Justia Commercial Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Horowitch v. Diamond Aircraft Indus., Inc.
Plaintiff's suit concerning purchase of an aircraft claimed specific performance; and, in the alternative, breach of contract; breach of the covenants of good faith and fair dealing; and breach of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), Fla. Stat. 501.2105. The district court rejected the claims; proceeded under the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, as requested by plaintiff; ruled in favor of defendant, but refused to award attorney fees under FDUPTA. After concluding that FDUTPA and its fee award provision are applicable as substantive law of the forum state, the Eleventh Circuit certified questions to the Florida Supreme Court: Whether an offer of judgment may be viable when it purports to settle "all claims," even though it does not explicitly state whether the proposal includes attorneys' fees and whether fees are part of the legal claim; Whether the fee provision applies to a lawsuit seeking damages or, in the alternative, specific performance; Whether the fee-shifting provision applies to an action with the case's unique procedural history; and Whether the provision applies only to fees incurred during the seven months before the FDUTPA claim was defeated at summary judgment, or also to fees incurred during subsequent litigation.