A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, A-T-

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtBefore PEARSON and SCHWARTZ, JJ., and CHAPPELL, BILL G.; PEARSON
Citation374 So.2d 533
Decision Date03 July 1979
Docket NumberNos. 78-1013,INC,A-T-,78-1014 and 78-1139
Parties, a Foreign Corporation, d/b/a Safway Steel Products Co., Appellant, v. Juan GARCIA et al., Appellees. Juan GARCIA et al., Appellants, v., etc., et al., Appellees.

Page 533

374 So.2d 533
A-T-O, INC., a Foreign Corporation, d/b/a Safway Steel Products Co., Appellant,
v.
Juan GARCIA et al., Appellees.
Juan GARCIA et al., Appellants,
v.
A-T-O, INC., etc., et al., Appellees.
Nos. 78-1013, 78-1014 and 78-1139.
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District.
July 3, 1979.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 25, 1979.

Page 534

Walton, Lantaff, Schroeder & Carson, Daniels & Hicks and Sam Daniels, Miami, for A-T-O.

Horton, Perse & Ginsberg and Edward A. Perse, Ratiner & Glinn, Miami, for Garcia.

Adams & Ward and Frank Angones, Miami, for Serra.

Kuvin, Klingensmith & Lewis and R. Fred Lewis, Miami, for American.

Before PEARSON and SCHWARTZ, JJ., and CHAPPELL, BILL G., Associate Judge.

PEARSON, Judge.

These appeals arise out of the same trial in which Juan Garcia and Inez Garcia, his wife, were the plaintiffs, and the defendants were American Mobile Corporation and A-T-O, Inc., doing business as Safway Steel Products Co. The action sought recovery for injuries received by Mr. Garcia when a portable mobile scaffold collapsed. The scaffold was manufactured by American Mobile and sold to A-T-O. A-T-O, in turn, leased the mobile scaffold to Serra Plastering Corporation, which was Mr. Garcia's employer.

Prior to trial, the Garcias settled with American Mobile for $1,445,673.12 under a settlement agreement whereby the Garcias agreed to proceed against A-T-O on a negligence theory only and also agreed to indemnify and hold American Mobile harmless as to A-T-O's indemnity claim against American Mobile. In the trial of the Garcias' negligence claims against A-T-O, the jury awarded the Garcias $1,600,000 compensatory damages ($1,500,000 for Mr. Garcia and $100,000 for Mrs. Garcia) and $1,000,000 punitive damages against A-T-O. On post-trial motions, the trial court granted A-T-O's motion for directed verdict regarding punitive damages and entered a judgment for the defendant A-T-O on the punitive damage claim. 1 The same order on post-trial motions provided for a new trial on the punitive damage claim in the event the judgment on directed verdict should be reversed. 2 The final judgment

Page 535

included a final compensatory damage judgment for the Garcias for $154,326.88 ($1,600,000 minus the $1,445,673.12 settlement). The final judgment further provided that the cross-claim of the defendant A-T-O against the defendant American Mobile Corporation seeking indemnity was dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a cause of action. In addition, the court entered a summary final judgment for Serra on A-T-O's indemnity claim against it.

The first appeal was filed by A-T-O and seeks reversal of an order dismissing its cross-claim for indemnification filed against American Mobile. The second appeal was also filed by A-T-O and seeks reversal of a summary final judgment for the defendant in A-T-O's third party complaint seeking indemnification from Serra. The third appeal was by the plaintiffs Garcia. It seeks reversal of a post-verdict order which set aside a verdict awarding one million dollars to the Garcias as punitive damages against A-T-O.

We first consider the appeal by A-T-O seeking reversal of the order dismissing its cross-claim for indemnity against American Mobile. The cross-claim was filed prior to the settlement between the Garcias and American Mobile. In pertinent part, the claim adopted the complaint filed by the Garcias. It alleged as follows:

"1. Defendant/Cross-claimant adopts the Complaint, subject to the admissions and denials in its Answer above.

"2. Defendant is informed that the machine involved in this accident was an 'Eliminator', Serial No: 24045, manufactured by the Cross-defendant and sold to this Defendant.

"3. That the accident and injuries of which Plaintiffs complain was the sole fault of the Cross-defendant in the negligent manufacture or design of the machinery in question.

"4. That the Cross-defendant breached its implied and express warranties to this Defendant, and that said breach of warranties is the sole cause of the accident and injuries of which Plaintiffs complain.

"5. That, as the designer and manufacturer of the machinery in question, the Cross-Defendant is strictly liable to the Plaintiffs, and as a result by operation of law, is strictly liable to indemnify and hold harmless this Defendant."

Thus, A-T-O was proceeding on the same allegations of negligence as those alleged in the Garcias' complaint. That complaint charged A-T-O with active...

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7 practice notes
  • Federal Ins. Co. v. Western Waterproofing Co. of America, BF-158
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 12 Junio 1986
    ...stated in clear and unequivocable terms that the subcontractor was to be indemnified for its own wrongdoing); A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, 374 So.2d 533 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1979) (section 725.06 held to apply and therefore voided an indemnity agreement whereby an employer agreed to indemnify A-T-O (man......
  • Orlando Executive Park, Inc. v. P. D. R., No. 79-1743
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 15 Julio 1981
    ...to support a punitive damage award. See Winn & Lovett Grocery Co. v. Archer, 126 Fla. 308, 171 So. 214 (1936); A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, 374 So.2d 533 (Fla. 3d DCA The judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED. FRANK D. UPCHURCH, Jr., J., concurs. COWART, J., dissents with opinion. COWART, Judge,......
  • Woelfel v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., No. 85-817
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 17 Junio 1986
    ...442, 451 (Fla. 5th DCA), pet. for review denied, 411 So.2d 384 (Fla.1981), approved, 433 So.2d 491 (Fla.1983); A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, 374 So.2d 533, 536 (Fla. 3d DCA 1979); see generally White Construction Co. v. Dupont, 455 So.2d 1026, 1028-29 Second, as to the main appeal, we conclude tha......
  • Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, Inc. v. Huber Const. Co., No. 87-501
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 17 Diciembre 1987
    ...Corporation, 423 So.2d 407 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982), petition for review denied, 434 So.2d 889 (Fla.1983), and A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, 374 So.2d 533 (Fla. 3d DCA Accordingly, this cause is reversed and remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion. 2 REVERSED and REMANDED. UPCHURCH, C.J.,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Federal Ins. Co. v. Western Waterproofing Co. of America, BF-158
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 12 Junio 1986
    ...stated in clear and unequivocable terms that the subcontractor was to be indemnified for its own wrongdoing); A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, 374 So.2d 533 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1979) (section 725.06 held to apply and therefore voided an indemnity agreement whereby an employer agreed to indemnify A-T-O (man......
  • Orlando Executive Park, Inc. v. P. D. R., No. 79-1743
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 15 Julio 1981
    ...to support a punitive damage award. See Winn & Lovett Grocery Co. v. Archer, 126 Fla. 308, 171 So. 214 (1936); A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, 374 So.2d 533 (Fla. 3d DCA The judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED. FRANK D. UPCHURCH, Jr., J., concurs. COWART, J., dissents with opinion. COWART, Judge,......
  • Woelfel v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., No. 85-817
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 17 Junio 1986
    ...442, 451 (Fla. 5th DCA), pet. for review denied, 411 So.2d 384 (Fla.1981), approved, 433 So.2d 491 (Fla.1983); A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, 374 So.2d 533, 536 (Fla. 3d DCA 1979); see generally White Construction Co. v. Dupont, 455 So.2d 1026, 1028-29 Second, as to the main appeal, we conclude tha......
  • Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, Inc. v. Huber Const. Co., No. 87-501
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 17 Diciembre 1987
    ...Corporation, 423 So.2d 407 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982), petition for review denied, 434 So.2d 889 (Fla.1983), and A-T-O, Inc. v. Garcia, 374 So.2d 533 (Fla. 3d DCA Accordingly, this cause is reversed and remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion. 2 REVERSED and REMANDED. UPCHURCH, C.J.,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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