FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2019
Contact:Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB SECURES A COMPLETE DEFENSE VERDICT
JURY AWARDS NOTHING TO PLAINTIFF’S DEMAND OF $1.6 MILLION
Premises Liability Defense
ORLANDO ― Michele D. Morales and Robin N. Khanal, partners in the Orlando office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., secured a complete defense verdict in an admitted liability case on behalf of the largest multinational retail chain. Attorneys from the nation’s largest personal injury law firm represented the plaintiff. Plaintiff’s counsel urged the jury to return a verdict of $1,600,000.00. Instead the jury returned a complete defense verdict and awarded nothing.
Plaintiff alleged she had been struck by a shopping cart pushed forward by an employee driving a mechanical cart. She claimed various injuries including back pain and radiating leg pain. These complaints culminated in a back surgery and a permanent impairment rating.
Defendant admitted that the employee did not use reasonable care in operating the mechanical cart, but denied that the incident caused any injuries.
Plaintiff offered the testimony of her current treating physician, a nationally recognized radiologist, and an internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon testified that he identified a fracture in her facet joint had resulted from an acute injury. The radiologist further supported this testimony. Additionally, plaintiff presented testimony of a life care planner and economist who calculated her loss in excess of $300,000.
To counter plaintiff’s evidence, defendant provided the testimony of a CME orthopedist and a radiologist. Each noted that her extensive preexisting problems predated the incident. They further concluded the incident did not aggravate the pre-existing condition.
Defendant successfully argued a directed verdict on aggravation of a preexisting injury. Defendant presented evidence that despite Plaintiff’s previous denials, she was involved in a 1991 accident for which she received an 11% permanent impairment rating. Notably, her limitations in the 1991 case mirrored the complaints she made here. Additionally, the defense secured video surveillance which was in contrast to the plaintiff’s alleged limitations. And although plaintiff demonstrated during a video deposition her supposed limitations in her ability to bend over, surveillance revealed her bending, squatting, and gardening without difficulty.
During closing argument, plaintiff asked the jury to return a verdict for $1.6M. The jury deliberated for under an hour before rendering a complete defense verdict. Notably, the plaintiff rejected all prior settlement offers, including a significant offer during the trial.
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Michele D. Morales, a partner in the Orlando office, focuses on premises liability, governmental/municipality liability, nursing home defense litigation and labor and employment law. She has successfully defended in all areas of tort litigation including wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases from pre-suit to trial. She obtained her Juris Doctor in 2000 from the University of Florida while simultaneously earning a Master of Health Administration.
Robin N. Khanal, a partner in the Orlando office, concentrates his practice on complex personal injury defense; predominantly, in the areas of premises liability, medical malpractice, nursing home and assisted living defense. He earned his Juris Doctor, with honors, from the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University in 2002. He has received the Pro Bono Service Bronze Pin from the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association for continuous service to his community.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is the largest minority and women owned law firm in the nation with over 380 lawyers serving clients from 23 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.