FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2018
Contact:Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB ATTORNEYS OBTAIN DEFENSE VERDICT ON BEHALF OF
ROADWAY CONTRACTOR AND FDOT IN PREMISES LIABILITY TRIAL
Bates v. The de Moya Group, Inc., Florida Department of Transportation, and Indian River County
MIAMI – George L. Fernandez and Jaime E. Campos, partners in the Miami office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their clients, The State of Florida, Department of Transportation (FDOT) and The de Moya Group, Inc. After three years of litigation, this case resulted in a complete victory for the defense and zero recovery for the plaintiff.
The plaintiff was involved in an automobile accident with another vehicle on State Road 60 in Indian River County. Following the auto accident, the plaintiff parked his vehicle on the shoulder of the roadway. Thereafter, while inspecting the damage to his vehicle, the plaintiff alleged that he fell into an opening in a stormwater drain on the shoulder of the roadway. The plaintiff alleged that he fell into the opening of the storm drain due to the cover being obscured by overgrown foliage, weeds, and debris in violation of State standards. The plaintiff alleged that all defendants were negligent in maintaining the storm drain and the surrounding grassy areas. At the time of the plaintiff’s fall, the FDOT retained The de Moya Group to construct a roadway project that included widening the roadways on Interstate 95 and SR 60.
The plaintiff claimed injuries to his left knee and left shoulder because of the incident. The plaintiff underwent two shoulder surgeries following the incident, including a rotator cuff repair and a subsequent reverse total shoulder replacement. The plaintiff sought total damages of over $900,000 for past and future medical bills; past wages; and pain and suffering.
Defendants successfully showed that the plaintiff’s version of his fall and the alleged condition of the storm grate was not supported by the evidence. Defendants also argued that the plaintiff’s claimed left shoulder injuries were degenerative in nature and not caused by the incident. Prior to trial, defendants served the plaintiff with a proposal for settlement and the plaintiff later rejected a global offer of $200,000 from all defendants just prior to the start of trial. Defendants have moved to tax attorneys’ fees and costs as the prevailing parties pursuant to the proposal for settlement.
The jury returned a defense verdict for all defendants in one hour and forty minutes.
George L. Fernandez is a partner in the Miami office and is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Jaime E. Campos is a litigation partner in Miami focusing on automobile and trucking liability among various other areas of practice.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is the largest minority and women owned law firm in the nation with more than 360 lawyers serving clients from 21 offices in the United States and abroad across a spectrum of industries in over 40 areas of practice. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.