In December of 2015, at 10:45 p.m., our client was traveling on a rural road in Hardee County. Suddenly a 3,000 pound Black Brangus bull darted out and struck his vehicle. Florida Highway Patrol investigated. The man's wife drove him from the scene directly to Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center, but due to the severity of his injuries, he was then transported to Tampa General Hospital.
It was later determined that this bull was fighting with another bull, and knocked down the fence to escape from the ranch where it lived. The ranch owner's insurance company denied any responsibility based on the fact that the number of fence strands was compliant with Florida statutory regulations.
However, our client suffered a shattered jaw, which was wired shut for 8 weeks, lost his job, and became homeless. After discharging another law firm, our client called us. This was a very unique case, because Florida laws are written to favor livestock owners. Based on that, our firm had to specifically prove the ranch owner did something wrong that resulted in the bull escaping the fenced area. This proved to be very challenging.
Attorneys Sheba Abraham and Mike Noone teamed up on this case, and took depositions of the ranch foreman, the ranch owner, and also hired an agricultural fencing expert. Our expert reviewed the the testimony and discovered the likelihood that the bull escaped through rusted out fencing due to a lack of inspection and maintenance.
Mike and Sheba fought to overcome the difficult legal precedent, and successfully convinced the insurance company to reach a fair settlement for our client. Prior to filing the lawsuit, the insurance company offered nothing to compensate our client for his injuries, relying on the law as their shield.
As we have often said, no two injury cases are ever the same, and this is an example of how hard we fight for our clients' rights, no matter the circumstances.