CSK Partner Bob Swift and Associate Attorney Monica Walker obtained a complete defense verdict in Orlando, Florida this week. Plaintiff was working at our client’s junk yard when he was struck in the head by a car part that resulted in him sustaining an uncontested traumatic brain injury and other orthopedic injuries. Plaintiff had approximately $200,000 in past medical expenses and asked the jury for over $1.3 million during closing argument. The jury returned a complete defense verdict. Ms. Walker is in her fifth year practicing law and this was her first jury trial for the firm.
CSK Attorneys Barry Postman (Managing Partner of our West Palm Beach office) and Ilana Moskowitz prevailed in a multi-million dollar three week federal court jury trial. In this case, CSK represented the plaintiff in a commercial litigation matter against his former business partners in the purchase of a hotel property in South Florida. The lawsuit claimed fraud and conversion and sought both compensatory and punitive damages. The defendants were represented by a well-known and respected national law firm. After three days of deliberations, the jury came back with a verdict in favor of the CSK client finding both compensatory damages (in the net amount of 1 million dollars) and punitive damages (in the amount of 2.5 million dollars) for a total recovery for the CSK client of 3.5 million dollars. Special thanks to Nicole Wall and others who assisted in this complex commercial case.
CSK Partners Michelle Bartels and Dan Shapiro in the Tampa office obtained a complete defense verdict in a liability only, truck versus bicycle accident. CSK’s client driver allegedly failed to pay attention to Plaintiff biker as he crossed the crosswalk. Plaintiff’s expert claimed that our driver had 5-6 seconds to observe Plaintiff on his bicycle and stop, but that he failed to do so due to not paying attention. The Plaintiff had no recollection of the subject accident. The Judge granted a directed verdict and instructed the jury that Plaintiff entered the crosswalk on a “do not walk” signal. Plaintiff sustained significant injuries as a result of the accident and demanded $10M prior to trial. The jury was out for less than 30 minutes before returning a complete defense verdict. Ms. Bartels and Mr. Shapiro were assisted by CSK Partner Carlos Morales pre-trial and in obtaining an order granting bifurcation of liability and damages at trial.
Cole, Scott & Kissane (“CSK”) is proud to announce that it has been named the largest law firm in the State of Florida by Florida Trend Magazine.
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Review 100: Litigation Leads Growth in Attorney Counts at Florida Firms
Cole, Scott & Kissane Managing Partner Richard Cole, whose firm leads the survey for a second years, found it “very satisfying” that growth at his firm came across the state.
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CSK Partners Barry Postman and Karly Wannos obtained a complete defense verdict in a high-profile 5-day bench trial in West Palm Beach. CSK represented a wealthy businessman and a local preparatory school he founded in a claim brought by the school’s former Athletic Director for defamation. The Plaintiff was represented by Jack Scarola of Searcy Denny Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA, and the case was litigated for 3 years. The Court allowed Plaintiffs to plead punitive damages, and Plaintiff and his wife asked for over $18 Million in damages at trial. The presiding judge took the matter under advisement for several months before issuing a reasoned order, whereby all of Plaintiffs’ claims were rejected. Jana Leichter and Michelle Frezer-D’Alena assisted in the trial preparation.
CSK Partners Gene Kissane and Benjamin Esco received a great trial result, following a 7-Day Trial for a very serious auto accident case. The 17-year old plaintiff was a passenger in the backseat of our 17-year old insured’s new BMW. The insured was driving his friends to school. The insured was speeding (62 in a 40 ) and ran a red light. At the same time, another car was making a left turn into the intersection, and the insured struck the other car without braking, causing the insured’s vehicle to careen into a light pole, stopping the car instantly.
The backseat passenger, whom we contended was unbelted, struck his head on the metal Headrest frame and sustained a concussion with an open head wound (100 Stitches) and a fractured neck. He was unconscious for 10-20 minutes and claimed severe brain damage and an aggravation of a pre-existing learning disability. Past meds were approximately 400k, including 3 hospitalizations, open neck surgery, and a subsequent syncopal admission, with continued balance/tinnitus/Vestibular/ROM therapy for the past 4 years, and continuing in the future. The plaintiff continues to treat.
Plaintiff’s testifying medical experts included a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, a behavioral psychologist, a Balance Disorder Doctor, and a neuropsychologist. They also offered an Accident reconstruction Expert and a Biomechanical/Biomedical Expert.
CSK was able to strike the claim for 53.4 years of future medicals.
In closing, Plaintiff asked for $13.2m and that the jury apportion 100% fault against our insured driver. The Jury deliberated a little over two hours and returned a Verdict (after application of the lien reduction for past meds) of $766k, of which we were to pay only 30%. The jury apportioned 55% fault against the Fabre Driver and 15% Comparative Negligence against the plaintiff, based on our seatbelt defense. Our insured’s portion of the Total Verdict was therefore $230k, which after application of another setoff for a pre-suit contribution by a primary carrier, resulted in a Net Judgment entered against our insured of Zero dollars.
CSK’s Elisabeth Espinosa and Leah Ikerd assisted with evidence preparation and jury instructions. A special thanks also during trial to Sam Basch, Dennis Egitto, Scott Cole and Tom Hunker for legal and expert testimony analysis during trial.
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.