Diana L. Martin is Of Counsel at Cohen Milstein, and a member of the firm’s Catastrophic Injury & Wrongful Death, Consumer Protection, Managed Care Abuse, and Unsafe & Defective Products practice groups. She concentrates her practice on appellate litigation involving complex product liability, consumer class, mass tort and managed care litigation by not only handling appeals for the firm in these areas, but also by providing appellate support at the trial stage. In that role, she drafts and argues complex and case dispositive motions, handles jury instruction charge conferences and assists trial counsel in preserving and protecting the record in the event of an appeal.
Of notable interest is Ms. Martin’s success in achieving justice for injured workers who have been wrongfully denied medical care and treatment by their employer or their employer’s workers’ compensation carrier, resulting in the employee suffering injuries in addition to those suffered in the workplace accident. While many attorneys refuse to litigate such cases given the difficulty of navigating around the legal immunity afforded to defendants by Florida law, Ms. Martin has gotten many of these cases past the motion to dismiss and summary judgment stages, resulting in settlement of the workers’ claims prior to trial.
Currently, Ms. Martin is helping the firm litigate the following matters:
- United States of America, et al. v. AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Inc.: Cohen Milstein represents three former managers of the AHF in a Federal and Florida State Whistleblower Act claims against the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care for illegal patient referral kickbacks. Ms. Martin has been involved in all aspects of the litigation. The case is ongoing.
- HCA: Cohen Milstein is lead counsel in a class action lawsuit alleging that four Florida plaintiffs and others like them were billed inflated and exorbitant fees for emergency radiology services, in excess of the amount allowed by law, covered in part by their mandatory Florida Personal Injury Protection insurance. When the district court struck plaintiffs’ class claims, Ms. Martin successfully petitioned the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to accept immediate appellate review.
- Wal-Mart Employment Discrimination Litigation: Ms. Martin assisted the firm’s Civil Rights and Employment practice group in a regional gender bias case in the Southern District of Florida alleging that Wal-Mart discriminates against women in pay and promotion decisions. After settlement agreements were reached on behalf of the individual plaintiffs, Ms. Martin has taken the lead role in appealing to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals the district court’s order dismissing as time-barred the plaintiffs’ class claims, which originated from the seminal case of Dukes v. Wal-Mart.
Some of her past successes include:
- Adams v. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office: Cohen Milstein was lead counsel in an excessive force and wrongful death action against the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and one of its detectives, who shot and killed the unarmed Seth Adams while he was on family property. Having provided legal support throughout the district court proceedings, Ms. Martin successfully handled the appellate proceedings in which the officer had appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals the district court’s denial of his motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. The case was settled in May 2017 for $2.5 million, the largest amount in the agency's history.
- Mincey v. Takata: Cohen Milstein was lead counsel in a lawsuit brought on behalf of Patricia Mincey and her family, a Florida woman who sustained catastrophic injuries that rendered her a quadriplegic in 2014 when the driver’s side airbag in her Honda Civic deployed too aggressively during a collision due to a product defect. Patricia Mincey passed away in early 2016 due to complications from her quadriplegia. The suit charged that Takata, the manufacturer of the airbag system, knew of the airbag defect and hid the problem from consumers. When the defendants removed Ms. Mincey’s case to federal court in an attempt to have it bogged down in multi-district litigation, Ms. Martin successfully had the case remanded to Florida state court, where it is was resolved in July 2016.
Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Ms. Martin served as appellate counsel to Leopold Law, P.A., in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Before that, she clerked for three years for the Honorable Martha C. Warner in Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal. Ms. Martin attended Flagler College, graduating summa cum laude and being awarded Departmental Honors in Philosophy/Religion. She earned her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, graduating with High Honors and achieving admission to the Order of the Coif.
Ms. Martin currently serves as President of Florida Legal Services, serves as Audit Committee Chair of Families First of Palm Beach County, and sits on the board of the Florida Bar Foundation. She has written numerous legal articles, which have been published in a variety of journals, including Trial Magazine, The Florida Bar Journal, and the Florida Justice Association Journal. Ms. Martin also co-authors Florida Insurance Law and Practice, an annual publication by Thomson/West.