May 24, 2007

Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
Managing Partner
305-670-1101 Ext. 1023


Edward C. Prieto

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – A Broward County jury deliberated for approximately 30 minutes before returning a defense verdict in favor of Gulf Stream Garage, Inc., in a matter involving a slip and fall. Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB) trial attorneys Edward C. Prieto and Elaine J. LaFlamme, represented the defendant, Gulf Stream Garage. Attorneys Michael Kaiser and Melanie Marks from the Law Offices of Robert Fenstersheib represented the plaintiff, 51-year-old Paulette Spates of Hollywood, Fla. The case was heard before Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld of the 17th Judicial Circuit.
On February 4, 2004, while making a delivery to Gulf Stream Garage, Spates alleged she tripped and fell on uneven pavement which was undergoing some maintenance at the time. Spates alleged she injured her right ankle and right shoulder. The plaintiffs’ claims amounted to numerous allegations of carelessness and negligence on behalf of Gulf Stream Garage which included failure to maintain the premises in safe conditions, and failure to inspect, warn, and correct those dangerous conditions. Expert witness for the plaintiff, orthopedic surgeon Alan Lazar, testified that Spates’ injuries were the result of her fall at the garage.
The defense argued there was no dangerous condition where the plaintiff fell. Further, the plaintiff did not seek medical attention for her alleged injured ankle until six weeks after the incident and ten months after the incident for an alleged injured shoulder. The plaintiff also failed to advise her treating physicians that she had previously injured her shoulder and ankle years earlier in several accidents. Dr. Lazar, who was recommended by the plaintiff’s attorney, testified that he was unaware of the plaintiff’s previous injuries and disability ratings. Moreover, Lazar testified that he would have liked to have known about the previous injuries before treating Spates under a Letter of Protection.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys sought damages for past and future medical expenses, as well as special damages of lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. The jury rejected plaintiffs’ demands, returning a defense verdict on all claims.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is a civil defense firm with a wide variety of litigation services for healthcare companies, healthcare facilities, physicians and other healthcare licensed professionals and their insurers. The firm’s Litigation Department also provides general liability defense for all businesses, insureds and insurance companies. Our practice groups and industry-based teams ensure clients have access to attorneys with the best expertise, regardless of location. QPWB maintains a tightly integrated network of seven fully staffed offices, six in Florida and one in Mississippi with attorneys licensed in several states.

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