Ermini v. Scott, No. 18-11220 (11th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against three deputies and the county sheriff after she was shot five times during a routine wellness check. On appeal, the county sheriff challenged the judgment against him and the district court's denial of his motion for a new trial.
The Eleventh Circuit held that controlling federal law did not preclude district court judges from accurately informing jurors of the effects of their findings—in either their instructions or their verdict forms. Therefore, the court held that it was not improper for the judge to provide an accurate statement of law explaining the legal effect of the jury's finding under Florida's alcohol defense. The court also held that plaintiff did not present a nonexistent negligent-use-of-force claim and that her negligent-wellness-check claim was not precluded; plaintiffs lawyer did not make a forbidden golden-rule argument; and any error that the district court committed in admitting testimony about the deputies' dismissals was harmless.