This page contains case results. The Florida Bar has neither reviewed nor approved this information. Your case may differ from these cases. These cases are a sample of notable results and do not contain the results of every case worked on by the lawyer or firm. Every case is different and must be handled and evaluated on its facts. The results below are the gross recovery and may include attorney’s fees, costs, medical bills and other expenses. The client’s portion of the gross recovery was significantly less. Do not assume your case will have a similar result.
Late one night our client was working as a heavy-duty tow truck driver on the side of I-95. Two cars were involved in a lane change accident. One car caused the other to spin out of control. The other car crushed our client between the car and the tow truck. Our client suffered multiple broken bones in his leg and pelvis.
He went through a long painful recovery and had to take a lower paying job because he could not keep up with the physical demands of being a tow truck driver. One of the cars in the accident was a service loaner from a local dealership. The dealership argued the Graves Amendment prevented our client from suing the dealership. We obtained what appears to be the first ruling on this issue in Florida. The court ruled the Graves Amendment does not apply to service loaners. The jury’s verdict made up for our client’s lost wages and the harm he suffered.
A man was not paying attention while he was driving and struck our client’s car from the rear. Her car was totaled and she was taken to the hospital for her injuries. An MRI showed multiple herniated discs in her back. Our client suffered through more than a year of painful rehabilitation and she missed a significant amount of work. The other driver’s insurance company settled our client’s claim for the full amount of his insurance policy. This case is a great example of how Florida’s laws regarding insurance bad faith resulted in the best possible settlement for our client.
A company failed to have workers’ compensation insurance for its employees who were involved in an auto accident. However, the company’s owner titled the truck the employees were riding in his name. A young man speeding in his father’s Corvette hit the truck and injured our client. Our client suffered multiple broken bones requiring surgery. The young man’s father had a $100,000 insurance policy and our client had $10,000 in underinsured motorist coverage. Rather than accept those policies, we looked for additional coverage. The insurer of the truck our client was injured in failed to have a proper rejection form for uninsured motorist coverage. Therefore, we were able to get another $100,000 from the truck’s insurance.
We also learned the young man’s parents were divorced and he lived half of the year with each parent, so we recovered another $100,000 from the young man’s mother’s insurance policy. We also required financial affidavits from the young man’s parents and discovered the father was a high wage earner. We were able to recover another $35,000 personally from the young man’s father. Our client’s medical bills would have taken almost all of the $110,000 in initial coverage. By being patient and looking for additional coverage and assets, we were able to more than triple the client’s recovery and help him get through his injuries despite his employer not having workers’ compensation insurance.
Our client was struck on his motorcycle by a man driving a car leased by his employer. The accident left our client with a back injury that required surgery. The driver was arrested for DUI, but the charges were dropped because the arresting officer was caught falsifying a DUI claim in an unrelated case. Our client was allowed to make a claim for punitive damages against the driver and his employer. The client’s surgery corrected what could have been a life-threatening injury, but the client was not able to work like before the accident. A portion of the settlement was placed into an annuity and the client will receive a monthly check for the rest of his life.
Our client was vacationing in Florida from Philadelphia. She rented a wave runner on a local beach. Our client had no experience with wave runners and the rental facility failed to give her the pre-ride instructions required by Florida law. Because our client was not told about the effects of off-throttle steering in wave runners, she hit the anchor line of a boat moored off the beach and injured her throat and vocal chords. The injury required surgery and vocal therapy. The settlement will allow our client to continue her recovery. The case settled on the third day of the trial.
This was a wrongful death case against a cruise ship and its corporate officers. Our client’s husband had a heart attack while on the cruise. The ship did not have an automated external defibrillator and failed to call the U.S. Coast Guard to get the man back to shore for treatment, even though they called the Coast Guard to take a man with a broken leg back to shore just days before. The ship also sailed in strong seas without its main engine working and that slowed the return of the ship to port and decreased the man’s chance of survival. The ship was in bankruptcy, but we were able to lift the bankruptcy stay, make a recovery against an insurance policy, and give the family a sense of justice and a better understanding of what caused the man’s death.
A chemical spill burned our client while he was working as a longshoreman at the Port of Miami. His employer denied the spill occurred and denied our client medical treatment. We found a missing key witness and filed a claim for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. We represented the client at a hearing before the United States Department of Labor and he was awarded benefits and received the medical care he needed to treat the chemical burns to his hands.
Our client was a Jones Act seaman working on a large ocean liner. He suffered a back injury when he fell down a narrow flight of stairs in the ship’s kitchen. He required extensive orthopaedic treatment for his injuries. The settlement allowed our client to return to his home country in Europe and continue to recover from his injuries.
Our client was working on cruise ship when he was diagnosed with a jaw tumor. He was entitled to benefits under the maritime law and required multiple surgeries to remove the tumor and reconstruct his face. The client received maintenance and cure for more than a decade and was frustrated that he could not get the case settled. We took over representation of the case and settled it before trial.
Our client was a passenger on a boat anchored at Peanut Island. She was relaxing with her hand slightly over the side of her anchored boat when a man operating another boat crushed her finger between the two boats. The man rented the boat from a local yacht club. The yacht club filed a limitation action in federal court. We filed a claim in the limitation action and settled the case at mediation. With the settlement, our client was able to reimburse her health insurance for the medical bills it paid. The client was also able to set aside money for her future needs.
Our client was working on luxury yacht owned by a United States Congressman. The yacht had a problem with a cabinet near a stairwell popping open. The problem was not corrected and our client was injured when the cabinet popped open and caused her to fall. The ship refused to make a reasonable settlement offer to the client. The client hired us and the case settled after we filed a lawsuit. The client was able to continue her recovery with the settlement and start her own business.
A gas station made changes to the entrance of its property and was supposed to repair part of the sidewalk, but it failed to do so. A young child was skateboarding down the sidewalk when his skateboard wheel caught in the damaged sidewalk. He was thrown into the street, hit by a car, and suffered serious personal injuries. The settlement represents the policy limits of the defendants. The damaged sidewalk was finally repaired.
A store in Key West had broken bricks on the steps at the store’s entrance. The bricks were damaged over time by delivery men dragging heavy hand trucks up the steps. Rather than fix the bricks, the store exposed the public to the danger of falling on the bricks. Our client was vacationing in Key West and when she exited the store she lost her footing on the bricks and tore several ligaments in her ankle. She developed RSD/CRPS that spread from her ankle to her upper body and face. The case settled during litigation and the store had a new entrance built that was safe for people to walk on.
A large local boat dealer had an elevated platform built in its showroom. The platform was sold with railings and other safety features designed to prevent falls. The boat dealer failed to install the safety features and built the platform without any permits or inspections. Our client was looking at boats and fell from the platform because there was no safety railing to grab. She suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) which is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The case settled before trial.
A restaurant had open lit candles spread throughout the floor of its property. The candles gave the restaurant a romantic glow but they were dangerous and violated the life safety codes. Our client was on the restaurant’s patio when her dress was blown into one of the candles and caught fire. She suffered third degree burns over thirty percent of her body. She required multiple skin grafts and was badly scarred. The restaurant removed the candles and no other customer will be exposed to the danger of being burned.
The neighbor of our young client allowed children to play in her garage. However, the neighbor stored her heavy metal storm shutters standing up against the garage wall with nothing securing them. One of the children hit the shutters and they fell and gashed open our young client’s face and hands. Our client had extensive plastic surgery to correct the wounds to her face. The neighbor’s insurance company paid the full amount of coverage available under its policy on the home. Our client reimbursed her health insurance for the bills it paid and she bought a pre-paid college plan. The settlement helped her secure her medical and educational future.
Our client was misidentified as being involved in a dispute in a nightclub. The club allowed the men who misidentified the client to leave first. The bouncers then put the client out an alley door where the men were waiting to attack him. Our client suffered a broken jaw that required hospitalization and surgery, and the jaw will cause him problems for the rest of his life. The client had no health insurance to cover his medical bills.
After a four day trial, the jury awarded our client $668,471.08. Our client was also entitled to recover costs and some attorney’s fees. The Defendant posted a $768,000 bond, appealed the judgment, and lost the appeal. A significant amount of interest and attorney’s fees accumulated on the judgment by the end of the appeal, so the bond company paid the entire $768,000 bond to settle the case. The settlement allowed our client to pay all of his medical bills and put money aside for future treatment. He was also able to buy a home and get a fresh start on life.
A man working as a lifeguard suffered a partial amputation of his right middle finger that was caused by a poorly designed handle on a surf rescue board. We ensured the board was preserved as evidence, and discovered similar injuries occurred before on similar rescue boards. We continued to investigate the case and were able to settle it without having to file a lawsuit. Because we did not have to file a lawsuit we were able to keep the fees and costs down for the client.
Three wheeled all terrain vehicles (ATVs) were popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Over time the four wheel design became more popular. One problem with the three wheel design is that it would often not turn safely in loose dirt and sand. That problem was called “plowing.” Our client was riding his friend’s three wheeled ATV when it plowed in loose dirt and caused him to hit a tree. He suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery. We were able to settle the case during litigation. The settlement allowed our client to repay Medicaid for the treatment it paid for and to set up a fund for his future needs.
A chain of South Florida medical clinics were overcharging patients for copies of medical records and our client was one of the victims of the overcharging. A class action lawsuit was filed against the medical clinics under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. We were able to get the medical clinics to refund 100% of the amount it overcharged each class member and pay our attorney’s fees and costs separately. Therefore, the class members did not pay any attorney’s fees or costs from their refunds. The settlement also benefits other members of the community because the medical clinics agreed to never overcharge for medical records in the future.
A Fort Lauderdale towing company had a policy of only accepting cash from people whose cars were towed. The towing company also refused to provide change when people would pay to pick their cars up. A class action lawsuit was filed against the towing company. We were able to get the towing company to refund the illegally withheld change, post a sign in its lobby informing towing victims of their rights, and the company agreed to stop its illegal practices. The settlement will protect all future people whose cars might be towed by the company. The towing company also agreed to pay our attorney’s fees which further benefitted the class members.
Our client was a doctor at a medical clinic. The clinic failed to honor the employment contract it signed with the doctor. We sued the clinic for the doctor’s unpaid wages. The jury awarded our client every penny the clinic failed to pay her which totaled $251,315.91.
A contract was signed for the sale of a small grocery store. The buyer failed to make all the payments for the purchase. We sued the buyer for breach of contract, violation of Florida’s Worthless Check Act, and breach of guarantee. The jury returned a verdict for our client just over $355,000.00.
Two men worked for a local auto garage under a written employment contract. They left and started their own garage. Their ole employer sued them for violating a non-compete agreement, copyright infringement, and deceptive trade practices, and other things. We discovered the men were not properly paid for the time they worked for the old employer. We sued the old employer for the unpaid wages. The issues between the men and the old employer were litigated simultaneously in state and federal court. The cases settled for a confidential amount.
This was an appeal of a judgment entered after a jury trial. During the trial, the court limited the testimony of one of the defendant’s experts. The defendant also claimed we made improper closing arguments and there were errors in the jury instructions. The Third District Court of Appeal quickly issued a PCA which means it affirmed the judgment without an opinion. The client collected every penny of the judgment. 2014 WL 1493563 (Fla. 4th DCA April 16, 2014).
A nursing agency sent our client a home health aide who was supposed to drive our client around town. The brakes on the aide’s car were not working properly and our client was injured in an auto accident. We sued the nursing agency and it argued it was not liable based on documents the client signed. The trial court entered summary final judgment for the nursing agency. We argued the documents were no defense to our client’s negligence claims. The Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed ruled an agreement to release someone from a future claim of negligence must include the word “negligence.” 42 So. 3d 893 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010).
Our client sued a doctor, the doctor’s employer, and the hospital when he lost a kidney during a stone removal procedure. The trial court granted summary final judgment for the hospital on the client’s agency claims because of documents the client signed when he was in excruciating pain and on pain medicine. The forms stated in small print the hospital was not responsible for the doctor, even though the facts suggested the doctor was acting for the hospital. The trial court also improperly relied on unauthenticated documents when it entered the judgment. The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s ruling. This case should have far-reaching consequences regarding hospitals that try to avoid liability for the doctors who practice in them. 14 So. 3d 1250 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009).
This was another appeal of a different defendant in Bender v. Caregivers. In this appeal, the trial court granted another summary final judgment based on the same defective agreement. Before the first brief was filed, we told F.H.C.S. the prior ruling in Bender v. Caregivers made this appeal frivolous, and we would seek sanctions for the frivolous appeal. In a rare move, F.H.C.S. filed a Confession of Error in the appellate court and our client won the appeal. Many appeals to the Fourth District Court of Appeal take more than eighteen months for a decision. Mrs. Bender was in her nineties and this was the second appeal in her case. Waiting that long for another decision was not an option. 46 So. 3d 1108 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010).
Our client sued a doctor for medical malpractice committed during surgery. After months of litigation, the trial court struck the doctor’s pleadings for multiple discovery violations. The doctor appealed the ruling to the Fourth District Court of Appeal. We argued the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed and within two weeks of oral argument it dismissed the case lack of jurisdiction. 40 So. 3d 925 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010).
A client was involved in multiple legal disputes and wanted to protect some assets. She hired a law firm to review several complex financial documents. The lawyer told the client he knew how to accomplish her goal quickly. The lawyer filed a lawsuit that was dismissed. Instead of learning from that mistake, the lawyer filed the lawsuit again. The lawyer’s plan of action was contrary to clearly established law. The lawsuit failed to accomplish the client’s goal and caused the client to pay a large attorney’s fee to the institution that was sued. As a final insult, the lawyer claimed the client owed him money for the bad advice. The case settled for a confidential amount.
A law firm was hired to protect a client’s intellectual property. The law firm failed to take the time to fully understand the client’s creation and to properly advise the client on how to best protect it. The law firm drafted documents that failed to provide the client with the greatest protection, and when a competitor brought a similar creation to market the client discovered the error made by the lawyers. The lawyers denied any wrongdoing and claimed too much time had passed to hold them responsible. The case settled for a confidential amount.
A married couple hired a law firm to handle a claim for damage to their home. Their insurance company went out of business and the firm was supposed to sue the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association. However, the firm filed the lawsuit a few days late. The firm knew about that mistake and other mistakes it made in other cases. However, the firm failed to tell its malpractice carrier about the possible claims when it applied for coverage. The carrier tried to deny coverage for all the claims. We litigated the case and it settled after a two day mediation involving many of the other clients harmed by the firm. The settlement allowed the clients to finish the repairs to their home and replenish the savings they used to start the repairs.
A South American businessman and his wife were sued by two former nannies for unpaid overtime and other claims in federal court. The couple hired one of the largest law firms in the country to defend them. That firm failed to properly evaluate the nannies’ claims and advise the couple to settle the case. The firm also assigned three lawyers to the case who had never handled a single case with claims like the nannies were making. The firm failed to raise key defenses to the nannies’ claims, billed the couple more than $100,000 in legal fees, and lost the case. The nannies went to the press and the couple had to move from the area. The total value of the settlement was $305,670. The firm paid the couple $135,000 and waived its unpaid bill of $170,670. The firm still refused to admit any wrongdoing but the settlement gave the couple a sense of closure. The firm tried to add a confidentiality agreement to settlement but we were able to prevent that. Therefore, the couple will be able to tell anyone who brings up the news reports of the nannies’ claims that their lawyers paid them on their malpractice claim.
Our client was injured in an auto accident and hired a lawyer to represent her. The lawyer filed a lawsuit but failed to prosecute it. The court notified the lawyer it was going to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawyer failed to take appropriate action and the court dismissed the case. By that time the statute of limitations ran on the client’s case. The lawyer did not realize that and re-filed the lawsuit. The defense attorney did not notice the statute of limitations ran and answered the lawsuit. Amazingly, the lawyer failed to prosecute the second lawsuit and the court dismissed it again. The case settled for a confidential amount that allowed the client to recover the damages caused in the auto accident.