Dear Florida Supreme Court: We need your help. Among other much simpler issues, this case presents a knotty and important state-law contract question that is more appropriately answered by you than by us. Accordingly, after clearing away some underbrush, we will respectfully certify to you the following question:
Is a contractual “exculpatory clause” that purports to insulate one of the signatories from “any … damages regardless of kind or type … whether in contract, tort (including negligence), or otherwise” enforceable? Or, alternatively, does the clause confer such sweeping immunity that it renders the entire contract in which it appears illusory? Or, finally, might the clause plausibly be construed so as to bar some but not all claims and thus save the contract from invalidation?Each possibility finds at least some support in Florida law, each comes with its own equitable pros and cons, and each has dramatically different implications for the case before us.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
"Dear Florida Supreme Court: We need your help."
That's how Judge Newsom starts off this opinion, which certifies a question to the Florida Supreme Court.