Verdicts & Settlements

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You should know that:
The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters in which results have been provided.
All results of cases handled by our law firm are not provided.
The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by our law firm or of the experience of all clients or others with our law firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits

Plaintiff Verdicts & Settlements
$40,500,000 Automobile Accident, 3 deaths, Alachua
$8,000,000 Automobile Accident, Spinal Injury, Sarasota 
$6,500,000 Automobile Accident, Brain Injury, Manatee
$5,350,000 Automobile Accident, Wrongful Death, Hillsborough 
$3,100,000 Products liability/negligent maintenance case, Hardee 
$2,750,000.00 Automobile Accident, Wrongful Death of 89 year old,Hillsborough
$2,200,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Falls, Death, Polk
$1,925,000 Negligent Security, Hillsborough
$1,900,000 Auto Accident, Near Amputation, Hillsborough
$1,700 000 Land Contamination, Hillsborough
$1,650,000 Auto Accident, Hillsborough
$1,600,000 Automobile Accident, Hillsborough
$1,500,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Decubitus Ulcer Death, Polk
$1,450,000 Bicycle Accident, TBI, Hillsborough
$1,500,000 Bicycle Accident TBI, Hillsborough
$1 400,000 Automobile Accident, Death, Hillsborough
$1,300,000 Medical Malpractice, pressure ulcer, Hillsborough
$1,275,000 Motorcycle Accident, Wrongful Death, Sarasota
$1,200,000 Medical Malpractice, Hospital Pressure Ulcer, Hillsborough
$1,250,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Leg Amputation, Brandon
$1,125,000 Products Liability, Spinal Injury, Hardee
$1,000,000 Automobile Accident, Wrongful Death, Hillsborough
$1,000,000 Slip/fall Accident, mild TBI, Pinellas
$1,000,000 Automobile Accident, Wrongful Death, Pinellas
$1,000,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Dehydration Death, Hillsborough
$1,000,000 Premises Liability, Hillsborough
$900,000 Nursing Home, Pressure Ulcers, West Virginia 
$900,000 Automobile Accident, TBI, Orange 
$900,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, Hillsborough
$875,000 Brain injury, Hillsborough
$850,000 Nursing Home, Abuse and Neglect, Pinellas
$850,000 Products Liability, Vehicle Rollover Death, Tampa
$750,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Leg Amputation, Hernando
$750,000 Assited Living Facility, Pressure Ulcer, Seminole
$750,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Decubitus Ulcer Death, Pinellas
$700 000 ALF, Malnutrition, Bradenton
$675,000 ALF, Fall with severe bruising, dehydration and infection, Tampa
$665,000 Automobile Accident, Neck & Lower Back, Manatee
$650,000 Medical Malpractice, Leg Amputation, Pinellas
$600,000 Assisted Living Facility, Abuse and Neglect, Seminole 
$600,000 Commercial Litigation, Insurance Fraud, Pinellas
$584,000 Assited Living Facility, Bed Sore/Amputation, Sarasota
$575,000 ALF, Fall/Fractured Hip, Hillsborough
$575,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, Hillsborough
$550,000 Auto Accident, Manatee
$550,000 Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Sarasota
$550,000 Medical Malpractice, pressure ulcer, Hillsborough
$535 000 Automobile Accident, Hillsborough
$525 000 Automobile Accident, Neck, Orange
$500,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Fall/Fractured Hip, Hillsborough
$500,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, Hillsborough
$500,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Fall/Fracture, Hillsborough
$500,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Multiple Falls, Winter Haven
$500,000 Medical Malpractice, Dermatologist, Sarasota
$500,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Pressure Ulcer and Amputation, Hillsborough
$500,000 Automobile Accident, Death, Manatee
$500,000 Medical Malpractice, Infant Death, Hillsborough
$500,000 Medical Malpractice, Hospital Pressure Ulcer, Hillsborough
$500,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Hip Fracture/Neglect, Hillsborough
$475,000 Medical Malpractice, Hospital Pressure Ulcer, Pinellas
$450 000 Automobile Accident, TBI, Pinellas
$450 000 Automobile Accident, Death, Hillsborough
$442,000 Nursing Home Restraints, Abuse, Hillsborough
$425,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Decubitus Ulcer, Hillsborough
$405,000 Nursing Home, Ant Bites, Neglect, Polk
$400,000 Nursing Home, Pressure Ulcer, Hillsborough
$400,000 Nursing Home, Multiple Falls, Death, Pasco
$400,000 Assisted Living Facility, Multiple Falls with injuries, Hillsborough
$400,000 Mine Accident, violation of MSHA, Citrus
$385,000 Nursing Home Abuse
$375,000 Nursing Home, Medication Errors, Hillsborough
$350,000 Premises Hotel, Inadequate Security, Molestation, Pinellas
$340,000 Assisted Living Facility, Pressure Ulcer, Seminole
$300,000 Automobile Accident, Wrongful Death, Sarasota
$300,000 Medical Malpractice, Hospital Pressure Ulcer, Hillsborough
$300,000 Commercial Litigation, Breach Of Contract, Pinellas
$290,000 ALF, Fall/Fractured Hip, Hillsborough
$275,000 Medical Malpractice, Hospital Bowel Obstruction, Pinellas
$275,000 Premises Day Care, Inadequate Supervision, Molestation, Hillsborough
$265,000 Assisted Living Facility, Pressure Ulcers, Dehydration, Malnutrition, Hillsborough
$250,000 Medical Malpractice, Spinal Chord Injury, Hillsborough
$250,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Improper Restraint, Pinellas
$250,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Pinellas
$250,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, Pinellas
$250,000 Nursing Home, Falls, Hip Fracture, Hillsborough
$250,000 Automobile Accident, Shoulder Injury, Sarasota
$250,000 Nursing Home, Pressure Sores, Malnutrition, Citrus
$250,000 Automobile Accident, Death, Manatee
$245,000 Assisted Living Facility, Improper Retention, Hillsborough
$240,000 Automobile Accident, Back, Neck, Hillsborough
$235,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Multiple Falls with Injury, Polk
$230,000 Assisted Living Facility, Medication Errors, Death, Pinellas
$229,000 Medical Malpractice, Hospital Pressure Ulcer, Pinellas
$225,000 Motorcycle Accident, Multiple Fractures, Orange
$220,000 Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, Pinellas
$210,000 Nursing Home Neglect, Hillsborough
$200,000 Medical Malpractice, Hospital Pressure Ulcer, Leon
$200,000 Legal Malpractice, Pinellas
$200,000 Nursing Home, Dehydration, Volusia
$200 000 Nursing Home Abuse, Clearwater
$200,000 Nursing Home, Neglect, Hillsborough
$110,000 Slip and Fall, Bradenton

Defense Verdicts & Settlements

Hillsborough County
MARK E. MELVIN vs. TAMPA BAY ARENA, INC., a Florida corporation; CARTER McCAIN and MACFARLANE FERGUSON & MCMULLEN, P.A., f/k/a MACFARLANE AUSLEY FERGUSON & MCMULLEN, P.A.

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Hillsborough/ 95-1005 / Dick Greco

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Alan Wagner and Thaxter Cooper of Wagner, Vaughn & McLaughlin, Tampa

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Cody Fowler Davis and Valeria Hendricks of Davis & Harmon, P.A., Tampa

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Malicious prosecution action again Carter McCain and his law firm, MacFarlane Ferguson & McMullen

NATURE OF INJURY:
Plaintiff was jailed as a result of an arrest and alleged numerous damages.

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S: Plaintiff’s treating physician, engineers and representatives of the City of Tampa

DEFENDANT’S: Lawyer John Grandoff of Hill, Ward & Henderson, Tampa

VERDICT:
For the Defendants in May 2001 EDITOR’S NOTE: Defendants have taxed their attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to an Offer of Judgment.


 AMSCOT CORP. vs. CELESTINO ARIAS

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Hillsborough / 99-09247 / Ralph Steinberg

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
John Anthony and Garry Rhoden of Gray, Harris, et al., Tampa

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Kevin Britt Woods and Steve D. Parker of Davis & Scarritt, P.A., Tampa; Gretchen-Elizabeth, Tampa

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
N/A

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Contract/Breach of Commercial Lease Agreement Fraud in the Inducement. On November 9, 1999, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant breached his commercial lease agreement with Plaintiff, and committed fraud in the inducement by substituting a lease agreement at the time of signing that was materially different from the lease agreement negotiated between the parties prior to execution. In addition to damages, Plaintiff sought reformation and declaratory relief. Defendant counter-claimed against Plaintifff and filed a third-party complaint against the owner of Defendant Amscot Corp. for breach of contract, tortious interference with a contract relationship, and for eviction.

NATURE OF INJURY:
The damages sought by both sides at trial were limited to out-of-pocket expenses and attorney’s fees and costs. Plaintiff initially made a claim for financial damages.

EXPERT WITNESSES:
N/A

VERDICT:
For the Defendant on November 17, 2000

JUDGEMENT:
$45,000 for Defendant on December 7, 2000

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Prior to trial, Defendant’s last demand was $30,000. The verdict was for Defendant on Plaintiff’s claims. Defendant was awarded $45,000 pursuant to a joint stipulation on Defendant’s counter-claim and third-party complaint.



 CONNIE HARRISON and GARY HARRISON vs. JULIAN LANE, D/B/A LANE CATTLE CO.

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Hillsborough / 94-3319 / Dick Greco, Jr.

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Scott Borders and Ben Stewart of Clark, Charlton, et al. Tampa

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Thomas P. Scarritt, Jr. and Kevin B. Woods of Davis & Scarritt, P.A., Tampa

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
48 / F / Part-time Waitress

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Motor Vehicle Accident/Cow on Highway. On February 23, 1993, Plaintiff was riding as a passenger on the Back of her husband’s motorcycle on Carlton Lake Road in Wimauma. Plaintiff alleged that she was injured when they struck a cow owned by the Defendant, which was in the road next to Defendant’s dairy farm.

NATURE OF INJURY:
Left knee abrasions, contusions, and internal derangement; soft tissue injury to neck and back.

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S:

    Robert Martinez, M.D. Neurology, Tampa
    Ortelio Rodriguez, M.D., Orthopedics, Tampa
    Allen T. Zak, D.C., Chiropractic, Sun City Center
    Anthony Duany, M.D., Emergency Medicine, Tampa

VERDICT:
For the Defendant on January 28, 1998

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Defendant made separate offers of judgment for $2,501 and $20,001 which were not accepted; Defendant increased its offer before trial to $25,000. Plaintiffs demanded $125,000. Defendant has pending motion to tax costs and fees requesting over $100,000.

DEFENDANT’S ATTORNEY’S COMMENTS
No physical evidence was presented that a cow was on the road at the time of the alleged accident. the jury found in thiry-five minutes that Plaintiffs did not have an accident involving Defendant’s dairy or beef cattle. Defendant had two IME physicians examine the Plaintiff, but chose not to call either live to testify at trial.

 



 
CAGATAY OZDEMIR vs. HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Hillsborough / 95-01067 / James D. Arnold

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Scott McCullough of Timothy G. Anderson & Associates, P.A., Tampa

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Thomas S. Harmon of Davis & Scarritt, P.A., Tampa

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
22 / M / Graduate Student

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Motor Vehicle Accident/Running Red Light. On April 22, 1992, at 1:24 a.m., Plaintiff was a front-seat passenger in a 1991 Geo Tracker, which was t-boned by Deputy John Thibideau of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department at 1:24 a.m., at the intersection of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Fletcher Avenue in Tampa. Plaintiff and the driver of Plaintiff vehicle alleged they were turning left under a green arrow onto Fletcher Avenue when Deputy Thibideau ran a red light, striking their vehicle in the passenger side door at approximately fory-five mph. Plaintiff’s vehicle was knocked on its side and “spun like a top”.

Plaintiff produced an independent eyewitness, Janda Davis, who was using the telephone located on the corner of the intersection. Ms. Davis originally testified in her deposition that the light had turned yellow as Plaintiff’s vehicle entered the intersection, but at trial testified that the light was green as Plaintiff’s vehicle entered the intersection. Ms. Davis also denied ever speaking with the Plaintiff or the driver after this accident. Plaintiff and the driver likewise denied speaking with Ms. Davis following the accident. However, during Ms. Davis’ deposition, she admitted to meeting with the driver and Plaintiff after this accident on as many as three separate ocassions. Plaintiff also testified that he could not recall whether or not he was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident. However, the emergency room records stated that Plaintiff was “unrestrained”. On cross examination, Plaintiff had no explanation for why the hospital staff wrote down that he was “unrestrained” other than the fact that he “must have told them that”. Deputy Thibideau denied running the red light and adamantly testified that his light was green at all times when he entered the intersection, and that the driver of Plaintiff’s vehicle simply “darted out in front of him”.

NATURE OF INJURY:
Plaintiff alleged that, as a result of the accident, he suffered a torn medial meniscus to the left knee, TMJ, and soft tissue injuries to his neck and Back. Plaintiff denied ever having TMJ symptoms prior to this accident and, likewise, denied ever having problems with his other knee (right) before or subsequent to this accident. However, Plaintiff’s medical records showed the symptoms of TMJ, including pain in the temporalis area, earaches, and vertigo prior to 1992. Plaintiff’s medical records also showed complaints of pain and treatment to the right knee, which Plaintiff denied at trial. The defense argued that while the MRI of Plaintiff’s knee showed a tear of the medial meniscus, the diagnostic tests did not correlate with the clinical findings and, thus, represented a “false positive”.

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S:

    Ormand H. Ware, D.M. D., Dentistry, St. Petersburg
    Richard Redding, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Tampa

PLAINTIFF’S:
Lutz M. Shlicke, M.D., Orthopedic Surgury, Tampa
Barry Levine, M.D. Temporomandibular & Maxillofacial Surgery, Tampa

VERDICT:
For the Defendant on June 17, 1998

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Defendant offered $10,000; Plaintiff demanded $20,000. Motion to tax fees and costs is pending.



 
LYN WILKERSON, as personal representative of the estate of LINDA RAY WILKERSON, deceased vs. BRYAN DETERT and DURANGO U.S.A, INC.

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Hillsborough / 02 CA 5732 / F. Dennis Alvarez

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Ralph E. Odom of Gaumieri, Martinez & Odom, P.A., Brandon; Thomas Chase, Ft. Myers

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Steve D. Parker and Cody Fowler Davis of Davis & Harmon, P.A., Tampa

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
Decedent: 58 / F / Internal Revenue Service Assistant

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Motor vehicle accident/T-bone Collision. On November 14, 2000, at approximately 11:47 a.m., decedent was traveling north on I-75 near Sun City Center at approximately seventy mph, which was the posted speed limit. Although it had been raining, the road was mostly dry. Decedent was approximately three seconds behind a vehicle driven by Defendant Detert who was acting in the course and scope of his employment with Defendant Durango. Plaintiff alleged that Detert was not paying attention, lost control of his vehicle, and rolled over, right in front of the decedent’s vehicle. When decedent observed said vehicle roll, she reacted by steering left, crossed the median and was t-boned on the driver’s side by a large vehicle that was traveling south. Defendants contended that Detert was driving carefully and lost control due to the wet and slippery road surface. Decedent was wearing her seat belt at the time of the accident.

NATURE OF INJURY:
Death. Decedent was survived by two sons, Lyn, age thirty-three; Larry, age thirty-nine; and one daughter, Lori, age thirty-eight.

EXPERT WITNESSES: 

PLAINTIFF’S:
Rick Galdos, Ph.D., Accident Reconstruction, Valrico
Frank A. Fore, Accident Reconstruction, Tequesta
Greg Raines, Animation, Tampa
Larry A. Platt, Ph.D., Grief, Melbourne
L. Gail Markham, CPA, Economist, Ft. Meyers
Timothy C. Voit, Economist, Naples

DEFENDANT’S: Rick Swope, Accident Reconstruction, Davie
Stephen E. Durham, Ph.D., Economist, Tampa

VERDICT:
For the Defendant on May 27, 2004

DEFENDANT’S ATTORNEY’S COMMENTS: STEVE PARKER:
Defendants filed a Proposal for Settlement for $150,000; Plaintiff demanded $975,000. 

Highlands County

 Jack and Janet Shives vs. The Town of Lake Placid

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Highlands / GC96-414 / The Honorable J. Dale Durrance

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Irby Pugh and Tye Van Buren, Pugh & Van Buren, 218 Annie Street, Orlando, Florida 32806

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Kevin Britt Woods and Cody Fowler Davis, Davis & Scarritt, P.A., 100 North Tampa Street, Suite 2950, Tampa, Florida 33602

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
Jack and Janet Shives – Real Estate Developers

DATE, TIME, AND PLACE OF ACCIDENT OR OCCURRENCE:
Contract created between the Town of Lake Placid and Jules Zappulla (non-party) in July, 1976. Alleged breach of contract occurred in 1992 as a result of the imposition of a sewer moratorium by the Town of Lake Placid.

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Plaintiffs claimed that the contract between Jules Zappulla and the Town of Lake Placid created rights in the Plaintiffs as successors in interest or third party beneficiaries thereto and as a real covenant that ran with the land which entitled the Plaintiffs to access to the sewer treatment facility for use in developing various properties located in Lake Placid, Florida. The Plaintiffs claimed that the Town of Lake Placid violated its obligations under the 1976 contract by denying the Plaintiffs access to the sewer treatment facility in 1992. The denial of hook-ups to the sewer treatment facility made the properties in Lake Placid undevelopable and eventually resulted in the foreclosure of the properties by Huntington Banks.

The Town of Lake Placid contended that the sole reason for the sewer moratorium was the Shives alleged predecessor, Jules Zappulla’s failure to build a sewer treatment facility of adequate capacity as required by the 1976 agreement. The inadequate capacity of the sewer treatment facility resulted in a DEP Non-Compliance Order and the eventual need for a moratorium on all further hook-ups to the sewer treatment facility. Furthermore, the Town contended that the 1976 contract did not provide any affirmative rights in any parties other than the Town of Lake Placid and Jules Zappulla.

NATURE OF INJURY:
As a result of the sewer moratorium and the inability to hook-up to the sewer treatment facility, the Shives claim that they could not be granted building permits for the remaining vacant properties located in Lake Placid, Florida. As a result, the Shives claim that Huntington Banks foreclosed on these properties which had a value of $496,000

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S:
Raymond Hanson, Engineer Orlando, FL
Gregory Goodale, Engineer
Casselberry, Florida

PLAINTIFF’S:
Carlos Vasquez, P.E. Lutz, Florida
Stephen E. Durham, Ph.D., Economist Tampa, Florida

VERDICT:
For the Defendant, August 13, 1999

EDITOR’S NOTE:
A Proposal for Settlement was served on Plaintiffs by Defendants on or about December 16, 1999. Defendant’s Motion to Tax Fees and Costs is pending.

Sarasota County

TONY W. MANTOOTH vs. CONSTRUCTION RENTAL, INC.

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Sarasota / 99-1019 / Harry M. Rapkin

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
David Shapiro and Laurie Zimmerman of Rosen & Shapiro, Sarasota

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Cody Fowler Davis and Steve D. Parker of Davis & Scarritt, P.A., Tampa

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
36 / M / Lawn Maintenance and Tree Removal

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Product Liability / Bucket Lift. On March 22, 1997, at 10:00 a.m., Plaintiff was using an Eagle bucket lift rented from Defendant at the Curry Cove Condominium complex located in Nokomis. The lift fell over causing Plaintiff to fall forty to forty-five feet to the ground. Plaintiff alleged the lift was materially defective inasmuch as the safety switch was not operational at the time of the rental; that Defendant was negligent and careless by not properly servicing or maintaining the lift and that the warning lablels, which should have been visible, had been removed and /or were covered with spray paint. Plaintiff further alleged that Defendant was negligent and careless in failing to provide proper operating instructions, training, supervision, and warnings to renters of the lift.

NATURE OF INJURY:
Broken and loosened teeth, some of which were removed; puncture on left side of throat; fractured sternum; two fractured vertebra; punctured lung; irreparable torn muscles in left arm; injuries to neck and ribs.

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S:

    Paul Pritzker, P.E., Safety Engineer, Port Charlotte,
    Maurice F Schulten, M.D., General Surgery, Venice

VERDICT:
For the Defendant on January 9, 2001.

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Defendant offered $10,001; Plaintiff’s initially demanded $250,000, but subsequently filed a Proposal for Settlement for $35,000. Defendant filed a Motion to Tax Costs and a Motion to Tax Attorney’s Fees pursuant to its Proposal for Settlement.

 



 
THOMAS GUY vs. DAVIS PHELPS and MOODY & SONS, INC.

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Sarasota / 97-2205-CA-01 / Lee E. Haworth

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Vernon Davids and Linda Morland of Davids & Moreland, Port Charlotte

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Cody Fowler Davis of Davis & Scarritt, Tampa

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
42 / M / Construction Worker

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Motor Vehicle Accident / Intersection Collision. On July 25, 1995, at 4:30 p.m., on U.S. 41 at the intersection of Stickney Point Road, Plaintiff was stopped in traffic in his vehicle when a crane owned by M.D. Moody & Sons and driven by David Aaron Phelps sideswiped his vehicle.

NATURE OF INJURY:
Cervical injury that ultimately required surgical intervention and the placement of a plate and screws in his neck; headaches; pain in his shoulders and down his arms; low Back injury; injuries to both knees requiring bilateral arthroscopic surgery.

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S:
Ronald J. Haromin, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Englewood
John Cassidy, M.D., Neurosurgery, Venice
Bill Smith, D.C., Chiropractic, Clearwater
Sherry Davids, Massage Therapy, Port Charlotte
Donald Robertson, D.O., Osteopathy, Englewood
Chuck Nieves, Vocational Rehabilitation, Sarasota

DEFENDANT’S:
Michael Shahnasarian, Ph.D., Vocational Rehabilitation, Tampa
John Gatten, Accident Reconstruction, Tampa
Reed Murtagh, M.D., Radiology, Tampa
Danny Dodson, Ph.D., Injury Causation, Longboat Key

VERDICT:
For the Defendants on November 13, 1998

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Defendants offered $125,000; Plaintiff demanded $250,000. The jury found that Plaintiff’s damages not legally caused by this accident.

DEFENDANTS’ ATTORNEY’S COMMENTS:
Defendants will be filing a motion to tax costs and fees pursuant to the $125,000 offer of judgment made by Defendants.

Pinellas County
ALLIED vs. ESTATE OF SMITH
A large Pinellas County  corporation filed an action against the estate of the deceased CEO to  re-establish a lost stock redemption agreement. There were numerous counterclaims against Allied and the present CEO. After a two-week  bench trial in which experts from around the world testified, the trial court entered judgment in favor of Allied, and the present CEO who was represented at trial by Cody Davis and Valeria Hendricks. Not only was this a “bet the company case,” it determined who owned the entire company.

 MARKEL vs. FEATHER SOUND
Members of a club filed a complaint and a request for injunction against Feather Sound Country Club alleging that the Board of Directors did not properly follow procedure in arranging for sale of the Club. A day long injunction trial took place and if the injunction would have been granted, the buyer of the club would not have gone through closing and the club would have probably been lost to bankruptcy. Cody Davis and Chris Abrunzo of Davis & Harmon represented Feather Sound Country Club and despite being opposed by five lawyers from a large firm in Tampa, they were successful in having the judge not enter an injunction. The club ultimately was sold and is doing well now. This was clearly a “bet the company” case.”
Pasco County

ROSABELLE TALBIRD, as personal representative of the estate of FRANCES TALBIRD vs. HARBORSIDE HEALTHCARE-GULFCOAST

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Pasco / 97-189 CA Div. G / Lowell W. Bray

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Michael J. Trentalange, Tampa

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Thomas S. Harmon of Fowler, White, et al., Tampa

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
Decedent: 81 / M / Retired Barber

CAUSE OF INJURY:

Nursing Home Negligence/Inadequate Care. Decedent was a resident of Defendant Harborside Healthcare-Gulfcoast, a nursing home in New Port Richey, from June 19, 1996, through July 8, 1996. Plaintiffs filed this Chapter 400 action claiming the nurses and staff at Harborside Healthcare-Gulfcoast abused and neglected decedent resulting in decubitus ulcers, dehydration, malnourishment, excessive diarrhea, and ultimately death.

NATURE OF INJURY:
At trial, Plaintiffs called Dr. Williams, a Board Certified geriatric physician with the V.A. Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Dr. Williams offered numerous opinions in support of the Plaintiff’s claims, including that decedent’s decubitus ulcers started at Harborside. On cross examination, it was learned that Dr. Williams had not reviewed, nor had he been provided with, the medical records from the prior hospital, which clearly stated that decedent had decubitus ulcers upon being discharged from the hospital. Likewise, Dr. Williams was not aware that Plaintiff’s treating physician, Dr. Dipti Mehta (also a Board Certified geriatric physician), had been deposed and attributed decedent’s dehydration, malnourishment and excessive diarrhea to his underlying pancreatic cancer. Dr. Williams conceded on cross examination that decedent’s decubitus ulsers actually improved during his stay at Harborside, but maintained that the facility fell befow the standard of care because of various omissions and “technical violations” in the nursing home chart.

Dr. Hoffman and Nurse Hulley testified that the facility at all times met the standards of care, and that decedent actually received impeccable care as evidenced by the improvement in his decubitus ulcers in the presence of pancreatic cancer and resulting diarrhea. Plaintiff also argued that decedent’s excessive diarrhea was unreasonably prolonged and overlooked. However, the defense contended, through the testimony of Dr. Mehta and Dr. Hoffman, that decedent’s diarrhea was “the lessor of two evils”. Dr. Hoffman explained that while decedent’s diarrhea could have been alleviated by prescribing Lemotil, such medication presented an unreasonable risk of causing bowel obstruction, which would require surgery to alleviate. Decedent most likely would not have survived surgery, the defense contended. Decedent was survived by his wife, Rosabelle.

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S:  
Leonard S Williams, M.D., Geriatric Medicine, Gainesville

DEFENDANT’S:
Nanette Hoffman, M.D., Geriatric Medicine, Gainesville
Yvonne Renshaw, R.N., Nursing, Largo

VERDICT:
See Editor’s Note below.

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Plaintiffs’ counsel voluntarily dismissed his client’s case immediately before closing arguments.

DEFENDANTS’ ATTORNEY’S COMMENTS:
Defendant offered $50,000 up to 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before trial. After the cross examination of Dr. Williams, Plaintiff’s counsel offered to accept the $50,000; however, Defendent’s offer was reduced to $25,000 at that time. Defendant withdrew all settlement offers prior to closing arguments. Plaintiff demanded $500,000 before trial. Defendant’s motion to tax fees and costs is pending. Plaintiff has refiled her Complaint. However, the court is currently considering Harborside’s motion to abate action pending payment of outstanding fees and costs.

Orange County

Noel Christopher Peterson and Tawnia Peterson v. Peoples Gas Company and Peoples Sales and Service Company

FOR MONTH OF:
October, 2002

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Don Russo, P.A., Miami

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Cody Fowler Davis and Steve D. Parker

CAUSE OF INJURY: Gas Company Negligence/Propane Gas Installation
On March 10, 1994, Defendants installed an underground tank, piping, and regulators to supply Plaintiff’s residential pool heater with propane gas on Lordmall Court in Oviedo. Plaintiff paid Defendant $48 per year to lease the equipment. In 1996, Defendants filled the tank with gas. Two years later, on September 22, 1998, at 4 p.m., a second stage regulator supplying propane gas to the pool heater malfunctioned, allowing four times the proper amount of gas to enter the pool heater. When Plaintiff attempted to light the pilot light on the pool heather, a gas explosion occurred that knocked Plaintiff back into a wooden fence. The State of Florida Bureau of LP Gas investigated and found that the regulator was not vented properly. Defendants’ employees testified that they installed the propane gas tank and regulators correctly. Defendants suggested to the jury that someone had tampered with the regulator vent sometime after installation.

NATURE OF INJURY:
Burns to face, arms, hands, and legs: vision loss; disc herniations at T6-T7 and L5-S1 requiring surgery and possible future surgery.

EXPERT WITNESSES: 

PLAINTIFF’S:
Reginald Tall, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Winter Park
Mark Beckner, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Winter Park
Eugene Melvin, M.D., Pain Management, Orlando
Gary Onik, M.D., Pain Management, Orlando
Rodney Henry, P.E., Engineer, Geneva

DEFENDANT’S:
William Buckley, C.F.I., Gas Explosions, Tampa

VERDICT:
For Defendants on October 16, 2002

Polk County

  JAMES H. WAKEFIELD vs. WINTER HAVEN MANAGEMENT, INC., D/B/A CYPRESS GARDENS HOLIDAY INN

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Polk / GCG 91-1346 / Michael Raiden

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
James Wakefield, Ft. Lauderdale

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Thomas S. Harmon and Kevin B. Woods of Davis & Scarritt, P.A., Tampa

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
45 / M/ Trial Lawyer

CAUSE OF INJURY:
Negligent Security/Hotel/Automobile Theft On January 20, 1998, at Defendant’s Cypress Gardens Holiday Inn in Winter Haven, Plaintiff’s 1966 classic red Corvette coupe was stolen from an abandoned gas station parking lot next door to the Holiday Inn during the annual Cypress Gardens Corvett Show. Plaintiff subsequently filed a negligent security action on his own behalf against the Holiday Inn, claiming that it failed to provide reasonable security to protect its patrons’ belongings. The trial court originally granted summary judgment for the defense, finding that the Holiday Inn owed no duty to provide security for a person’s vehicle parked off the Holiday Inn premises. However, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court, finding that a question of fact existed as to whether the Holiday Inn had a duty to provide security for Plaintiff’s vehicle in light of testimony from Holiday Inn employees that they knew customers had previously parked in the parking lot. At trial, Plaintiff offered evidence of prior criminal acts near the Holiday Inn but offered no evidence of the reasonableness of security employed by Holiday Inn. The only evidence of security offered at trial was that the Holiday Inn had employed a security firm to provide security for the Holiday Inn’s guests and automobiles. The Defense contended that this theft was simply the work of a “smart crook”, who managed to evade the reasonable security measures which had been implemented.

The court bifurcated the liability and damages phases at trial. Following presentation of Plaintiff’s case in chief, the court directed a verdict in favor of the defense, finding that Plaintiff presented no evidence that the Holiday Inn failed to take reasonable steps to guard against the possibility of automobile thefts. No expert witness was called by Plaintiff to testify, nor was there any evidence of reasonable precautions that a hotel operator should take under the circumstances presented at trial.

NATURE OF INJURY:
Loss of vehicle valued at $50,000.

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S:
Don Walton, Corvette Automobiles, Terre Haute, IN

PLAINTIFF’S:
Leonard Puglio, Corvette Automobiles, Tampa

VERDICT:
For the Defendant on April 9, 1998 (directed verdict).

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Defendant offered $2,500; Plaintiff demanded $15,000. Plaintiff’s motion for a new trial and Defendant’s motion to tax attorneys’ fees and costs is pending.



 
Severino Vargas, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Evaristo Vargas-Herrera, Deceased vs. Charles Thomas Caveney and Florida Lining & Welding, Inc.

COUNTY/DOCKET#/JUDGE:
Polk / G-97-2238 / The Honorable Cecelia M. Moore

PLAINTIFF(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Kent Lilly and Angela R. Pulido, Kent Lilly, P.A., 1012 6th Street NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881

DEFENDANT(S) ATTORNEY(S):
Kevin Britt Woods and Cody Fowler Davis, Davis & Scarritt, P.A., 100 North Tampa Street, Suite 2950, Tampa, Florida 33602

AGE/SEX/OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
19/Male/Construction

FOR WRONGFUL DEATH CASES, PLEASE GIVE AGE AND RELATIONSHIP OF SURVIVORS:
42 years of age/Father

DATE, TIME, AND PLACE OF ACCIDENT OR OCCURRENCE:
The accident occurred on March 12, 1997, at approximately 6:00 a.m, on County Road 640 in Polk County, Florida

CAUSE OF INJURY:
On March 12, 1997, at approximately 6:15 a.m., the Plaintiff and Defendant were driving in opposite directions on County Road 640 near Bartow in Polk County, Florida when the vehicles collided. The Defendant was driving a 1992 GMC pick-up truck and the Plaintiff was driving a 1987 Ford Mustang. As a result of the collision between the truck and the Mustang, the Mustang split in half and the driver of the Mustang was killed instantly. The Plaintiffs contended at trial that the Defendant was negligent and caused the accident by crossing the center line and making contact with the Plaintiff’s car in the Plaintiff’s lane of travel. Skid marks left by the pick-up truck show that the Defendant did in fact cross the center line prior to initial impact with the Plaintiff’s car. However, the Defendants contended that immediately prior to the accident the Plaintiff’s Mustang was attempting to pass a slower vehicle heading in the same direction as the Plaintiff, which put the Plaintiff’s car in the Defendant’s lane of travel approaching head-on. As the Plaintiff attempted to return to his lane of travel, and as the Defendant attempted to take evasive action, the two cars collided. Both parties agreed that the decedent’s death was caused by the accident, therefore, the only issues at trial were negligence and damages. The decedent was survived by his father, Severino Vargas.

NATURE OF INJURY:
Death

EXPERT WITNESSES:

PLAINTIFF’S:
Victor “Butch” Fisher
Auburndale, Florida

PLAINTIFF’S:
Rick Swope
Swope Reconstruction
Davie, Florida

VERDICT:
For the Defendant, December 16, 1999

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Fees and costs were waived by Defendant in exchange for Plaintiff’s waiver of appellate issues.