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Florida First DCA finds no jurisdiction to hear certiorari petition by personal injury plaintiff seeking public disclosure of defendant corporation’s confidential materials

On December 14, 2020, in Craig-Myers v. Otis Elevator Company, et. al, No. 1D20-1236, in a per curiam decision, the Florida First DCA dismissed a certiorari petition by the plaintiff during the pendency of a personal lawsuit against the defendant elevator company.  The plaintiff was seeking the disclosure of confidential company materials and had been instructed by the trial court to provide a detailed description of the materials to be reviewed in camera. Rather than provide that description, the plaintiff sought a writ of certiorari from the First DCA compelling the public disclosure of the materials as a “public hazard” as defined in Fla. Stat. § 69.081.  The First DCA, citing Bd. of Trs. of Internal Improvement Tr. Fund v. Am. Educ. Enters., LLC, 99 So. 3d 450, 454 (Fla. 2012), noted that to obtain certiorari relief the petitioning party must demonstrate that the contested order constitutes ‘(1) a departure from the essential requirements of the law, (2) resulting in material injury for the remainder of the case (3) that cannot be corrected on post-judgment appeal. The First DCA found that the plaintiff “offers only unsupported speculation of future harm, which is not sufficient to establish material injury,” and concluded that any issue could be remedied on direct appeal.

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