Defense Verdict – Roadway Construction – Taylor County

Jacksonville Partner Robert “Bubba” O'Quinn and Orlando Partner, Mike Merrill obtained a complete defense verdict in Taylor County. They represented a contractor who was repaving a section of roadway through downtown Perry for the Florida Department of Transportation. Plaintiff tripped and fell on a raised lip of asphalt and fractured her right knee on the curb. She underwent surgical placement of hardware and two subsequent surgeries to remove the hardware. She had $105,000 in past medical expenses. She also testified her knee is in constant pain and this has impacted her abilities to play with her grandchildren and help care for her elderly mother.

The trip and fall occurred in the middle of the repaving project and the primary issue at trial was the height of the asphalt lip. The defense asserted the asphalt lip was 1.5 inches high, which was in compliance with the FDOT contract and design specifications at that point of the project. We also argued the Plaintiff elected to not use the crosswalk 100 feet behind her, where the height difference was limited to 0.25 inches for pedestrians. Plaintiff's husband, a retired Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, testified he compared the asphalt lip height to his boot and asserted it was closer to 4 inches, which would have been outside the FDOT specifications. Plaintiff also argued there were no warning signs for pedestrians and there was no indication the roadway was under construction.

The jury deliberated for 15 minutes before finding the Defendant was in compliance with the FDOT contract during the repaving project and, therefore, was statutorily immune from any liability.

Robert O'Quinn
(904) 672-4030


Michael Merrill
(321) 972-0022

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