$5 Million Jury Verdict ― Motorcyclist Wrongful Death
A four-year battle with a large insurance defense firm ended this week with a weeklong trial. Late Friday evening, a Lee County jury returned a verdict in our client's favor.
On January 9, 2014, our client's 17-year-old son was on a motorcycle and on his way from school heading to his after-school job. He was traveling with the right of way on Cypress Lake Drive, when a van driven by a 78-year-old woman suddenly made a left turn directly into his path. Our client's son died immediately upon impact. A passenger in the van also died. The elderly driver told the Florida Highway Patrol that she didn't see the motorcycle and only saw “black shadows” she assumed were vehicles that were far away when she approached the turn. Nonetheless, the Florida Highway Patrol concluded that our client's son was speeding and found him at fault for causing the accident.
After resolution with the insurance company could not be reached, a lawsuit was filed. It was immediately apparent after our first meeting with the elderly driver that she had a significant vision impairment. Although the insurance company's attorneys fought very hard to prevent us from getting her vision records, the court ruled in our favor and allowed us to subpoena these records. We soon discovered that the elderly driver (who had already testified that she doesn't wear glasses and had no vision conditions) was actually legally blind without glasses, and had severe cataracts that she failed to follow up on despite doctor's instructions.
The FHP corporal and the insurance company's retained engineer (who was paid over $120,000 for his work on this case) both attended trial and pointed the finger at the 17-year-old. The defense maintained their denial of any fault, but the jury was not convinced.
On Friday, August 31st, the Lee County jury found the elderly driver 85% responsible and awarded $5,000,000 in damages to our client for the loss of his son.
After four long years, our client's son was finally vindicated. It's moments like these that make us proud to do what we do. We're so grateful to be part of the Goldberg Noone Abraham law firm team, and honored for the opportunity to serve such a kind and deserving father.