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 family of four that was involved in roll-over auto crash against a reckless driver, who had snorted heroin shortly before getting behind the wheel, and against the family’s underinsured motorist carrier. Procured settlements for hundreds-of-thousands of dollars on from the UM carrier, and on behalf of three of the four family members from the intoxicated driver’s insurer, and then tried the mother’s case against the driver in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. The case was tried in Miami-Dade County despite the fact that the crash occurred in Lee County, and the defendant driver was from Lee County, because we prevailed on an argument that the Texas-based UM Carrier was domiciled in Miami-Dade County for venue purposes. On May 3, 2020, the jury returned a verdict on behalf of Todd’s client, who had undergone arthroscopic surgery on her shoulder and knee as a result of the crash, and who had sustained a minor traumatic brain injury and chronic PTSD, in the amount of $4,662,572.14. 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. The defendant’s motions for a new trial and for remittitur were subsequently denied. Todd tried the case along with Christopher M. Drury of Dimond, Kaplan & Rothstein. Click Here to Read More
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 on Sunbelt 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 condominium association in an appeal to determine whether lenders are subject to the statute of limitations in residential mortgage foreclosure actions. After convincing a unanimous panel at the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida to bar Deutsche Bank’s foreclosure claim, the matter was called up for rehearing before the en banc court. Unfortunately, the court vacated the unanimous panel opinion, by a 6-4 vote, a year-and-a-half later in what is now one of the most significant decisions affecting mortgage holders and Florida homeowners. See Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas v. Beauvais, No. 3D14-575, 2014 WL 7156961 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014), vacated by Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas v. Beauvais, 188 So. 3d 938 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016). Todd also submitted briefs on this topic on behalf of the condominium association in Bartram v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 211 So. 3d 1009, 1019 (Fla. 2016). Since these decisions were published, Todd has successfully argued that they effectively changed the law in mortgage-foreclosure actions and that the decisions should not be applied retroactively to investment companies that acquired properties prior to 2016, believing that the mortgages could no longer be enforced.
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.
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