40 Fla. L. Weekly D709c
While Florida law is clear that the relation-back doctrine would apply if a newly added corporate defendant and the prior defendant held themselves out to the public under the same name, shared bank and credit accounts, and shared the same officers, staff, address etc. . . . there appear to be no controlling cases regarding a husband-and-wife under these circumstances. The only evidence before the court is that Mrs. Williams was operating her solely owned vehicle at the time of the accident. As she has a separate existence, and is responsible for her own acts, the amended complaint injects a new defendant and different claim.
For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the trial court’s order dismissing Mrs. Russ’ amended complaint against Mrs. Williams. AFFIRMED. (SWANSON and BILBREY, JJ., CONCUR.) __________________
Plaintiff [Ms. Russ] was well aware of the fact that a woman was operating the motor vehicle which caused the subject collision, and . . . that Plaintiff communicated this information to undersigned counsel’s office. Thus, when undersigned counsel’s office prepared the original Complaint, the intent was to allege a negligence claim against Carolyn Williams. So, the simple fact of the matter is that undersigned counsel’s office made a mistake while preparing the original Complaint which, regrettably undersigned counsel did not catch until Defendant Herschel Williams’ Motion for Summary Judgment was filed.
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