Coba v. Tricam Industries, Inc., Case No. SC12-2624 (Florida Supreme Court)
, the Florida Supreme Court addressed whether in products liability cases
there is a "fundamental nature" exception to the general rule
that a party waives any objection to an inconsistent verdict if the party
fails to object to the inconsistent verdict before the jury is discharged.
In products liability cases, inconsistent verdicts typically arise when
the jury finds that a defendant was negligent in the design of a product
but also finds that the product did not contain a design defect. Consistent
with long standing precedent, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a party
must timely object to an inconsistent verdict even in products liability
cases or the issue is otherwise waived. Therefore, there is no "fundamental
nature" exception to inconsistent verdicts that applies only to products
liability cases. The court found that there is no conceptual or reasoned
basis for the distinction and no cognizable way to apply it.