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Two Years of Litigation Culminates in Defense Verdict in Premises Liability Case

Jan 1, 2013 - Recent Verdicts by Jason G. Wehrle

MSZL&M attorneys Addison “Sonny” Meyers and Marcel M. Flemming obtained a defense verdict following an eight-day trial in Plantation Key, Florida, in which the plaintiff sought $4 million in damages.

In 2013, the plaintiff sustained a torn right biceps on our client’s property when he fell backwards in his wheelchair going down a ramp that he claimed he was not made aware of.  The plaintiff and his liability expert contended that the ramp was not compliant with the applicable federal, state, and local codes and as a result, it was a dangerous condition.

Despite the plaintiff’s history of ulnar neuropathic pain in his right arm, the plaintiff’s pain management expert testified that the incident exacerbated the pain which prevented him from performing his activities of daily living and pursuing a future as an outdoorsman.  The plaintiff also alleged a decrease of strength in his right arm as a result of the right biceps tear.  The plaintiff, who previously hosted a television show, further contended that as a result of his injury, he was unable to market himself in order to develop a new television show.  The plaintiff’s life care plan expert prepared a life care plan and testified consistently with the plaintiff’s economic expert that the plaintiff will need a life care plan for the remaining eighteen years of his life which totaled $1.6 million dollars.

Sonny and Marcel argued that the plaintiff was aware of the ramp, and that the plaintiff’s expert was applying the wrong building codes to our client’s property.  Defendant’s liability expert testified that the condominium met the requirements of the applicable codes because the plaintiff could have taken an alternate route to avoid the ramp.  Defendant’s orthopedic expert testified that the plaintiff fully recovered from the right biceps surgery and radiographic images showed no evidence of residual issues in the plaintiff’s right biceps.

The plaintiff presented his case for the first six days of the trial, and following the defense’s case and closing arguments, the jury took less than thirty minutes to return a verdict in the defense’s favor.