Todd L. Wallen
Todd’s trial and appellate practice focuses on commercial litigation, personal injury litigation and insurance coverage disputes. He has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, reflecting the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards as attested to by fellow members of the Bar and the Judiciary. He was also recognized as a “Top Attorney” in the areas of “Corporate and Business Litigation” and “Product Liability Defense” by the South Florida Legal Guide; recognized in SuperLawyers in the areas of Personal Injury and Product Liability Defense; he received awards for “South Florida Best Product Liability Defense Attorney 2018” and “Appellate Law Firm of the Year 2018” by the US Business News, and he was selected as one of the “Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys in South Florida” in 2020. According to CaseMetrix, Todd obtained the 6th largest motor vehicle/trucking accident verdict in the nation in 2020.
Todd has more than two decades of experience representing Fortune 500 companies in pharmaceutical, chemical, and complex-commercial litigation. He has also successfully represented personal-injury plaintiffs in auto accidents, trucking accidents, and accidents involving forklifts and heavy equipment. Todd is a veteran trial lawyer who has tried automobile accident cases, wrongful-death and catastrophic injury cases involving construction equipment, a crane rollover case, chemical exposure cases, first-party homeowners insurance cases, and commercial and residential foreclosure cases. He has also argued over eighty appeals in state and federal courts. Todd is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Florida, as well as in the Federal Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Wallen Hernandez Lee Martinez, LLP – Partner (2016-2018)
The Wallen Law Firm, P.A. – President (2014-2016)
Shook Hardy & Bacon, LLP – Associate then Partner (1999 – 2013)
Third District Court of Appeal of Florida- Law Clerk for Hon. David M. Gersten (1998-99)
Represented a woman whose vehicle was hit by an intoxicated driver and rolled one-and-a-half times before landing upside down on a Lee County roadway. Although she sustained significant injuries—requiring surgery on her shoulder and knee, along with diagnoses of a minor traumatic brain injury and chronic PTSD, and although the intoxicated driver admitted to snorting heroin prior to the accident and faced potential criminal liability, the intoxicated driver’s insurer refused to tender the $100,000.00 limit for his liability policy. The case went to trial and, on March 3, 2020, a jury awarded Todd’s client $4,662,572.14 in damages. The award was broken down as follows: $2,250,000.00 for pain and suffering, $1,037,572.14 for past and future medical expenses, $375,000.00 for lost future earning capacity, and $1,000,000.00 for punitive damages. Read Details About the Verdict. After the judgment was entered, the defendant appealed, arguing (1) that the case should have been bifurcated to keep evidence of his misconduct out of the compensatory damages portion of the trial, since he offered to stipulate to entitlement to punitive damages on the eve of trial;that the court erred in allowing plaintiff’s neuropsychologist to give purportedly undisclosed expert opinions; that the punitive award was excessive in light of the defendant’s apparent inability to pay; and that the court erred in excluding expert testimony about the defendant’s net worth due to a late disclosure. The Third District rejected most of the defendant’s arguments and affirmed the compensatory damage award. Itordered a new trial on the issue of punitive damages, however, holding that the trial court failed to make required findings before striking the defense expert on the topic of net worth. See Callari v. Winkeljohn, 329 So. 3d 795 (Fla. 3d DCA 2021). After a period of discovery focusing on the defendant’s true net worth, the case was set for re-trial beginning on September 19, 2022. On the second day of the re-trial, the defense stipulated to re-entry of the $1 million punitive damages award. It then stipulated to plaintiff’s entitlement to recover another $1 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. The judgments now total over $5.6 million. Read Details About the New Judgments. Todd argued the appeal and tried the cases along with Christopher M. Drury of The Drury Law Firm.
Represented one of the nation’s largest construction equipment leasing companies, as co-counsel at trial, and as lead counsel in the ensuing appeal, in wrongful death action involving contact with a power line and electrocution while engaged in the use of an aerial work platform on a construction site. Prior to trial, Todd obtained a ruling that an aerial work platform did not constitute a “dangerous instrumentality” for purposes of imposing vicarious liability and, as a consequence, the trial proceeded against the equipment-leasing company solely on an active negligence count. The result was a defense verdict, which was affirmed on appeal by the Second District Court of Appeal of Florida. See Manning v. Sunbelt Rentals, Inc., 206 So. 3d 705 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016); Manning v. Sunbelt Rentals, Inc., 208 So. 2d 708 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016).
Represented a crane company in a product liability action stemming from a rollover accident caused by a defective crane dolly. The case was tried before the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in October 2020 and, after a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Todd’s client on both the strict liability and breach of implied warranty counts, awarding $734,983.38 in economic damages. The District Court allowed the issue of comparative fault to go to the jury on the strict liability claim, however, and the jury apportioned 43% of the liability for the accident to the plaintiff, substantially reducing the amount awarded in the final judgment. Todd appealed the comparative fault determination and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed that that there is no comparative fault on strict liability claims under Arizona law and reversed the judgment with directions for entry of an amended judgment in the full amount of the jury’s verdict, $734,983.38. See Marco Crane & Rigging Co. v. Greenfield Prods., Nos. 21-15175 and 21-15972, 2022 WL 3031320 (9th Cir. 2022). The Ninth Circuit also rejected the claims by the defendant in its cross-appeal. Todd handled the appeals and tried the case along with F. Bryant Blevins of Butler Weimuller Katz Craig, LLP.
Argued East Coast Electric v. Dunn, 979 So. 2d 1018 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008), wherein the Third District affirmed 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.
Obtained a $1,170,000.00 settlement for a man who fell from the top of a tractor trailer at a recycling facility in western Miami-Dade County, in Viera v. Covanta Dade Renewable Energy, LLC, et al, Miami-Dade County Case No. 16-024269 CA01. Todd’s client was compelled to climb on top of the trailer in order to remove the tarpaulin because the facility lacked a tarping station, which is standard equipment at similar facilities throughout the country. Drivers frequently climbed on their trucks at that facility, moreover, and at least one other driver had fallen and sustained serious injuries prior to the accident involving Todd’s client.
Argued UV Cite III, LLC v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Tr. Co., No. 3D16-2341, 2017 WL 1363945 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017), wherein the Third District held that a residential mortgagee could not enforce a collection of rents provision against an investment company who had acquired the property in a separate foreclosure auction. The bank had convinced the trial court that, since foreclosure is generally an equitable proceeding, it could provide the bank with relief against the investment company even though there was no contract between the entities. The Third District disagreed in an important opinion that has been cited frequently in trial court proceedings since April of last year.
Represented one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies, in a national counsel role, in wrongful death and personal injury cases involving allegations that auto-injectors failed 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 mass-settlement practices and allegations of spoliation of evidence. In one of these cases, Todd retained and had the late Nobel Prize winner, John Nash, present testimony about an opposing expert’s misapplication of his equilibrium theory and other game theory principles.
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.
Middlebury College, B.A. Economics 1995
Univ. of Miami School of Law, J.D. 1998