October 2019: Phoenix Partner, Mandi Karvis, received a successful dental malpractice defense verdict where the plaintiff alleged that she experienced an injury to her right inferior alveolar nerve after placement of a dental implant at the location of tooth #30, by oral surgeon. Plaintiff alleged that the doctor was negligent in selecting the size of the implant, performance of the pre-implant placement shaping drills, the placement of the implant itself, and his post-operative care. Plaintiff claimed that she experienced permanent numbness in portions of her mouth, teeth, and bottom lip. Plaintiff ultimately had the implant in question removed and replaced and underwent a nerve-grafting procedure, which caused her to experience pain in addition to the numbness in the area. The defense contended that the surgeon appropriately performed the implant placement surgery and that the plaintiff experienced a known complication of the subject procedure. The defense further contended that once the plaintiff reported that she was experiencing numbness, the doctor recommended removal of the implant and placement of a shorter one but that she refused. The defense contended that the plaintiff was comparatively at fault for failing to follow the doctor’s recommendations to remove the implant and that if she had, it was highly likely that her numbness would have resolved. At the conclusion of the six-day trial, the plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award plaintiff her out-of-pocket medical expenses of nearly $5,000; $200,000 for her past pain and suffering (four years from the date of the placement of the implant to when the case went to trial); and $565,750 for future pain and suffering, which represented $50/day for the rest of her 31-year life expectancy. The defense argued that the doctor complied with the standard of care and that the nerve injury was the result of a known complication and not negligence. After just shy of two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict. Ms. Karvis had served as lead defense counsel.

September 2019: Miami attorneys, Jaime Baca and Katty Nelson, received a big win on a surgical case. The defendant, a 16 year-old student rear ended plaintiff while driving a 2015 Mercedes-Benz AMG C-63 owned by his father’s business.  Liability was admitted and the case was tried only on causation and damages.  Plaintiff, a 36 year old waitress, claimed multiple cervical and lumbar herniations.  Plaintiff underwent two separate surgeries consisting of an L3-4 and L4-5 decompression and instrumented fusion with left unilateral pedicle screws. She later underwent a C4-5, C5-6 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. The total past medical specials were $346,000 all under letters of protection. Plaintiff had no prior neck or back treatment. She did have a prior car accident three years priors but no injuries were reported and she did not have any treatment. Plaintiffs asked for 2.3 million dollars in damages inclusive of future surgeries, therapy, and pain and suffering.  The jury was “dead-locked” for 7 hours and was given an Allen charge. After another hour of deliberation the jury awarded only the initial physical therapy in the amount of $17,900. The insurance carrier offered $100,000 pre-suit in a proposal for settlement.

August 2019: Miami Associate, Nicholas D. Prudenzano, received a trial victory in a contested veterinarian malpractice case in Miami-Dade County.

July 2019: Orlando partners, Joseph Menello and Raychel Garcia, received a defense verdict in Osceola County. Plaintiff alleged that she was exiting the store with her grandson when she tripped and fell over a flatbed cart that was negligently left outside unattended. She fell onto the flatbed and injured her left knee, wrists, neck, and lower back. She  underwent surgeries on her knee and back and continued to have pain years later. She claimed the incident destroyed her life. She treated with letters of protection and had bills totaling over $300,000.

July 2019: Orlando Partners, Joseph Menello and Patrick Mixson, received a directed verdict where the case involved a plaintiff who claimed that the driver of a bus – operated by a theme park owner and operator – improperly stopped the bus unexpectedly, causing the plaintiff to suffer a radial neck fracture.  The plaintiff, who had no prior history of treatment for any complaints of pain in the affected arm, claimed that, six years after the accident, she experienced daily pain and limited range of motion as a result of the incident.

July 2019: Partners, Jordan Cohen and Alyssa Reiter, represented Uber’s affiliate Rasier in connection with a public records request that had been issued by B&L Services b/d/a Yellow Cab to Broward County for information regarding Uber’s operations at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport.  After a 2 day evidentiary hearing, the Court held that some but not all of the requested information constituted trade secret information that was exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.  The ruling was affirmed on appeal. B&L then filed a Motion for Attorney’s Fees under the Public Records Act.  They argued they had prevailed, at least in part, on their public records request which automatically triggered entitlement to fees.  Cohen and Reiter successfully argued that no fees should be awarded where the records were the subject of a colorable claim that they fell under the trade secret exemption.  This opinion is expected to have potential widespread implications for Florida municipalities and companies that have furnished trade secret information to municipalities that may be the subject of future public records requests.

July 2019: Holly Howanitz, Theresa Caccippio, and Chris Koutnik received a favorable defense verdict was received where the jury found no negligence in a hotly contested case. There was an unfavorable medical expert that was withdrawn prior to trial, so the case was won without any defense expert testimony on causation and permanency. Plaintiff asked for $568,000 in economic and non-economic damages in closings. The jury answered no to liability.

June 2019: Fort Lauderdale attorneys, Robert O’Malley and Danielle Carlsen, received a defense verdict where the case was an admitted liability T-bone collision that caused the Plaintiff’s vehicle to spin several times.  Plaintiff claimed injuries to his right knee, neck and back as a result of the collision.  During the course of treatment, Plaintiff underwent a right knee surgery and had a recommendation for a lumbar miscrodiscectomy.  Plaintiff asked the jury for compensatory damages, as well as pain and suffering in excess of $200,000.  The jury returned a defense verdict and found that the Defendant was not responsible for any of the damages.

June 2019: Jacksonville attorneys, Holly Howanitz and Adam Remillard, received a complete arbitration award in a construction-related arbitration proceeding, the Claimant alleged numerous construction defects and demanded relief in the form of a compete buyback of her home and an award of attorneys’ fees. After a two-day hearing, the arbitrator found in favor of the Respondent and issued an award of zero dollars.

May 2019: Fort Lauderdale attorneys, Theresa Caccippio and Vanessa Romero-Molina, received a defense verdict where the jury found no legal cause on an admitted liability case.

May 2019: Miami attorneys, Jaime Baca and Jordan Rosales, received a no liability verdict in a disputed liability case over a traffic signal. Plaintiff was 17 years old at the time and suffered a lumbar and cervical herniation, and a corneal abrasion from glass. The Plaintiff claimed she needed surgery to her cervical and lumbar spine and asked the jury for over $350,000.

April 2019: Fort Lauderdale attorneys, Jason Glusman and William Bromley, received a complete defense verdict! Plaintiff sustained a tri-mal fracture with two surgeries, $115K in medicals, and a recommendation for an ankle fusion. Plaintiff asked the jury for $1.3 million and the jury returned a verdict of no negligence!

April 2019 – Miami attorneys, Jaime Baca and Vanessa Romero-Molina received an amazing verdict in a slip and fall case where the plaintiff claimed she slipped on water at a grocery store. There was evidence of water on the floor but the defense argued that she did not slip but rather she tripped on her sandals. The Plaintiff had over $321,000 in medical expenses; two knee surgeries; two level lumbar surgeries; and future surgeries were recommended. The Plaintiff asked for 2.2 million dollars. The jury found no negligence!

April 2019 – Attorneys Holly Howanitz, Kevin Mercer and Adam Remillard received a favorable verdict in an automobile liability case of adverse liability with significant property damage and airbag deployment. The Plaintiff was looking for $365,000.00 and the jury returned a verdict for just $7,771.86!

February 2019 – Tampa attorney, Rivver Cox received a successful defense verdict in a county court matter.

February 2019 – Orlando attorneys, Joseph Menello and Raychel Garcia received a defense verdict on a recent slip and fall case. The Plaintiff alleged to have slipped on a puddle of water from a roof leak and incurred over $580,000 in medical bills. Menello and Garcia presented evidence that proved otherwise and successfully argued that the Plaintiff could not establish her burden of proof!

February 2019 – Orlando attorneys, Kurt Spengler and Raychel Garcia received a trial victory in a 9 day long case.

February 2019 – Tampa attorneys, Jim Brown, Gregg Spagnolia and Michael Reed received defense verdict in a product liability case.

February 2019 – Naples attorneys, Kevin Crews, Ashley Withers and Michael Shue received a defense verdict in a complex medical malpractice case where Plaintiff demanded $4.5 million.

February 2019 – Jacksonville attorneys, Richard Ramsey and Kelsey Amsdell received a defense verdict on a large grocery store case. The Plaintiff’s fall was caused by a store employee spilling water and was captured on videotape. The Plaintiff had two neck surgeries and asked the jury for $1.8 million dollars.

February 2019 – Fort Lauderdale attorneys, Theresa Caccippio and David Fry received a great trial result. Plaintiff asked for a total of $550,000 and the jury returned a verdict of $21,516.73 before collateral source set-offs.

January 2019 – Orlando attorneys Richards H. Ford, Clay H. Coward and Taylor Tribou received a defense verdict in a 7 day medical malpractice wrongful death trial. Plaintiff requested that the jury award $3.9 million.

January 2019 – Miami attorneys, Jaime Baca and Rafael De Armas received a defense verdict on a premises liability case. Plaintiff asked for $1.25 million.

January 2019 –  Attorneys, Holly Howanitz and Hadley Mann obtained a defense verdict in a one day bench trial involving a contract dispute. Our Brunswick office successfully represented a major construction materials distributor and in addition to issuing a defense verdict the court reserved ruling to award attorneys’ fees.

May 2018 – Fort Lauderdale attorneys, Jason Glusman and Wayne Clark received a defense verdict for a large grocery store in a premises liability case where the Plaintiff underwent a cervical fusion and knee surgery with over $150,000 in non-LOP medical bills. They bifurcated the case prior to trial and after five minutes of deliberations, the jury came back with a No Liability Defense Verdict!

May 2018 – Jacksonville attorneys, Holly Howanitz and Steve Paveglio received a summary judgment in a legal malpractice case. The plaintiff alleged Negligence and Breach of Fiduciary Duty on the part of the Defendant Law Firm regarding administration of an Escrow Agreement. The plaintiff claimed in excess of $650,000 in damages. The defendants argued that the plaintiff was not a party or intended beneficiary to the agreement and, thus, the defendants owed no legal duty to the Plaintiff. The court granted the defendants’ motion for final summary judgment.

May 2018 –  Orlando attorneys, Kurt M. Spengler and Melissa T. Woodward received a defense verdict in a case involving a claim against trainers and coaching staff for allegedly ignoring the symptomatology of successive concussions exhibited by Plaintiff during a football game causing Plaintiff to suffer a traumatic brain injury. Plaintiff put forth an economic plan of $9.6 million but asked the jury to award a minimum of $4 million.

May 2018 –  Fort Lauderdale attorneys, Wayne Clark and Jennifer Felipe, received a defense verdict in a case where the Plaintiff claims she slipped and fell on yogurt sampled by an employee and within the company’s area of responsibility. Plaintiff brought negligence claim against company. The two were successful in obtaining a directed verdict.

May 2018 –  Raymond E. Watts, Jr. of the Orlando office obtained a favorable result after a weeklong trial in northern Virginia. The case involved allegations that plaintiff suffered wrongful death and survival damages related to an MRSA infection in a long-term care facility.

May 2018 –  Orlando attorneys, Richards H. Ford, Joseph P. Menello and Taylor Tribou received a defense verdict for the hospital and surgeon after the plaintiff received an injury to her small bowel during robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery. The plaintiff became septic and ultimately went into septic shock. She was intubated and ultimately had  surgery after the injury discovered ten days later. She ultimately spent six months in various hospitals and nursing homes before she discharged. She remains with   neurologic muscle weakness, lung injury, chronic blood clots and threat of pulmonary embolism. Her past medical expenses were over 1.2 million dollars. The plaintiff asked for 13 million in damages.

May 2018 –  Miami Attorneys, Jaime J. Baca and Jorge Garcia received a defense verdict where the Plaintiff, a 61-year-old  woman, claimed to have slipped on oil in a large chain supermarket resulting in a severe ankle posterior tendon   damage. Plaintiff ultimately underwent a triple hind foot fusion with tendon transpositions and four revision surgeries. Plaintiff asked the jury for over $2,000,000. At the time of her fall, a store associate was on site cleaning a prior spill. The defense argued that plaintiff tripped over her shoes knocking down the oil after the fact, her condition was completely pre-existing, and this was just an opportunity to claim an old problem. The jury found that there was no negligence on behalf of the supermarket.

April 2018 – Received a defense verdict where the Defendant, who was the driver of the rear vehicle in a rear-end motor vehicle collision, admitted fault for the accident. Defendant’s vehicle was a total loss. Plaintiff was a passenger in the front vehicle. Plaintiff, who was 64 years old at the time of the accident, claimed injuries to her neck, back, and right hand requiring multiple injections and a right first carpometacarpal joint arthroplasty.

April 2018 – Received a defense verdict in a case wherein a 76-year-old man claimed extensive injuries to his lumbar spine because of a fall at the Defendant’s restaurant. Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant breached its duties when he negligently failed to safely maintain the premises and to properly warn him of a known danger. Defendant maintained that there was no merit to any argument and that the alleged dangerous condition was open and obvious.

April 2018 – Received a complete defense verdict in a commercial breach of contract action! Plaintiffs sought over $1.5 million in damages and the contract contained a prevailing party attorneys’ fees provision. Attorneys also obtained a $200K verdict for their client on a counterclaim for breach of contract.

April 2018 – Received a defense verdict in a case where the Plaintiff, walked off a sidewalk and broke his elbow. The Plaintiff sued under a premises liability theory that the Defendant knew or should have known a dangerous condition existed. The Defendant denied all of the Plaintiff’s allegations and contended that the Plaintiff was solely responsible for his damages.

April 2018 – Received a defense verdict in a case where the decedent, a skilled nursing rehabilitation resident, was admitted on April 19, 2016 at the age of 84. On April 30, 2016, the resident was transferred to the hospital where she died. Plaintiff claimed the Defendant was negligent in their care of her, and Defendants denied negligence

March 2018 – Auto negligence verdict for the defense.  The Defendant lost control of his vehicle and struck plaintiff, a cab driver at 65 MPH on I-95. Plaintiff underwent spinal injections and a two level cervical discectomy. Plaintiff sustained a forehead laceration over his eye that required stitches. Negligence and Causation for EMS and ER treatment was admitted.  Because the plaintiff was a cab driver  he was exempt from the permanency threshold requirement. He also did not have any PIP or collateral sources. Plaintiff had no prior accidents, complaints or medical treatment. Plaintiff incurred medical expenses in excess of $85,000.  The insurance carrier offered $65,000 in the form of a PFS before trial due to the hard impact and lack of prior medical history. At trial plaintiff demanded damages in excess of the policy limits of $100,000; asking  the jury for over $300,000 in damages. The jury returned a verdict for $37,000, which did not include the surgery. $24,000 in past medical treatment and $13,000 in past pain and suffering. The defense PFS was triggered and the insurance carrier will seek attorney’s fees for this case.

February 2018 – Plaintiff was the 28 year old girl driving the third vehicle in a four vehicle collision.  Liability was admitted as the Defendant struck the rear of the vehicle that struck Plaintiff’s vehicle.  Plaintiff was treated at the accident scene by emergency medical services and transported to the emergency room.  She treated conservatively with a Chiropractor and underwent a discogram with the doctor.  After the discogram did not reveal leakage or concordant pain, Plaintiff was treated by the doctor for facet injuries.  She underwent facet injections and rhizotomies.  Plaintiff’s medical expenses were approximately $96,000.  She was recommended a lumbar discectomy in the future at a cost of $80,000 – $100,000.  She also alleged lost wages, as well as a loss of future earning capacity.  Despite the admission of liability, the jury returned a jury award of $12,208.00.  After collateral source set-off, the verdict is $2,208.00.  We will be entitled to attorney’s fees after triggering a proposal for settlement.

February 2018 – Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability case for a hospital client.  The Plaintiff, who was delivering medical supplies to the hospital in the early morning hours, alleged that he tripped and fell on uneven asphalt as he exited his vehicle.  The back of the hospital was equipped with a loading dock for drivers to park and make their deliveries but Plaintiff chose to park in an unlit, no parking zone instead.  Plaintiff fractured his ankle during the fall, which required three surgeries.  Plaintiff alleged that the hospital breached the standard of care owed to the Plaintiff by allowing the unsafe condition of uneven asphalt to exist on the premises.  Defendant argued that the premises were maintained in a reasonably safe condition because the hospital had provided plaintiff with a well maintained loading dock to make his deliveries and that Plaintiff was comparatively negligent for choosing to park in a no parking zone instead.  After a four day trial, the jury returned a complete defense verdict in approximately one hour.

January 2018 – Our Defendant ran a stop sign and T-Boned the Plaintiff’s vehicle causing it to spin 180 degrees.  Liability was admitted.  Plaintiff alleged sustaining injuries to his low back, neck, knees and shoulders, as well as a traumatic brain injury.  Plaintiff underwent an L4-5 lumbar microdiscectomy that was performed by the doctor.  Plaintiff was recommended a future lumbar fusion, as well as cognitive therapy for his brain injury.  Plaintiff asked the jury for damages totaling $680,000.  Despite the admission of liability, the jury returned a verdict of no legal cause and awarded the Plaintiff no damages.  As a prevailing party, we triggered a Proposal for Settlement and were granted entitlement to attorney’s fees and taxable costs.

 December 2017 – Jaime Baca and Robert O’Malley received a defense verdict when their client was making deliveries for a popular furniture retailor and rear ended plaintiff on the turnpike at 60 mph. The property damage showed a very heavy impact. Plaintiff’s vehicle stalled on the turnpike in a through lane and was unable to pull over. Plaintiff claimed she had her hazards on. Our driver claims he was unable to stop in time and was faced with a sudden emergency. Plaintiff also claimed that the delivery company was not in fact an independent contractor but was an agent/employee of the furniture company due to the signage on the truck and control by the furniture company on its delivery process. The judge had denied summary judgment and directed verdicts on this issue. The jury found our driver only 20% at fault and not an employee or agent of the furniture company. Plaintiff was a 61 year old who underwent a two level lumbar fusion with instrumentation. Her past medical expenses exceeded $331,000.Plaintiff asked for 1.9mm in damages. They contested liability and causation. The jury gave plaintiff her initial treatment and did not find a permanent injury or award the surgery.  Her net award will be $6,924, less $10,000 PIP which would equal zero. Our PFS of $50,000.  Plaintiff’s last demand was $900,000.

November 2017 – Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers received their third defense verdict in five weeks following a five day medical malpractice / wrongful death trial.  The patient was admitted to the Defendant hospital in September of 2014 following neck surgery.  Following the surgery, he developed complications including hospital based delirium that resulted in a lengthy hospitalization.  In early October of 2014, he experienced an abrupt syncopal episode causing him to fall backwards and strike his head on the floor.  The patient ultimately expired from a skull fracture and subdural hematoma.  At trial, the Plaintiff argued that the nurses fell below the standard of care by not obtaining a sitter (also known as a patient safety technician) for an impulsive patient with delirium.  Plaintiff argued that the presence of a sitter would have prevented the syncopal event.  At trial, the defense argued that the nurses complied with the standard of care by appropriately assessing the patient’s condition and keeping close watch over a patient exhibiting mental status changes.  The defense further argued the Plaintiff failed to present evidence of proximate cause because the patient’s syncope was an unforeseeable and unpreventable event.  After deliberating for less than two hours, the jury returned a defense verdict.

October 2017 – Following a medical malpractice/wrongful death trial that lasted almost two weeks, Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers secured a defense verdict for a hospital client.  The patient was admitted to the Defendant hospital’s telemetry unit following a four vessel coronary artery by-pass graft procedure.  On post-op day 2, he went into cardiac arrest and suffered an anoxic brain injury, resulting in death three weeks later.  The estate alleged that nurses at the Defendant hospital failed to report signs and symptoms of respiratory distress to the surgeon and further failed to timely and appropriately respond to the Code Blue.   Prior to trial, the Defense was successful in striking the estate’s multi-million dollar loss of income and earnings claim by presenting evidence that the Deceased’s income had been earned through an illegal Ponzi scheme.  At trial, the Defense presented evidence that the nurses met the standard of care by timely and appropriately assessing the patient’s condition and responding to the Code Blue.  The defense further argued that the patient’s cardiac arrest was not caused by respiratory distress but rather was an unforeseen and unpreventable complication of the cardiac surgery.  Ultimately, the jury agreed with Attorneys Crews and Withers and returned a defense verdict.

October 2017 – Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff alleged that nurses employed by the Defendant hospital were negligent in accidently overdosing the patient with narcotic pain medication resulting in respiratory distress and the need for a Code Blue to be called.  The defense argued that the patient was not overdosed on pain medication and that the care and treatment provided to the patient met the standard of care. The defense further argued that the respiratory distress was caused by the patient’s underlying sepsis and not narcotic pain medication.  After a 5 day trial, the jury returned a verdict finding there was not negligence on the part of the hospital that was a legal cause of the patient’s injuries.

September 2017 – Kurt Spengler and Raychel Garcia represented a large theme park in a premises liability trial in front of Circuit Court Judge Keith White in Orange County, Florida. The Plaintiff was a 12-year-old girl, who was injured on the Defendant’s premises when her leg broke after her foot was caught on the ground. Plaintiff and her family alleged that the park was negligent in its choice to use pavers as a walking surface and presented an expert, who opined that the pavers violated applicable building codes. Evidence was presented that Plaintiff’s leg broke because her bones were very brittle as Plaintiff was suffering from bone cancer and she had previously broken the same bone twice before. Further Plaintiff’s parents had removed the footrests from her wheelchair so that Plaintiff’s feet dragged on the ground when she was being pushed in her wheelchair. Plaintiff requested compensation for multiple surgeries that she alleged were related to the subject incident, as well as pain and suffering. The jury returned a defense verdict.

March 2017 – Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability case for a hospital client.  The Plaintiff, who was 6’ 6” tall, alleged that he struck his head on a soffit while exiting the hospital premises.  Plaintiff alleged that the construction of the premises violated the building code because the soffit did not provide for sufficient headroom clearance and there were no warning signs posted.  Plaintiff claimed that this event resulted in post-traumatic seizures and memory loss.  The defense argued that the soffit was in compliance with the building code and presented evidence of the number of visitors to the hospital who passed under the soffit every day.  The defense argued that the lack of similar prior events proved that the condition was reasonably safe for business invitees.  The defense further argued that the condition was open and obvious to anyone exercising reasonable care for their own safety.  After a four day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in less than fifteen minutes.

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