In the heartland of Florida, a motorcycle rider has her day in Court. Jury awards more than $1.5 Million for life changing injuries.
Firm partner Scott B. Smith and firm attorney Marci Ball Elordi obtained a $1,500,602.30 verdict from a jury of six (6) on Friday, February 12, 2016 in Deland, Volusia County, Florida. At the conclusion of the weeklong trial conducted before The Honorable Robert Rouse, the 3 male and 3 female jury returned substantial compensatory damages to the firm client for her past medical expenses, future medical expenses, past pain and suffering, and future pain and suffering. The trial commenced on Monday, February 8, 2016 and concluded with the jury’s verdict that was returned on Friday, February 12, 2016 at approximately 3:30 p.m. following 3 hours of deliberation.
Mr. Smith and Ms. Ball represent the firm client following a very serious motorcycle crash she was involved in on July 8, 2012 at the intersection of County Road 3 and Washington Avenue in Pierson, FL. The accident occurred on a Sunday at approximately 4:15 p.m. with clear weather conditions prevailing. The firm client was northbound on County Road 3 on her personal Harley Davidson motorcycle when the defendant driver crashed into the left side of the firm client and her Harley Davidson. The defendant driver in her Honda CRV was eastbound on Washington Avenue approaching its intersection with County Road 3. The defendant driver had a stop sign, but the firm client did not as there were no traffic control devices for vehicles northbound or southbound on County Road 3.
As a result of the collision, the firm client, who was wearing a helmet, was knocked off of her motorcycle and ejected into a ditch with standing water located in the northeast corner of such intersection. The firm client suffered significant open fractures to her left lower extremity with extensive tissue loss. Most unfortunately, the fractures of the client’s left tibia and fibula were comminuted and compound causing skin penetration that allowed for dirt and bacteria to enter the client’s wound site. Our firm client was flown from the crash scene by Air One to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL. She was considered a trauma patient due to the severity of the leg injury. The firm client received substantial medical treatment, including multiple surgeries, to try to salvage her leg, but unfortunately lost that battle five (5) days after the crash when her left leg was amputated below the knee.
The firm client now walks and ambulates with the use of a left leg prosthetic. Due to the amputation being traumatic in nature as opposed to being caused by disease or some other medical condition, the firm client’s residual limb is more difficult to keep comfortable and can cause her a great deal of pain and discomfort. Amazingly, she returned to work within six (6) months of the crash and is back working full time. Moreover, after lengthy physical therapy, she has taken up golf and continues to be an avid bowler, albeit her average score has dropped a little because of her disability. With respect to golf, she has even gotten a hole-in-one since the crash.
Up until and through the entire trial the defendant driver maintained that she was not negligent and not at fault for causing the crash despite the fact only she had a stop sign. The defendant driver, her lawyers and her retained expert witness contended that the firm client herself was negligent and the cause of the crash claiming she should have seen the small SUV pull out from the stop sign only 4 seconds before the crash occurred and either stopped or slowed her motorcycle. Moreover, the defendant driver either directly or by way of continued implication contended that a utility box, wooden telephone pole and stop sign were view obstructions that prevented her from seeing the plaintiff’s motorcycle when the defendant driver was situated stopped at the stop bar line. The defendant further attempted to argue that the subject intersection was dangerous on the day of the crash because it had stop signs only for those on Washington Avenue and not for those on County Road 3.
Scott Smith and Marci Ball Elordi never budged and consistently maintained throughout the entire case that their client did nothing to cause this crash and that she was the true innocent victim of the collision. Further, they argued vehemently that this was not a dangerous intersection, but rather a very safe rural intersection that the defendant driver was intimately familiar with as she lived only ¼ mile from the crash location. In addition, through expert witness testimony both Smith and Elordi were able to demonstrate that the intersection was safe and complied with all Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) standards regarding site distance at intersections. Smith established through expert witness testimony that at the 14.5 feet setback a driver could see well in excess of 500 feet to the south and north.
At trial, Smith and Elordi called to testify an expert witness in accident reconstruction and traffic engineering. In addition, they called their client’s primary care physician, treating emergency room doctor, orthopedic surgeon who performed the amputation and the client’s prosthetist. The firm client also testified about the crash and the horrible nature of her injuries resulting in amputation. Photographs of the involved Harley Davidson motorcycle and Honda CRV were both shown to the jury and admitted into evidence, along with numerous photos and videos of the subject intersection. The client’s extensive medical records were also moved into evidence.
This is the second verdict in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) Scott B. Smith and Marci Ball Elordi have secured together for a motorcycle accident victim in the last 5 years. In 2011, Smith and Elordi teamed up to obtain a 2.2 million verdict for a Palm Beach County man who also suffered serious leg injuries in an intersection motorcycle collision. Following this most recent verdict Smith stated “Our client is a wonderful person who has and will continue to suffer terribly due to the negligence of another. She did nothing to cause this vehicle verus motorcycle crash, but unfortunately was the one who suffered the catastrophic injury.” Smith added “Our client is an incredibly positive person who has never ever allowed this serious injury to slow her down. It was pure joy for Ms. Elordi and I to obtain this award on her behalf. She is a most deserving victim.”
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident call the law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990. As we did for these two prior motorcycle accident clients, we will do the same for you or your loved one. Motorcycle accidents often involve serious injuries and it is important to pursue and fight for your legal rights promptly and aggressively. Call us today and let us put our knowledge, experience and resources to work for you. Call (561) 655-1990.