Jonathan Midwall and Arthur Alves obtained a very good result last week following a 4 day Jury trial in Broward County. The Plaintiff, a sympathetic 87 year old grandmother, claimed that the property manager and owner of an apartment building were negligent by failing to properly inspect her apartment unit for bedbugs when she complained she was being bitten by the same and they purposely failed to perform an appropriate response to her ongoing complaints in an effort to prevent her from breaking her lease. The Plaintiff alleged that as a result of the Defendants’ negligence that she suffered permanent nerve damage from bedbug bites stemming from allergic reactions and that she suffered continuing anxiety and mental anguish from her persisting fear of bedbugs. Plaintiff also cited to a dermatologist expert and neurologist in support of her claims.
In closing arguments, the Plaintiff’s counsel asked for “a minimum of $500,000.00” for his client’s permanent nerve damage and continuing anxiety as a result of her bedbug bites. After deliberating for nearly five hours, the jury issued a defense verdict for the property owner and awarded only $26,100.00 in damages against the management company.
A Proposal for Settlement was served on the Plaintiff on October 11, 2018 for a total of $30,000.00 apportioned evenly between the two Defendants. Thus, the property will have a claim for attorney’s fees and costs against the Plaintiff which may offset the judgment and result in a judgment against the Plaintiff herself for the property owner’s fees and costs.
Olga Butkevich did an exceptional job in working up the file. Michelle Frezer D’Alena and Linda Cohen worked tirelessly in trial preparation.