Last Call – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Mosaic Fertilizer, the world’s largest phosphate mining company, announced it had won at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming a judgment in its favor.

The plaintiff, Rhonda Williams of Tampa, had sought over $60 million in damages from the company, which also operates in Florida, in a “toxic tort” suit. She lives three miles from Mosaic’s Riverview plant.

“Williams alleged that toxic substances emitted from (the) factory … caused or exacerbated various medical conditions from which she suffers, including pulmonary hypertension, obstructive pulmonary disease, and other lung and non-lung-related conditions,” the opinion explained.

But a trial-court judge wouldn’t allow her expert witness testimony, her “only evidence as to general and specific causation,” and granted Mosaic’s request for a summary judgment, which allows parties to win without a full trial.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the appellate court this week agreed with the lower judge, saying her expert’s analysis was “deeply flawed.”

The federal courts follow the Daubert standard, named after a court case, in deciding whether to admit expert testimony. Daubert is scientifically strict and usually requires a kind of ‘mini-trial’ before an expert can appear in front of jurors.

Mosaic was represented by a litigation team led by David Weinstein, who chairs Greenberg Traurig’s national environmental and toxic tort practice.

Evening Reads

Pam Bondi files lawsuit against five large manufacturers of opioids” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times

AP, Fox News launch new exit polling project” via Steven Shepard of POLITICO

Hispanic group launches voter registration drive in Florida via Sergio Bustos of POLITICO Florida

Donna Shalala’s opponents needle her for skipping candidate forum” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald

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