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.
Ms. Martin’s practice focuses on appellate litigation involving complex product liability, consumer class, mass tort, and managed care litigation. She not only handles appeals in these areas of law, but also provides appellate support at the trial stage. In this role, she works as an integral part of the trial team by strategizing best practices, drafting and arguing complex and case dispositive motions, handling jury instruction charge conferences, and assisting trial counsel in preserving and protecting the record in the event of an appeal.
Ms. Martin is often involved in cases that involve complex issues or require the development of innovative strategies for novel or evolving theories of liability. These areas have included developing legal theories to avoid the application of legal immunity to workers’ compensation carriers who deny or delay medical care to injured workers, and using Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act to hold hospitals accountable for drastically overbilling patients on a uniform basis. Her experience spans various practice areas, such as constitutional and civil rights law, commercial litigation, mass tort and class action litigation, managed care litigation, products liability law, and catastrophic personal injury litigation.
Ms. Martin is on the litigation team for the following notable matters:
- United States of America, et al. v. AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Inc.: Cohen Milstein represents three former managers of the AHF in 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.
- 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 and obtained a reversal of the district court’s order.
- Lindsay X-LITE Guardrail Litigation: Cohen Milstein represents more than five families of decedents and victims of catastrophic injuries in a series of individual products liability, wrongful death and catastrophic injury lawsuits in Tennessee and South Carolina state courts against the Lindsay Corporation and several related entities for designing, manufacturing, selling, and installing defective X-Lite guardrails on state roadways.
- Pulse Nightclub Shooting: Cohen Milstein is co-lead counsel, representing more than 90 survivors and relatives of victims of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting. The wrongful death lawsuit against the shooter’s former employer, G4S, alleges that it knew the shooter was mentally unstable and threatening violence, yet obtained his security license from the state with the use of a fraudulently signed psychological assessment, employed him as an armed guard, and repeatedly gave him weapons training.
- Saori Yamauchi, et al. v. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al.: Cohen Milstein and local New York co-counsel filed a product liability and personal injury complaint against Toyota Motor Corporation, Autoliv, and related entities on behalf of Saori Yamauchi, who sustained a catastrophic injury in an accident involving her Toyota Sienna and the vehicle’s airbag system deploying in a dangerous manner. The case is being litigated in New York state court.
Ms. Martin has successfully litigated the following matters:
- 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 settlement in the agency's history.
- In re: Caterpillar, Inc. Engine Products Liability Litigation: Cohen Milstein was co-lead counsel in a nationwide product liability class action lawsuit alleging Caterpillar sold diesel engines with defective exhaust emissions system that resulted in power losses and shutdowns. The case was settled in September 2016 for $60 million.
- Hand et al., v. Scott et al.: Cohen Milstein and Fair Elections Legal Network, a national voting rights organization, achieved a major victory on behalf of former felons in Florida, who claimed their constitutional rights had been infringed by Florida’s Clemency Board. U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Walker ruled that the process by which Florida’s Clemency Board grants or denies former felons’ restoration of voting rights applications is unconstitutionally arbitrary and violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment right of free association and free expression, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment.
- 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.
- Wal-Mart Employment Discrimination Litigation: Cohen Milstein represented individual female Walmart employees in a lawsuit alleging that the company discriminated against them on the basis of their sex. Ms. Martin worked as part of the trial and appellate teams until the parties reached a confidential settlement with the plaintiffs.
Ms. Martin currently serves as Audit Committee Chair of Families First of Palm Beach County. She is a past President of Florida Legal Services and served as a Board Member between 2007 and 2016. Ms. Martin was also a Board Member of the Florida Bar Foundation in 2015-2016. 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.
Ms. Martin attended Flagler College, graduating summa cum laude with 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 clerked for three years between 2002 and 2005 for the Honorable Martha C. Warner in Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal.