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Florida Third DCA rejects forum non conveniens argument by defendant companies which operated Mexican resort and were sued in Miami-Dade County for alleged slip and fall by U.S. citizen on resort property

On July 29, 2020, in Palace Resorts Travel, Inc., et al.,  v. Flynn, No. 3D20-0025, the Florida Third DCA affirmed a trial court’s denial of the defendants’ motion to dismiss a premises liability lawsuit on forum non conveniens grounds.  The accident was suffered by a U.S. tourist at a Mexican resort operated by one of the defendants.  The plaintiff filed her personal injury lawsuit in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. Two of the four defendants are Delaware corporations domiciled in Florida.  The trial court found that Palace Resorts failed in their high burden of showing that their interests outweighed the “strong presumption” in favor of Flynn’s forum choice.  The Third DCA cited Cortez v. Palace Resorts, Inc., 123 So 3d 1085, 1096 (Fla. 2013) as supporting this conclusion. The Third DCA further noted that the trial court weighed the public interest factors in favor of litigating in Mexico versus Florida and found that public interest factors did not tip the balance in favor of Mexico to defeat the presumption of Flynn’s choice of forum.