Tampa Partners Michelle Bartels and Aram Megerian obtained an extremely favorable jury verdict in a car versus motorcycle accident case.
Plaintiff, the motorcycle driver, alleged he crashed his motorcycle into Defendant’s car after the Defendant negligently ran into a light pole at 9:00 am. Plaintiff sustained a tibial plateau fracture which required several emergent surgeries to correct and also complained of a long term low back injury. Plaintiff claimed he could not return to work as a warehouse supervisor. At the time of trial, Plaintiff had not worked for 10 years and claimed an inability to work in the future. Plaintiff’s claimed economic damages alone were over $3,000,000. Plaintiff also asked the jury to award $6,000,000 in pain and suffering damages.
The defense argued Plaintiff’s low back injury was not related to the accident and that he recovered well from the leg fracture. The defense also argued Plaintiff never made any effort to return to work, while continuing to take vacations and lead an otherwise normal life. Additionally, the Defendant’s testimony suggested Plaintiff caused the accident because Plaintiff failed to brake, followed to closely, and was not attentive, which provided the last clear chance to prevent the accident.
The jury found Plaintiff 51% at fault and awarded only $571,000 in total damages despite Plaintiff’s $9,000,000 request during closing. The jury also determined the property damage was only worth $10,000. The judgment to be entered against the Defendant will be less than $250,000 after reductions for comparative fault and collateral source set-offs.
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