RAYMOND J. BARRETT and VALERIE L. BARRETT v. TRAVELERS COMMERCIAL INSURANCE COMPANY, JOHN TYLER STEWART and CHRISTINE MARIE BERCZIK
Verdict or Settlement: Verdict of $4,800,756.48 compensatory and $8,500,000 punitive damages
Raymond Barrett, a 77 year-old volunteer deputy for the Lee County Sherriff’s Office and recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, was struck head-on by another vehicle while he was on duty. The at-fault driver was found to be under the influence at the time of the collision. Mr. Barrett sustained multiple serious injuries in the crash, including nasal bone fractures, broken teeth, a collapsed lung, a concussion, and a fractured femur that required surgical repair. The trial, which was held in Lee County Circuit Court, saw a favorable outcome for Mr. Barrett.
JOHN C. GREENE, JR., JOSIE C. GREENE and CAMERON J. GREENE, Minors, by and through their Parents and Natural Guardians, JOHN C. GREENE, SR. and AMY JO GREENE, and JOHN C. GREENE, SR. and AMY JO GREENE, Individually, v. DARIAN JAMES BROWN and TAMMY BROWN,
Verdict or Settlement: Verdict of $9,124,574.46
33-year-old John C. Greene was driving with his wife (two years his junior) and three young children (a ten-month-old, a two-year-old, and a four-year-old) when the at-fault driver, who was heading in the opposite direction, crossed the center line and struck the Greene vehicle head-on. The at-fault driver was pronounced dead at the scene. John’s wife, Amy, suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury and fractured vertebrae requiring fusion surgery. The inner wall of her aorta was torn by blunt trauma, she sustained multiple rib fractures with extreme damage to her abdominal wall, and had suffered significant abdominal injuries. Mr. Greene sustained a severe right calcaneus fracture that required open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery with bone grafting. The hardware that was installed during this surgery to stabilize Mr. Greene’s bone structure had to be removed several months later in a separate procedure. Doctors also noted markedly advanced post-traumatic subtalar arthritis that caused pain and difficulty with ambulation. The children sustained their own share of injuries, including multiple fractures, abrasions, and contusions. The devastating injuries to the Greene family were presented at a trial held in the Duvall County Circuit Court, where the jury rejected the Defendants’ seat-belt defense and rendered a substantial verdict in favor of the family.
PHILIP F. SCHLICHTING, Personal Representative of the Estates of JESUS MARTINEZ and JORDY MARTINEZ, Deceased, JUAN ALEXIS MARTINEZ, a Minor, by and through his Parents and Natural Guardians, MARIA DEL ROSARIO BUSTAMANTE and JUAN LUIS MARTINEZ, and MARIA D
Verdict or Settlement: Verdict of $13,885,301.50
The Bustamante family suffered terrible losses at the hands of a drunk driver who lost control of his vehicle and crossed the center line, striking several vehicles heading in the opposite direction. The impact was not only devastating but fatal. Maria Bustamante and her eldest son, twelve-year-old Juan, emerged from the wreck with serious injuries, but young Jordy and Jesus (ages one and six, respectively) were both pronounced dead at the scene. The family’s grief was compounded by the severity of the survivors’ injuries, which required multiple surgeries and long-term medical care. Both Maria and Juan suffer with permanent disabilities and will be plagued by heavy scars—both physical and emotional—for the rest of their lives. A two-week trial held in the Lee County Circuit Court provided a measure of restitution for the terrible losses suffered by the family.
FRANCES A. CALIARO v. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY
Verdict or Settlement: Verdict of $905,494.30
Ms. Caliaro suffered a permanent injury after being rear-ended by a negligent driver while stopped at a red light. She sustained damage to her cervical spine and a full thickness tear of her left rotator cuff that ultimately required arthroscopic surgery. Shortly before trial, and in an effort to resolve the matter without the risk, stress, and uncertainty of litigation in court, Ms. Caliaro attempted to settle the lawsuit against State Farm for $89,500. When no agreement could be reached, the case was heard in court, and the jury returned a verdict of nearly one million dollars in favor of the Plaintiff.
GERALD S. ALOIA v. PHILIP F. SCHLICHTLING, as Personal Representative of the Estate of DEBORAH L. VEILLEUX, Deceased
Verdict or Settlement: Verdict of $44,932,206.00
Mr. Aloia sustained devastating injuries when he was rear-ended by an intoxicated driver while riding his motorcycle. Upon impact, Mr. Aloia was thrown from his bike onto and over the at-fault’s windshield before falling to the ground, never to walk again. The impact fractured Mr. Aloia’s spine in several places and left him paralyzed below the waist. At the time of the crash, he served as primary caretaker for his teenage daughter, who had sustained a severe brain injury in an unrelated auto accident. Mr. Aloia’s acute medical needs and permanent paraplegia rendered him completely incapable of caring for himself, let alone for his disabled daughter. The tragedy of his case was not lost on the jury, which rendered a monumental verdict in favor of the Plaintiff.
Slip & Fall Cases
TONYA SMITH v. WINN-DIXIE STORES
Verdict or Settlement: Verdict of $3,583,951.46
34-year-old Tonya Smith sustained permanent and life-altering injuries when she slipped and fell in a Winn-Dixie after accompanying her seven-year-old daughter into a restroom that was being cleaned by a store employee. The employee was allegedly attempting to mop the floor using high volumes of slippery cleaning chemicals not intended for such use, and further failed to follow store procedures requiring that a floor mat be placed outside the door to the bathroom and that the restroom be closed to store customers. Ms. Smith fell upon exiting the restroom, as the chemicals had coated her shoes and caused her to slip on the slippery hallway floor outside the restroom. The fall devastated her left knee, fracturing the tibial plateau and tearing the lateral meniscus. Treatment for these injuries required numerous surgeries that ultimately caused the entire lateral compartment of the knee to fail, necessitating a total knee replacement. Unfortunately, even the knee replacement had to be revised due to a previously unknown allergy to the nickel in the implant. The injuries and complications resulting from the slip and fall at Winn-Dixie resulted in tremendous pain, cost, and inconvenience to Ms. Smith, who now suffers with permanent damage and mobility issues. The trial, held in Charlotte County Circuit Court, resulted in a favorable verdict for our client.