Writs, Lies, and Videotape: Law Offices of Robin Bresky Prevails in Certiorari Proceeding Over Timing of Production of Store Video Surveillance Showing Plaintiff’s Injury

Writs, Lies, and Videotape: Law Offices of Robin Bresky Prevails in Certiorari Proceeding Over Timing of Production of Store Video Surveillance Showing Plaintiff’s Injury

Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. v. Classie, 4D13-43

The Law Offices of Robin Bresky successfully defended against a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the defendant in a personal injury action. The writ involved important questions about the timing of production of surveillance videos in personal injury cases. Our client, the plaintiff, sued for injuries she alleged occurred in the defendant’s store. The plaintiff sought to compel production of the defendant’s store surveillance video that showed the incident. The defendant said it would not provide the plaintiff the video until after the plaintiff’s deposition. The plaintiff moved to require the defendant to provide the video prior to the deposition. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion. The defendant sought certiorari review in the Fourth DCA.

On appeal, the defendant argued that it was not required to turn the video over to the plaintiff prior to her deposition. The defendant articulated its fear that the plaintiff might alter her testimony after watching the videotape, and its position that it was entitled to the plaintiff’s untainted recollection of events in the deposition. The defendant relied upon the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Dodson v. Persell, 390 So. 2d 704 (Fla. 1980), where the Court held that video surveillance of a personal injury plaintiff taken by a private investigator after the accident could be withheld until after the plaintiff’s deposition.

We argued in opposition that the case fell squarely under the Fourth DCA’s holding in Target Corp. v. Vogel, 41 So. 3d 962 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010). We maintained that the Fourth DCA clearly held in Vogel that store surveillance showing a plaintiff’s injury occurring presented a different situation than videos taken by private investigators hired to obtain surveillance of a plaintiff after an accident. We maintained that the Fourth DCA in Vogel had decided that a trial court had the discretion to order production of the store surveillance video prior to the plaintiff’s deposition.

The Fourth DCA entered an order denying the petition for writ of certiorari. This result protected the trial court’s beneficial ruling for our client that she be allowed to view the videotape of her injury prior to her deposition.