The bodily injury defense litigation team of Kirwan Spellacy & Danner recently obtained a favorable verdict after a two-week trial in Broward County. Patrick Shawn Spellacy tried the matter with the assistance of his Litigation Paralegal, Thom Glasson. After set-off amounts, the monetary award will consist of an outright defense verdict in the case of a multi-vehicle, DUI collision in Coral Springs, Florida.
The Plaintiff, a 25-year old mechanic, claimed that he was unable to continue working in his profession, and would be instead relegated to a desk job – a position which would cut his earning capacity by half.
Past medical bills were in excess of $215,000, which were due in part to a shoulder surgery and herniated discs in the Plaintiff’s neck and back. During his course of treatment, the Plaintiff received over a dozen injections, and was assigned a 12% permanency by his treating physician, Dr. Michael Kelly, a board certified orthopedic surgeon. Future care and treatment was requested in the amount of $500,000.00, and the jury was asked for a total of $2.2 million. This request also included a wage loss claim for the Plaintiff, who was unable to work for more than a year as a result of injuries he received in the accident.
Prior to trial, liability, intoxication, and impairment were admitted, dividing the proceedings into two phases pursuant to the Florida Supreme Court's guidelines in connection with punitive damage cases. In the first phase, the jury was asked to determine liability for compensatory damages (causation), determination of damages, and determination of entitlement of punitive damages. During the second phase, which did not go forward, the jury would have heard testimony and evidence surrounding aggravation and mitigation with regard to the punitive damage claim, as well as financial data regarding the Defendant's net worth.
The jury did not go beyond the first phase, and returned a verdict of $25,125.91 for past medical expenses; $0 for future medical expenses; $1,200 for past lost earnings; and $0 for future lost earnings. The jury determined that the Plaintiff did not suffer permanent injury as a result of the accident, concluding that punitive damages were not warranted against our client.
With insurance coverage limited to $25,000 for claims against bodily injury, our client faced significant personal exposure. We were very pleased to provide excellent representation in this matter for our client and his insurance carrier in what could have potentially been a financially devastating case.