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Vreeland v. Ferrer

Florida Supreme Court
71 So.3d 70 (2012)


Danny Ferrer (defendant) leased an airplane from Aerolease of America, Inc. (Aerolease) (defendant) (collectively defendants) for one year. The plane crashed killing the pilot and a passenger, Jose Martinez. John Vreeland (plaintiff) was appointed the personal representative of Martinez’s estate, and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants asserting a number of state law tort claims, including a claim under the “dangerous instrumentality doctrine.” Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment and argued that Vreeland’s claims were preempted by federal law, namely 42 U.S.C. § 44112. The trial court concluded that the defendants were vicariously liable under Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine, but that federal law preempted Vreeland’s claims. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Vreeland appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. The Florida Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lewis, J.)

Dissent (Polston, J.)

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