Florida Record

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Widower 'extremely disappointed' with Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal ruling

By Charmaine Little | Jun 20, 2017


WEST PALM BEACH — A Florida widower is displeased with the decision of Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals in a negligence lawsuit concerning his late wife. 

Karen E. Terry of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley P.A., who represented Robert Beber, the widower, in “concierge medicine market” MDVIP’s appeal against him, told the Florida Record that Beber is not happy with the appeals’ court decision. 

“[He is] extremely disappointed in the outcome,” she said.

MDVIP, filed an appeal against Robert Beber, husband of deceased Joan P. Beber, after the trial court dismissed the organization’s motion for a direct verdict and awarded Mr. Beber $8.5 million in negligence damages. The trial court also had sided with Mr. Beber in his motion for a directed verdicts on claims of apparent agency and joint venture.

Mrs. Beber originally sued MDVIP for fraud and negligence. She blamed her physician, Dr. Metzger, for a condition that “went undiagnosed and misdiagnosed,” causing her to receive an above-the-knee amputation. 

Dr. Metzger served as Mrs. Beber’s physician before he connected with MDVIP. Still, Mrs. Beber accused MDVIP of negligence. She later died from an unrelated case of cancer, and Mr. Beber took over as the plaintiff.

The appeals court sided with MDVIP and overturned the lower court’s decision. While Mr. Beber was able to prove Dr. Metzger didn’t treat Mrs. Beber properly, Mr. Beber did not give sufficient evidence that MDVIP was aware of the doctor’s conduct, according to the court’s decision. Mr. Beber also could not prove Mrs. Beber relied on MDVIP when she chose Dr. Metzger as her physician.

The appeals court reversed the lower court’s decision and sent it back to the trial court for further proceedings.

The legal battle “is not over,” Terry said.

The new proceedings will focus on Mr. Beber’s request for directed verdict on agency and joint-venture grounds.

“We are in the process of motions for rehearing,” Terry said. 

MDVIP declined to comment on the case.

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Florida 4th District Court of Appeal