Richardson v. Honda Motor Co., Ltd., 87-1698-CIV-T-17(C).

Decision Date07 June 1988
Docket NumberNo. 87-1698-CIV-T-17(C).,87-1698-CIV-T-17(C).
Citation686 F. Supp. 303
PartiesRobert A. RICHARDSON, et al., Plaintiffs, v. HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD., et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Middle District of Florida

Paul A. Nelson, Tampa, Fla., for plaintiffs.

Larry M. Roth, Rumberger, Kirk, Caldwell, Cabaniss, Burke & Wechster, P.A., Orlando, Fla., for defendants.


KOVACHEVICH, District Judge.

This cause is before the Court on Defendant American Honda Motor Co., Inc.'s motion to determine the applicability of § 45.061, Florida Statutes, filed May 13, 1988, and response thereto filed May 26, 1988.

This is a products liability case arising out of an accident that occurred on or about December 21, 1984, involving a 1985 Honda ATC 250ES, allegedly distributed and/or manufactured by defendants. On March 29, 1988, Plaintiffs served on Defendant American Honda an offer of settlement/demand for judgment, in the amount of six million dollars, pursuant to § 45.061, Florida Statutes.

Section 45.061 became effective July 2, 1987. Section 45.061, states:

(1) At any time more than 60 days after the service of a summons and complaint on a party but not less than 60 days (or 45 days if it is a counterclaim) before trial, any party may serve on an adverse party a written offer, which offer shall not be filed with the court and shall be denominated as an offer under this section, to settle a claim for money, property, or relief specified in the offer and to enter into a stipulation dismissing the claim or to allow judgment to be entered accordingly. The offer shall remain open for 45 days unless withdrawn sooner by a writing served on the offeree prior to acceptance by the offeree. An offer that is neither withdrawn nor accepted within 45 days shall be deemed rejected. The fact than an offer is made but not accepted does not preclude the making of a subsequent offer. Evidence of an offer is not admissible except in proceedings to enforce a settlement or to determine sanctions under this section.
(2) If, upon a motion by the offeror within 30 days after the entry of judgment, the court determines that an offer was rejected unreasonably, resulting in unnecessary delay and needless increase in the cost of litigation, it may impose an appropriate sanction upon the offeree An offer shall be presumed to have been unreasonably rejected by a defendant if the judgment entered is at least 25 percent greater than the offer rejected, and offer shall be presumed to have been unreasonably rejected by a plaintiff if the judgment entered is at least 25 percent less that the offer rejected ...
(3) In determining the amount of any sanction to be imposed under this section, the court shall award:
(a) the amount of the parties' costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees, investigative expenses, expert witness fees, and other expenses which relate to the preparation for trial, incurred after the making of the offer of settlement ...

Defendant American Honda asserts that § 45.061 is either substantive and prospective or procedural and therefore not applicable to this cause being litigated in Federal District Court. Plaintiffs assert that that statute provision is remedial and should be applied retroactively.

A substantive law creates, defines, and regulates rights as opposed to procedural or remedial law which prescribes a method of enforcing the rights or obtaining redress for their invasion. Black's Law Dictionary, 4th Ed. (1951). In Florida, each side is obligated to pay its own...

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11 cases
  • Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Haddad
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • July 26, 1991 is a substantive liability creating provision to which the presumption against retroactivity applies. See Richardson v. Honda Motor Co., 686 F.Supp. 303, 304 (M.D.Fla.1988). 5 Alternatively, defendants argue that even if a private right of action under the statute does exist, dismissal o......
  • Smith v. Colorado Interstate Gas Co., Civ. A. No. 91-B-752.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Colorado
    • May 22, 1992
    ...See Ferrero v. Associated Materials, Inc., 923 F.2d 1441, 1446 (11th Cir.1991) (applying Georgia law); Richardson v. Honda Motor Co., Ltd., 686 F.Supp. 303, 304 (M.D.Fla.1988). B. Section 1981 claims Smith's proposed Section 1981 claims invoke portions of the Act affecting substantive right......
  • Tanker Management, Inc. v. Brunson, s. 89-3778
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • December 14, 1990
    ...appropriately referring the court to Hemmerle v. Bramalea, Inc., 547 So.2d 203 (Fla. 4th D.C.A.1989), and Richardson v. Honda Motor Co., 686 F.Supp. 303 (M.D.Fla.1988), cases that are contrary to its position. In the latter case, the district court reasoned that section 45.061 was substanti......
  • Foliage Design Systems, Inc. v. Fernandez
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • November 13, 1991
    ...362 So.2d 275 (Fla.1978), rehearing denied, (Fla.1978); Sullivan v. Mayo, 121 So.2d 424 (Fla.1960).2 See Richardson v. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. 686 F.Supp. 303 (M.D.Fla.1988); Peck v. Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, 442 So.2d 1050 (Fla. 1st DCA 1983); Sullivan v. Mayo, 121 So.......
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