FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2022
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB GETS DEFENSE VERDICT USING 3-D TECHNOLOGY FOR A
NATIONAL PRODUCE DISTRIBUTOR’S TRACTOR TRAILER DRIVER
INVOLVED IN A COMPLEX HIGH-SPEED SEVEN VEHICLE ACCIDENT
MIAMI ― George L. Fernandez and Manny Fernandez, Jr., partners in the Miami office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., obtained a defense victory on behalf of their client, a national produce distributor, and its tractor-trailer driver. After a five-day trial in Miami-Dade County, the jury awarded the plaintiff zero in a pure defense verdict.
The plaintiff brought this claim against our clients alleging significant personal injuries following a seven-vehicle accident that occurred on the Florida Turnpike. The case was extraordinarily complex because none of the motorists were able to observe the position of the vehicles prior to impact due to the poor lighting conditions in the area. The sequence of accidents was initiated by a single vehicle crash that caused a Volvo S-70 to be left stranded on the Florida Turnpike without its lights on due to the impact damage. Several other vehicles thereafter struck the disabled Volvo. Plaintiff alleged that our client, who was driving a fully loaded tractor-trailer, improperly changed lanes after successfully passing the disabled Volvo and crushed the plaintiff’s vehicle. Although neither party observed one another before impact, the defense was able to use 3D technology of the vehicle damage and evidence of roadway gouge marks, skid marks, fluid stains, and the position of the remnants of the vehicles near the roadway to reconstruct the accident. The defense argued that the plaintiff himself actually struck the disabled Volvo– a fact that he vehemently denied– before himself losing control, becoming disabled on the roadway, and being struck by our client’s tractor-trailer at 65 mph. The defense also used information derived from the data recorders in the plaintiff’s vehicle and our clients’ tractor-trailer to reconstruct the accident and establish that the plaintiff’s version was scientifically implausible.
As a result of the subject incident, the plaintiff sustained very serious orthopedic injuries and was airlifted to Jackson Ryder Trauma Center where he remained for 13 days. His injuries included fractures to multiple ribs, and comminuted fractures to his clavicle, hip, pelvis, open fractures to his radius and ulna requiring emergency surgery, and bilateral pulmonary contusions and a collapsed lung. The plaintiff also sustained a fracture to his lumbar transverse process and claimed multiple disc herniations in his lumbar and cervical spine. The plaintiff presented testimony from his neurosurgeon claiming that he would require lumbar and cervical fusions in the future.
The jury agreed with the defense and found that the plaintiff failed to establish that the defendant tractor-trailer operator was negligent. The jury entered a complete defense verdict in 80 minutes, which will entitle the defendants to tax attorney’s fees and costs because the plaintiff failed to accept a prior proposal for settlement served in the litigation.
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George L. Fernandez is a partner in the Miami office and is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has maintained an AV® Peer Review rating in the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory since 1997. He is recognized as a “Top South Florida Lawyer” in insurance litigation by the South Florida Legal Guide.
Manuel A. Fernandez is a partner in the Miami and Tallahassee offices. He practices in the areas of insurance defense, general litigation, automotive liability, product liability, and workers’ compensation defense. He received his law degree from Florida International University College of Law in 2018. He is fluent in Spanish.
QPWB is the largest minority and woman owned law firm in the nation. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.