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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Find out about the most important recent Florida cases, selected by VerdictSearch editors. Coverage includes Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties.
A $24 million award in vehicle, cabana crash that killed mother, unborn child
A jury has awarded $24 million to a husband whose wife and unborn child were killed when a driver under the influence of alcohol smashed through a cabana at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale in March 2012. While sitting poolside, Alanna Demella, 26, and her unborn child were killed when a speeding vehicle driven by Rosa Kim, whose blood alcohol level was 0.24, jumped the sidewalk and struck Demella, who is survived by husband Michael Demella. Kim, later convicted of two counts of drunken-driving manslaughter, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in January. In the civil trial, the jury found Kim 85 percent liable, Riverside Hotel operator Las Olas Holding Company, Inc., 15 percent, for a $3.6 million verdict award against the company.
Estate of Demella v. Kim
U.S. District Court, Southern District, MiamiBroward County
Husband: Smoking cigarettes caused my wife’s death
A jury has awarded the estate of a former smoker $10.5 million in a products liability case. Lawyers for Glodine McCoy, who died in 1997 at age 70 and had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA and Lorillard Tobacco for products liability, defective product and fraudulent concealment. McCoy began smoking at age 13 and smoked for more than 50 years. Defense counsel denied all allegations and argued McCoy chose to smoke, but the jury found R.J. Reynolds 25 percent liable, Philip Morris 20 percent, Lorillard 20 percent and McCoy 35 percent, and awarded the estate $10.5 million -- with no reduction for comparative liability, due to an intentional tort finding.
Estate of McCoy v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
Music exec receives major damage award after head-on crash seriously injured him
A music industry executive has received a substantial, seven-figure damage award after he was seriously injured in a traffic accident. Rasheed A. Ali's Mercedes was struck head-on by a United Parcel Services truck on a street in North Miami Beach in Aug. 2013. Ali sustained a torn labrum, herniated disc, an aggravation of a pre-existing lumbar injury and a closed head injury, among other injuries/complications. The defense conceded negligence and at a trial to determine damages argued Ali's injuries have not hindered his music career, which included signing a reggae star, but the jury determined Ali's damages to be $5 million.
Ali v. United Parcel Services
|$64,500,000||Matthews v. Semco Construction||Hillsborough Co.||Mar 27|
|$46,500,000||Ryan v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.||Broward Co.||Apr 21|
|$23,187,134||Suarez v. Port Charlotte HMA, LLC||Charlotte Co.||Apr 24|
|$20,830,000||McCann Holdings Ltd v. SDC Communities Inc||Sarasota Co.||Mar 16|
|$19,200,000||Mendez v. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services||Palm Beach Co.||Mar 17|
|$13,943,096||Cahan v. DD Real Estate Holdings Inc.||Brevard Co.||Mar 19|
|$11,600,000||Plummer v. Valentine Family Clinic||Volusia Co.||Apr 24|
|$6,375,277||Brown v. Philip Morris USA||Duval Co.||May 1|
|$6,000,000||Estate of Gray v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.||Federal||Jan 29|
|$5,459,008||Simmons v. Collins||Gadsden Co.||May 1|