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Time is Money: Florida Court Lays Groundwork for “Loss of Time” Damages

By: Matthew A. Margolis, Esq.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with coining the adage “Time is money.” The expression makes sense, right? Time is not infinite. There is a monetary cost to wasting time. So, is this cost recoverable?

Recently, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal tackled the issue. In P&G Trucking of Brandon, Inc. et al. v. Riverland Hedging & Topping, Inc. et al., the defendants’ truck struck a tractor owned by one plaintiff, and a citrus topper owned by the other plaintiff. Thereafter, the plaintiffs filed suit for damages including “inconvenience” and “administrative” costs. These purported damages included the cost/time associated with:

  1. Overseeing the clean-up of the accident scene;
  2. Figuring out compensation for damages;
  3. Traveling for meetings with administrators relating to preexisting contracts and;
  4. Searching for a replacement operator.

Ultimately, these damages were categorized as “business interruption” damages and awarded to the plaintiffs at trial. On appeal, the Fourth District Court of Appeals sought to tackle a matter of first impression; are “loss of time” damages recoverable?

The Court held that the damages sought by the plaintiffs were not recoverable because the damages were too remote and duplicative of lost profit damages. While not awarded in P&G Trucking, the Court effectively opened the door to a scenario where loss of time damages could be awarded. Utilizing the rational of the Court, it is possible that loss of time damages could be awarded if said damages were reasonably foreseeable and are not the same as lost profit damages.



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Shapiro, Blasi, Wasserman & Hermann, P.A., with offices located in Boca Raton, Florida, has practice areas in Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment, Construction Litigation, Chinese Drywall Litigation, Bankruptcy and Creditor's Rights, Real Estate Transactions, Real Estate Litigation, Business Transactions, Family Law, Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Appellate Matters. We represent clients throughout Florida and nationwide.

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