Featured Verdicts

New and noteworthy verdicts and settlements from around the country, selected by VerdictSearch editors.  Find out about the case most relevant to your practice, with complete details on awards and settlements; injuries claimed; experts, attorneys, insurers and judges involved; and more.

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Florida Verdicts

Find out about the most important recent Florida cases, selected by VerdictSearch editors. Coverage includes Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties.

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Jury awards estate $28 million in torture, death of folk singer in Pinochet’s Chile case

A jury has awarded the estate of a Chilean folk singer tortured and shot to death after the coup that brought Chilean Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power $28 million in damages. The estate of Victor Jara, who died at age 40, alleged Jara was arrested with other students in September 1973, brought to Chile Stadium, tortured and ultimately executed by Chilean Army Officer Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez. Jara served as cultural minister for President Salvador Allende, a Marxist, whom Chile’s military, assisted by the U.S. government, overthrew. The defense denied all charges, but the jury found Barrientos Nunez liable for Jara’s torture and killing, and awarded the estate $8 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages.
Jara v. Nunez
U.S. District Court, Middle District, Orlando Division

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A $5.09 million award after vehicle accident killed woman

A jury has awarded a seven-figure damage sum to the estate of a woman killed by a driver in another vehicle in a 2013 collision on Marco Island. Theresa Lesniak, 91, was killed upon impact after her vehicle was struck by a vehicle driven by Peter Ferreira. The estate's counsel alleged a black box in Ferreira's vehicle indicated his speed was 77 mph at impact on the 30-mph street. Ferreira was charged with vehicular manslaughter, for which he was ultimately convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Prior to the civil trial, Ferreira conceded liability, and the jury later awarded the estate $5,093,000 in total damages.
Estate of Lesniak v. Ferreira
Collier County

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Judge awards $131,076 in failure to reimburse karate memberships case

A judge has awarded a six-figure damage sum in a contracts case. Jenny Cudd sued Blackbelt Academies LLC, doing business as Karate America, for breach of contract. Cudd alleged the company refused to reimburse the remaining balance for two, 36-month memberships totaling $6,076 for her two daughters, ages 12 and 8, after the older daughter was diagnosed with a serious disease -- one that prevented both from attending classes in October 2011. In April 2012, the older daughter died from the condition. When Blackbelt did not answer the complaint, the court issued a default judgment. In the bench trial for damages, the judge awarded Cudd $106,076 in compensatory damages and $25,000 in punitive damages, for a $131,076 total award.
Cudd v. Blackbelt Academies LLC
Broward County

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Largest Florida Jury Verdicts

(since Jan. 1, 2016; based on cases reported to VerdictSearch)
$41,956,474 Osmond v. Neighborhood Restaurant Partners Florida, LLC Hernando Co. Apr 22
$40,150,000 Mais v. Cumberbatch Broward Co. Kan 5
$33,500,000 Estate of Purdo v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Palm Beach Co. Apr 27
$32,000,000 HPC US Fund 1, L.P. v. Wood Federal Feb 17
$28,000,000 Manzano v. Carey Royal Ramm Funeral Home Inc. Dade Co. Mar 10
$20,000,000 National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania v. Tyco Integrated Security, LLC Federal Apr 4
$12,030,000 Estate of Dion v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Sarasota Co. May 12
$11,500,000 McCabe v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Hillsborough Co. May 20
$10,114,660 Estate of Wiederhold v. Domino's Pizza, LLC Orange Co. Apr 8