Pursuant to Rule 1.270 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, when actions involving a common question of law or fact are pending before the court, the court may order the consolidation of the actions into a single case. The decision to consolidate matters is within the sound discretion of the trial court. See Pages v. Dominguez By and Through Dominguez, 652 So.2d 864, 868 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995).
In deciding whether to consolidate cases, the trial court must consider: (1) whether the trial process will be accelerated due to the consolidation, (2) whether unnecessary costs and delays can be avoided by consolidation, (3) whether there is the possibility for inconsistent verdicts, (4) whether consolidation would eliminate duplicative trials that involve substantially the same core operative facts and questions of law, and (5) whether consolidation would deprive a party of a substantive right. State Farm Fla. Ins. Co. v. Bonham, 886 So. 2d 1072 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004).
When cases are consolidated, the parties litigate the common issues in the context of a single case. However, certain differences in the cases may still require separate trials.
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