Summary Judgment in Florida “Wheel-Off” Case

L&G Law Group ’s Florida team headed-up by Deb O’Brien won Final Summary Judgment in a case where the Plaintiff alleged that Defendant negligently installed new tires on his vehicle. According to Plaintiff, five months and 16,000 miles after the tire installation, his right front tire and wheel spontaneously detached from his vehicle while he was driving, causing him to crash, and resulting in significant spinal injury. The Defense argued that Plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof because he had no direct evidence that his tires were not properly installed, and that Plaintiff could not bridge the evidentiary gap through expert testimony without the broken parts of his vehicle, which Plaintiff failed to retain. In granting Summary Judgment, the trial court ruled that there was “no evidence sustaining Plaintiff’s claim in the record.” The trial court also ruled that the affidavit of Plaintiff’s expert filed in opposition to Summary Judgment was insufficient to create a triable issue of fact because the affidavit was not made on personal knowledge, and was conclusory and speculative.