Breach of Fiduciary Duty

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“Florida courts have recognized a tort cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty.” Action Nissan, Inc. v. Hyundai Motor Am., 617 F.Supp.2d 1177, 1192 (M.D.Fla.2008) (citing Doe v. Evans, 814 So.2d 370, 374 (Fla.2002)). “The elements of a claim for breach of fiduciary duty are: (1) the existence of a fiduciary duty; (2) the breach of that duty; and (3) damage proximately caused by that breach.” Minotty v. Baudo, 42 So.3d 824, 835-36 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (citing Gracey v. Eaker, 837 So.2d 348, 353 (Fla.2002)). A breach of a fiduciary duty is an intentional tort. La Costa Beach Club Resort Condo. Ass'n, Inc. v. Carioti, 37 So.3d 303, 308 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010). A Florida court recently summarized the contours of a fiduciary relationship as follows:

If a relation of trust and confidence exists between the parties (that is to say, where confidence is reposed by one party and a trust accepted by the other, or where confidence has been acquired and abused), that is sufficient as a predicate for relief. [ ] Fiduciary relationships may be implied in law and such relationships are premised upon the specific factual situation surrounding the transaction and the relationship of the parties. [ ] Courts have found a fiduciary relation implied in law when confidence is reposed by one party and a trust accepted by the other. [ ] To establish a fiduciary relationship, a party must allege some degree of dependency on one side and some degree of undertaking on the other side to advise, counsel and protect the weaker party.

Bingham v. Bingham, 11 So.3d 374, 387 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009) (internal citations and quotations omitted). A fiduciary relationship may exist wherever one man trusts in and relies upon another. See Jacobs v. Vaillancourt, 634 So.2d 667, 670 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (“The relations and duties involved need not be legal, but may be moral, social, domestic, and merely personal.”); Atlantic Nat'l Bank v. Vest, 480 So.2d 1328, 1332 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985) (“The informal type of fiduciary relationship may exist under a variety of circumstances, and does exist in cases where there has been a special confidence reposed in one, who in equity and good conscience, is bound to act in good faith and with due regard to the interests of the one reposing the confidence.”).

Bhayani v. Treeco, Inc., 2:09-CV-672-FTM-29, 2011 WL 250434 (M.D. Fla. 2011)

(“The relations and duties involved need not be legal, but may be moral, social, domestic, and merely personal.”); Kaser v. Swann, 141 F.R.D. 337, 341 (M.D.Fla.1991). Tardif v. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, 160 Lab.Cas. P 61065, (M.D. Fla. 2010) (Case No. 2:09-cv-537-FtM-29SPC).

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