Grapski vs. Osceola Regional Medical Center
Congratulations Bucky Hurt and Jeremy Palma for obtaining a defense verdict for Osceola Regional Medical Center in behalf of HCI. The trial lasted 11 days. Plaintiff claimed that nurse Veena Taggar deviated from the standard of care in failing to monitor an 82 year old high fall risk patient on a bedside commode. Plaintiff claims that the nurse should have remained within arm’s length of the patient and kept the patient within her line of sight. Plaintiff fell from the commode and sustained a cervical spine injury resulting in central cord syndrome. This essentially paralyzed his right arm. Following the fall, plaintiff was admitted to inpatient rehabilitation for 9 months. The plaintiff called 27 witnesses to trial, 13 of which were depositions read to the jury. The defense called two witnesses to trial, Ms. Taggar and our nursing standard of care expert. Plaintiff requested $2,170,239.97 for past medical expenses, $1,815,915 for future medical expenses and $800,000 for pain and suffering, a total of $4,786,154.97. The jury deliberated 3 hours, 8 minutes and returned a defense verdict.
Verdict Date: December 17, 2018
Guillen v. Vang
Congratulations Juan Ruiz and Aaron Eagan for obtaining a directed verdict for Mai So Vang and Yang Xiong on behalf of State Farm. The case arose out of a 2002 T-bone collision that occurred while Plaintiff, Jose Guillen, was on duty as a recruiter with the United States Marine Corps. There was no medical treatment at the time of the accident. Approximately 1 year later, Plaintiff treated for right wrist and knee pain and eventually underwent wrist carpal tunnel decompression surgery and knee arthroscopy. Plaintiff retired from the Marine Corps in 2004 at the rank of E-8. Plaintiff withdrew his claims for pain and suffering and medical bills prior to trial. At trial, Plaintiff alleged that he was forced to retire prematurely because he knew he would be unable to pass the physical fitness test as a result of injuring his wrist and knee in the accident. Plaintiff contended he would have been promoted to the rank of E-9 and claimed $750,000 in damages at trial, the amount of the lifetime difference between his current retirement benefits and the benefits he would have received had he been promoted. Defense admitted negligence prior to trial. On cross examination, Plaintiff admitted that his retirement was voluntary and that he was not eligible for promotion at the time he retire. Plaintiff also testified that there were a limited number of available slots for E-9 promotions at any given time. Plaintiff also disputed the results of a fitness test performed after the accident showing a passing score. Defense moved for a directed verdict on the issues of causation and damages, arguing that in order to find that the accident caused Plaintiff to retire and lose a promotion, the jury would have to stack inferences and speculate that Plaintiff would have been promoted but for the accident having occurred. The judge granted defendants’ motions for directed verdict as to all issues.
Verdict Date: December 07, 2018
Barrett v. Benfanti
Congratulations Richard Mangan and Derek Bush for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Paul Benfanti and Children’s Orthopaedic and Scoliosis Surgery Associates in behalf of TDC. The allegations in the matter surrounded care provided by Dr. Benfanti after an 8 year old female fell during a gymnastics class and sustained a radial neck fracture. Dr. Benfanti evaluated the child and diagnosed the facture, treating her with a closed reduction procedure. Unfortunately, additional bone formed due to an alleged missed plastic deformity of the ulna forming a complete synostosis), leaving the child’s right arm stuck in full supination with a complete lack of pronation. This prevented the right hand dominant child from typing, writing or eating with her right hand. Plaintiff had a life care plan prepared by Dr. Ronald Snyder (approximately $2.2M), which was withdrawn at trial following inconsistent testimony by Plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon as to the child’s needs. Plaintiff asked for a pain and suffering award of $1.9M. The jury deliberated for 90 minutes and returned a defense verdict.
Verdict Date: December 07, 2018
Bunting v. Urra Nursery/ Juan Delgado
Congratulations Karissa Owens, Howard Citron and Julie Herzlich for obtaining a defense verdict for Urra Nursery, Inc. and Juan Delgado on behalf of Hortica Insurance Company. The case involved a commercial trucking claim arising out of an accident in which Defendant driver, Mr. Delgado, was driving his employer’s tractor trailer on a 4 lane highway in heavy rain when a F150 driven by the 23 year-old decedent sustained a suspension fracture. The fracture caused the left front wheel to separate and forced the truck into the Defendant’s lane. Mr. Delgado admitted to seeing the F150 out of control about ¼ mile away but did not react to it until 5-6 seconds later when it was coming out of the median in his direction. Defendant was traveling 60 mph in a 65 mph zone when the tractor trailer collided into the driver side of the truck causing the F150’s fuel tank to explode. The decedent died upon impact; however, he was badly burned and his family observed him at the scene. Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant was driving too fast for conditions, failed to take timely evasive action, and failed to keep a vigilant lookout. Plaintiff’s experts claimed that the Mr. Delgado should have begun reacting when the F150 exited into the median and should have been driving slower, and if he had, the fatal accident would not have occurred. A defense verdict was returned following the 7 day trial.
Verdict Date: November 08, 2018
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