hasiuk, M.D., appeal a judgment on attorney's fees and costs which declared section 768.56(1), Florida Statutes (1983), violated the Florida Constitution. We reverse.

Appellants filed a motion for taxation of costs and attorney's fees pursuant to section 768.56(1). Appellees filed a motion to strike the demand for attorney's fees on the ground that section 768.56(1) was unconstitutional. During the hearing on the motions, appellees argued that the section violates the equal protection clauses of both the Florida and United States Constitution, and that the section discriminates against that class of unsuccessful medical malpractice claimants who are solvent because it has a "chilling effect" upon their access to the courts. Appellants argued that there was a rational purpose and compelling state interest in the attorney fee provision because it dissuaded baseless litigation.

The court granted appellees' motion to strike demand for attorney's fees. In the judgment, the court stated that although the $14,077.00 attorney's fee requested by appellants was reasonable, section 768.56(1) of the Florida Statutes is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the Florida Constitution by requiring only those unsuccessful plaintiffs who are not indigent to pay attorney's fees incurred by prevailing defendants in medical malpractice actions. Further, the court ruled that section 768.56(1) also violates the Florida Constitution because it denies equal access to the court by discriminating against those medical malpractice claimants who are not insolvent or poverty stricken by creating a "chilling effect" upon their right to seek redress for their injuries. The court denied appellants' motion for taxation of attorney's fees and granted appellees' motion to strike demand for attorney's fees.

Other district courts of appeal have considered the constitutionality of section 768.56 and...

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5 practice notes
  • Florida Patient's Compensation Fund v. Rowe, No. 64459
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 2, 1985
    ...court of appeal that has addressed this issue has upheld the constitutionality of the statute. See Bayfront Medical Center, Inc. v. Ly, 465 So.2d 1383 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985); Frankowitz v. Propst, 464 So.2d 1225 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985); Davis v. North Shore Hospital, 452 So.2d 937 Fla. 3d DCA 1983)......
  • Petty v. Homelson, HHDCV175044430S
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Connecticut
    • March 21, 2018
    ...about to leave the jurisdiction violated constitutional right of access to the courts), Bayfront Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Kim Oang Thi Ly, 465 So.2d 1383, 1384 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App. 1985) (statute exempting unsuccessful indigent plaintiffs from payment of prevailing medical malpractice defendant’s at......
  • Gold, Vann & White, P.A. v. DeBerry By and Through DeBerry, Nos. 91-0392
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 27, 1994
    ...their access to the courts by exempting them from attorney's fee judgments. See, e.g., Bayfront Medical Ctr., Inc. v. Kim Oang Thi Ly, 465 So.2d 1383 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985). Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's ruling that Dr. Klomp and the clinic were not "insolvent" for purposes of sectio......
  • City of St. Petersburg Beach v. Jewell, No. 85-1873
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • April 23, 1986
    ...circumstances and conditions set forth in section 329.10 is a felony, but that status or state does not give rise to a different crime. 465 So.2d at 1383. See also In re Forfeiture of 1979 Mercedes, 484 So.2d 642 (Fla. 4th DCA 1986) [11 FLW 638]; Weisz v. Miami Shores Village, 461 So.2d 138......
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5 cases
  • Florida Patient's Compensation Fund v. Rowe, No. 64459
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 2, 1985
    ...court of appeal that has addressed this issue has upheld the constitutionality of the statute. See Bayfront Medical Center, Inc. v. Ly, 465 So.2d 1383 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985); Frankowitz v. Propst, 464 So.2d 1225 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985); Davis v. North Shore Hospital, 452 So.2d 937 Fla. 3d DCA 1983)......
  • Petty v. Homelson, HHDCV175044430S
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Connecticut
    • March 21, 2018
    ...about to leave the jurisdiction violated constitutional right of access to the courts), Bayfront Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Kim Oang Thi Ly, 465 So.2d 1383, 1384 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App. 1985) (statute exempting unsuccessful indigent plaintiffs from payment of prevailing medical malpractice defendant’s at......
  • Gold, Vann & White, P.A. v. DeBerry By and Through DeBerry, Nos. 91-0392
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 27, 1994
    ...their access to the courts by exempting them from attorney's fee judgments. See, e.g., Bayfront Medical Ctr., Inc. v. Kim Oang Thi Ly, 465 So.2d 1383 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985). Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's ruling that Dr. Klomp and the clinic were not "insolvent" for purposes of sectio......
  • City of St. Petersburg Beach v. Jewell, No. 85-1873
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • April 23, 1986
    ...circumstances and conditions set forth in section 329.10 is a felony, but that status or state does not give rise to a different crime. 465 So.2d at 1383. See also In re Forfeiture of 1979 Mercedes, 484 So.2d 642 (Fla. 4th DCA 1986) [11 FLW 638]; Weisz v. Miami Shores Village, 461 So.2d 138......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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