Florida Dept. of Transp. v. Juliano, No. SC99-153.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtPARIENTE, J.
Citation801 So.2d 101
Docket NumberNo. SC99-153.
Decision Date21 November 2001
PartiesFLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Petitioner, v. Angelo JULIANO, Respondent.

801 So.2d 101

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Petitioner,
v.
Angelo JULIANO, Respondent

No. SC99-153.

Supreme Court of Florida.

November 21, 2001.


801 So.2d 103
Dirk M. Smits and H. Joseph Calmbach of Vernis & Bowling of the Florida Keys, P.A., Islamorada, FL, for Petitioner

L. Barry Keyfetz of Keyfetz, Asnis & Srebnick, P.A., Miami, FL, for Respondent.

Joseph H. Williams of Troutman, Williams, Irvin, Green & Helms, P.A., Winter Park, FL, for The Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Amicus Curiae.

PARIENTE, J.

We have for review Florida Department of Transportation v. Juliano, 744 So.2d 477 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999) ("Juliano II"), a decision from the Third District Court of Appeal that misapplies this Court's holding in United States Concrete Pipe v. Bould, 437 So.2d 1061, 1063 (Fla.1983). Based on the conflict created by this misapplication, we have jurisdiction under article V, section 3(b)(3), of the Florida Constitution. See Vest v. Travelers Ins. Co., 753 So.2d 1270, 1272 (Fla.2000); Pender v. State, 700 So.2d 664, 665 (Fla.1997).

FACTS

The underlying facts are recited in the Third District's opinion:

Angelo Juliano, a former correctional officer, employed by the Florida Department of Corrections ("DOC"),[note 1] was injured when he tripped on a large bump in the floor of a mobile weigh station operated by the DOT [Florida Department of Transportation]. At the time of Juliano's accident, the DOT had a contract with the DOC for the use of its inmates to clean the DOT's weigh station under the supervision of the DOC correctional officers. Juliano was supervising the inmates at the weigh station when he tripped and injured himself.
[Note 1: As a result of his injuries, Juliano was terminated as a correctional officer.]

Juliano II, 744 So.2d at 478.

Juliano received workers' compensation benefits from DOC for his injuries and subsequently filed a third-party tort action for personal injuries against DOT for negligence in maintaining the weigh station. DOT moved for summary judgment on the grounds that it was entitled to workers' compensation immunity because the "unrelated works" exception under section 440.11(1), Florida Statutes (1997),1 did not apply. DOT contended that the exception did not apply because Juliano failed to name any specific employee of DOT whom Juliano alleged to be negligent. In addition, DOT argued that Juliano had neither alleged nor shown any specific actions on the part of DOT's employees that were negligent. In response, Juliano argued that it was unnecessary to name a particular employee for the "unrelated works" exception to apply. Moreover, in Juliano's written response to DOT's summary judgment motion, he identified two specific DOT supervisors who Juliano alleged had been negligent: a safety specialist named Mary Lou and Sergeant Wyse. Juliano also argued that DOT was not entitled to summary judgment because a disputed genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether Sergeant Wyse was negligent. The trial court denied the motion for summary judgment, concluding that disputed genuine issues of material fact existed and

801 So.2d 104
that the jury was entitled to decide whether there was negligence on the part of the DOT employees

DOT filed an interlocutory appeal of this order2 and it framed the issue on appeal as whether a "claimant who has accepted workers' compensation benefits and has also brought suit in personal injury against his employer must identify the fellow employee accused of negligence." Juliano asserted that under this Court's opinion in Holmes County School Board v. Duffell, 651 So.2d 1176 (Fla.1995), he was not required to identify the negligent fellow employee.3 Moreover, Juliano contended that because he named Mary Lou and Sergeant Wyse as the negligent coworkers, DOT's appeal was moot. The Third District affirmed per curiam with a citation to Holmes. See Florida Dep't. of Transp. v. Juliano, 664 So.2d 77, 77 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995) ("Juliano I").

On remand, DOT filed a second motion for summary judgment. This time, DOT argued that an employee could not sue a supervisor under the "unrelated works" exception unless the employee could demonstrate that the supervisor engaged in conduct that amounted to culpable negligence. The trial court denied DOT's second summary judgment motion as "a mere relitigation of the first motion for summary judgment." Juliano II, 744 So.2d at 478. The case proceeded to trial with a verdict being entered in Juliano's favor. See id.

DOT appealed the final judgment. Among the issues raised on appeal, DOT argued that the trial court erred in denying its second motion for summary judgment. See id. In rejecting this argument, the Third District concluded that

the doctrine of res judicata precluded the DOT from raising or reraising any aspect of its workers' compensation defense on remand after the first appeal of this cause. See Thomas v. Perkins, 723 So.2d 293, 294 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998) (under the doctrine of res judicata, appellant is precluded from raising any issues
801 So.2d 105
which were or should have been raised on first appeal).

Id. This appeal follows.

THE DOCTRINES OF RES JUDICATA AND THE LAW OF THE CASE

In this case, we must determine whether the Third District properly applied the doctrine of res judicata to preclude DOT from raising a distinct aspect of its defense that it did not raise in the first non-final appeal. In analyzing this issue, it is incumbent upon this Court to first review the important differences regarding the doctrine of res judicata and the related doctrine of the law of the case.

This Court has explained that under the doctrine of res judicata:

A judgment on the merits rendered in a former suit between the same parties or their privies, upon the same cause of action, by a court of competent jurisdiction, is conclusive not only as to every matter which was offered and received to sustain or defeat the claim, but as to every other matter which might with propriety have been litigated and determined in that action.

Kimbrell v. Paige, 448 So.2d 1009, 1012 (Fla.1984) (emphasis supplied) (quoting Wade v. Clower, 94 Fla. 817, 114 So. 548, 552 (1927)). Based on principles of res judicata, a judgment on the merits will thus bar "a subsequent action between the same parties on the same cause of action." Youngblood v. Taylor, 89 So.2d 503, 505 (Fla.1956) (emphasis supplied). Importantly, the doctrine of res judicata not only bars issues that were raised, but it also precludes consideration of issues that could have been raised but were not raised in the first case. See id.

As explained more fully in McGregor v. Provident Trust Company, 119 Fla. 718, 162 So. 323, 327 (1935):

Inhering in all courts of civilized nations and, as is said in one case, an obvious rule of expediency and justice, res adjudicata is a fundamental doctrine universally recognized. No better enunciation of it, perhaps, can be found than that given by Black in his work on Judgments. He states it in two main rules, as follows: First, a point which was actually and directly in issue in a former suit, and was there judicially passed upon and determined by a domestic court of competent jurisdiction, cannot again be drawn in question in any future action between the same parties or their privies, whether the causes of action in the two suits be identical or different; and, Second, a judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction, on the merits, is a bar to any future suit between the same parties or their privies upon the same cause of action, so long as it remains unreversed. Black on Judgments (2d Ed.) vol. 2, § 504.

Thus, the doctrine of res judicata provides finality to judgments, predictability to litigants, and stability to judicial decisions.

Where successive appeals are taken in the same case there is no question of res judicata, because the same suit, and not a new and different one, is involved. See Beverly Beach Props., Inc. v. Nelson, 68 So.2d 604, 607 (Fla.1953). Under these circumstances, the doctrine of the law of the case applies. The doctrine of the law of the case is also a principle of judicial...

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239 practice notes
  • Beepot v. J.P. Morgan Chase Nat'l Corporate Servs., Inc., Case No. 3:10–cv–423–J–34PDB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • October 30, 2014
    ...action.”See Madura v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 344 Fed.Appx. 509, 517 (11th Cir.2009) (quoting Fla. Dep't of Transp. v. Juliano, 801 So.2d 101, 105 (Fla.2001) ). Thus, under Florida law, for res judicata to apply, there must be:57 F.Supp.3d 1370“(1) identity of the thing sued for; (2) ......
  • Florida Transp. Service, Inc. v. Miami-Dade County, Case No. 05-22637-CIV.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • April 7, 2008
    ...action bars the re-litigation of every claim which was or could have been litigated in that action. See Fla. Dep't of Transp. v. Juliana, 801 So.2d 101, 105 (Fla.2001). For res judicata to apply, there must be (1) an identity of the "thing" sued for; (2) an identity of the cause of action; ......
  • State v. JP, No. SC02-2288
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • November 18, 2004
    ...fundamental right upon which that mandate was based. We offered no analysis to support our holding. Cf. Fla. Dep't of Transp. v. Juliano, 801 So.2d 101, 108 (Fla.2001) ("[W]here a previous appellate court has given no explanation for its decision, a subsequent appellate court is not bound b......
  • State v. T.M., No. SC02-2452 (FL 11/18/2004), No. SC02-2452.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • November 18, 2004
    ...fundamental right upon which that mandate was based. We offered no analysis to support our holding. Cf. Fla. Dep't of Transp. v. Juliano, 801 So. 2d 101, 108 (Fla. 2001) ("[W]here a previous appellate court has given no explanation for its decision, a subsequent appellate court is not bound......
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241 cases
  • Florida Transp. Service, Inc. v. Miami-Dade County, Case No. 05-22637-CIV.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • April 7, 2008
    ...action bars the re-litigation of every claim which was or could have been litigated in that action. See Fla. Dep't of Transp. v. Juliana, 801 So.2d 101, 105 (Fla.2001). For res judicata to apply, there must be (1) an identity of the "thing" sued for; (2) an identity of the cause of action; ......
  • State v. JP, No. SC02-2288
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • November 18, 2004
    ...fundamental right upon which that mandate was based. We offered no analysis to support our holding. Cf. Fla. Dep't of Transp. v. Juliano, 801 So.2d 101, 108 (Fla.2001) ("[W]here a previous appellate court has given no explanation for its decision, a subsequent appellate court is not bound b......
  • State v. T.M., No. SC02-2452 (FL 11/18/2004), No. SC02-2452.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • November 18, 2004
    ...fundamental right upon which that mandate was based. We offered no analysis to support our holding. Cf. Fla. Dep't of Transp. v. Juliano, 801 So. 2d 101, 108 (Fla. 2001) ("[W]here a previous appellate court has given no explanation for its decision, a subsequent appellate court is not bound......
  • Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 13-14590
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    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • May 18, 2017
    ...cause of action was adjudicated on the merits in a previous case involving the same parties.72 Fla. Dep't of Transp. v. Juliano , 801 So.2d 101, 105 (Fla. 2001). Thus, under both Florida and federal law, 857 F.3d 1217claim preclusion carries four elements: (1) "a final judgment on the merit......
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