Tampa Partners Aram Megerian and Dorice Voecks obtained a favorable verdict in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
Plaintiff was operating a bicycle on a sidewalk against the flow of traffic (southbound in the northbound lane) on Dale Mabry Highway near I-275. Defendant (driver) was trying to turn right from a gas station to go north to I-275. He was aware there was a crosswalk and testified that he stopped before the crosswalk, looked both ways twice, and there was a truck of construction workers in his lane that waved him in. As he took his foot off the brake, the Plaintiff rode in front of him and hit his front bumper with his pedal, ultimately falling off the bike past Defendant’s vehicle and fell over onto his left side, twisting his ankle and causing a displaced trimalleolar fracture.
The Defendant driver luckily took pictures of the scene immediately after show the final positions of both his vehicle and the Plaintiff and the point of impact.
The defense was able to strike Plaintiff’s retained experts to testify as to loss of future earning capacity and future lost wages. We were also able to strike some of his treating physicians causation opinions. We stipulated that the ankle fracture, ORIF to repair the ankle, and the 6 months of treatment after were related to the accident. We denied liability and the remaining claims of damages to his left knee, low back, and neck, and claimed that his ankle had made a good recovery.
Closings focused on liability and the financial motivations of the treaters under Letters of Protection (LOP). Interestingly, Plaintiff stipulated to the LOPs and had his client admit on direct that his office referred him to the testifying providers. Their strategy was to argue that Plaintiff HAD to go to those providers because they were not covered by Medicare and were specialists for his continued pain.
Plaintiff sought six figures in damages. The jury found 65% liability on the Plaintiff and after set offs for underlying insurance settlements and reduction for comparative fault, the final judgment is approximately half of what was offered pre-trial prior to Plaintiff’s significant costs for paying 5 doctors to testify.
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