Represented one of the nation’s largest equipment-leasing companies as co-counsel at trial, and as lead counsel in the ensuing appeal, in wrongful death action involving an electrocution and the use of an aerial work platform. Prior to trial, Mr. Wallen obtained a ruling that an aerial work platform did not constitute a “dangerous instrumentality” for purposes of vicarious liability and, as a consequence, the trial proceeded against the leasing company solely on an active negligence count. The result was a defense verdict for the equipment leasing company; the appeal is pending before the Second District Court of Appeal of Florida. PDF download.
Argued Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas v. Beauvais, No. 3D14-575, 2014 WL 7156961 (Fla. 3d DCA, Dec. 17, 2014), which is a ground-breaking opinion barring a lender from foreclosing on a property on statute of limitations grounds. The Third District rejected the lender’s argument that its act of “accelerating” the debt, thereby demanding payment of the full amount due on a promissory note, is meaningless and that there can be new defaults and, consequently, new trigger dates for the limitations period, following acceleration. In doing so, the Third District expressly disagreed with a number of opinions issued by other district courts of appeal in the State of Florida and by federal district courts in Florida. Mr. Wallen re-argued the matter before the entire court, en banc, in late 2015 and the motions for rehearing remain pending. Archived Video Oral Arguments (Search Beauvais). PDF download.
Represented one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies in a national counsel role in wrongful-death and personal injury cases involving a well-known emergency medical product used to deliver epinephrine to persons suffering severe allergic reactions.
Represented the manufacturer of a popular fungicide in numerous product liability suits and in litigation over settlement practices and allegations of spoliation of evidence. In one of these actions, Mr. Wallen retained and worked with the late Nobel Prize winner, John Nash, to present expert testimony attacking the use of the Mr. Nash’s equilibrium theorem and game theory, in general, to reconstruct a multi-party settlement negotiation by a plaintiff’s expert. Case settled before the court was able to rule on a motion to strike the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert, following an extensive evidentiary hearing under the old Frye standard.
Represented investment fund that had purchased a property at a HOA foreclosure auction but which had its title revoked because a title insurer “redeemed” the property in the name of the prior property owner. The title insurer took that action in order to ensure that the investment fund would have no standing to oppose a separate foreclosure action that had been initiated by its insured, the first mortgage holder. Mr. Wallen convinced the trial court to vacate its order and to re-issue title to the investment fund on the ground that the title insurer had no right to redeem the property for the prior owner, who had not defended the HOA foreclosure action and who did not even know that the property had been placed back in her name.
Argued East Coast Electric v. Dunn, 979 So. 2d 1018 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008), which affirmed the entry of a summary judgment in favor of General Electric Co. in a wrongful death action on causation grounds. The Third District determined that General Electric’s conduct did “not set in motion a chain of events resulting in injuries to the Plaintiffs; it simply provided the occasion for the intervening tortfeasor’s gross negligence.” Id. at 1021.
Represented the maker of popular prescription acne medication in numerous lawsuits alleging that the medication caused inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Took dozens, if not hundreds, of depositions of plaintiffs, prescribing physicians, gastroenterologists and other witnesses throughout the country in the inflammatory bowel disease cases. Succeeded in obtaining dismissal of a case alleging that the medication caused a young adult to commit suicide after compelling evidence established that his death was not the result of suicide at all.