Rutledge v. State Farm
Congratulations Juan Ruiz and Aaron Eagan for obtaining a favorable verdict for State Farm in the Rutledge case following a 9-day trial. Plaintiffs, James and Darlene Rutledge, alleged that Mr. Rutledge sustained two traumatic lumbar herniations during a rear-end collision caused by Foy Stone, an underinsured motorist. Mr. Rutledge was diagnosed with a soft tissue strain and did not treat again until two months later when he was referred by an attorney to Central Florida Injury (CFI). He then underwent a TLIF procedure performed by Dr. Joshua Appel. Mr. Rutledge returned to CFI and was receiving post-operative therapy on an articulating massage table when the table collapsed and allegedly re-injured his low back. Thereafter, Mr. Rutledge amended his complaint to add CFI, therapist Mindy Perkins, and the distributor of the massage table, Probus One Touch. By the time of trial, Mr. Rutledge had undergone six surgeries and had past medical bills of $883,711, almost all of which was incurred under letters of protection. In closing, plaintiffs asked for $12.8 million including a loss of consortium claim for Mrs. Rutledge. The jury deliberated for 3 hours, 10 minutes before returning a defense verdict awarding $300, 000.
Verdict Date: November 01, 2018
WHYNOT, Erik, Sancha & Brennan (minor) v. Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Congratulations Bucky Hurt, Dick Womble and Sean Crocker for obtaining a favorable verdict for Publix Super Markets, Inc. in the Whynot case. Plaintiffs alleged their 21-month old had sustained a traumatic brain injury when he hit his head in two falls. In his first fall, the child fell from a race cart style shopping cart after his mother failed to strap him in. Plaintiffs alleged there must not have been operational seatbelts present; otherwise, the mother would have utilized them. The mother then picked up her child and a Publix employee went to retrieve ice. Upon arrival with the ice, the mother placed it on the back of the child’s head, causing him to scream. Plaintiffs alleged that the mother handed the ice back to the employee, who then handed it to Plaintiffs’ other son, a three year old, who was still in the cart. Two Publix witnesses testified that it was the mother who handed the bag of ice directly to her other son. Within seconds, the three year old had torn open the bag of ice, causing ice and water to spill onto the cart and onto the floor. The manager in charge directed the mother away from the spill in an effort to take them to the front office. The mother, with her son still in her arms, instead proceeded to walk directly through the area of ice and water, causing her to fall and the child to fall and strike his head, yet again. Plaintiffs initially alleged Publix was negligent for both falls, but on the eve of trial, plaintiffs dropped the claims for the initial fall. The jury found Publix 30% negligent and Mrs. Whynot 70% negligent with a net verdict against Publix totaling $6,649.80. Publix will be entitled to taxable costs and attorney’s fees.
Verdict Date: October 09, 2018