September 29, 2011
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305-670-1101 Ext. 123
Premises Liability Claim
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB) trial attorneys David M. Tarlow, a partner in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office and David S. Mitchell, obtained a directed verdict on behalf of U-Haul, at the close of plaintiffs’ evidence based on negligence claims.
The plaintiff, Luevenia Jackson, a 49-year-old female, tripped and fell on a cracked and broken piece of concrete in the pavement while walking within the parking lot of a U-Haul self storage facility. The plaintiffs’ retained expert opined that the cracked and broken pavement violated multiple provisions of the building code and constituted a dangerous and unsafe condition.
On the date of the fall, the plaintiff went to a local hospital with complaints of knee pain and multiple abrasions throughout her body. Thereafter, she followed up with an orthopedic surgeon and began aggressive treatment for left knee pain and lower back pain; subsequently undergoing arthroscopic repair of her meniscus and a lumbar discectomy. Past medical bills totaled $164,000.00. The plaintiff’s surgeon recommended a future knee replacement as well as a future lumbar fusion. Future medicals were anticipated to be $150,000.00.
During the trial, the defense challenged the plaintiff’s credibility and her version of how the trip and fall could have occurred. The defense retained an engineering expert, a specialist in concrete, who testified that the “area in question” neither violated any provision of the building code nor constituted a dangerous condition. The defense also disputed the alleged injuries arguing that the injuries were pre-existing and not caused by nor aggravated by the trip and fall.
After the four-day trial and four hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict finding the plaintiff 95% at fault and U-Haul 5% at fault. The jury awarded $50,000.00 in past medical expenses, $0.00 damages in future medicals, and $0.00 as to past and future pain and suffering. After reductions, the plaintiff received a verdict of $2,500.00.
Post trial, the defense made a Motion for Directed Verdict and/or Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict. After the hearing, the court entered a directed verdict; thereon followed by a judgment in favor of U-Haul, finding that the plaintiffs had introduced insufficient evidence as to negligence. U-Haul has filed a Motion to Tax Attorneys’ Fees and Costs against the plaintiff.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. is a full-service business law firm with more than 125 attorneys collaborating across major practice areas in eight offices located throughout Florida including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee; and two offices in Kentucky located in Louisville and Lexington. QPWB provides comprehensive legal services to individuals and organizations of all sizes throughout the U.S. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.