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Senior citizen claimed Segway crash caused multiple injuries
Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, 11th
leg; leg-fracture (fracture, tibia);
leg-fracture (fracture, fibula);
other-laceration; other-pins/rods/screws; other-comminuted fracture; urological-incontinence; urological-renal failure; surgeries/treatment-skin graft; surgeries/treatment-external fixation
Motor Vehicle – Pedestrian, Motor Scooter
Estelle Ross v. Massimilliano Pulciani, individually, Angloamerican School of Miami LLC, a Florida for-profit corporation, A.K.S. International, Inc., a Florida for-profit corporation, and Abul Al Sibai, individually,
No. 13-025851 CA-1
April 16, 2015
Estelle Ross (Female, 88 Years)
Alexander J. Perkins;
Perkins Law Offices;
Abul Al Sibai,
A.K.S. International, Inc.,
Angloamerican School of Miami LLC
Avila Rodriguez Hernandez Mena & Ferri LLP;
Angloamerican School of Miami LLC ■ None reported;
Abul Al Sibai, A.K.S. International, Inc. ■ Harry Tapias;
Generali (Insurance carrier based in Italy. Coverage claim pending in Italy) for Massimilliano Pulciani
On Nov. 17, 2012, plaintiff Estelle Ross, 88, retired, alleged she was struck from behind by a Segway electric scooter operated by Massimilliano Pulciani as she walked to her mailbox outside her home in Miami Beach. Ross claimed she injured her left leg. Ross sued Pulciani claiming he was negligent in the operation of the Segway. Ross claimed she was walking on Ocean Drive between 5th and 4th Streets when Pulciani, who was driving the rented Segway on the eastside sidewalk of Ocean Drive, negligently collided with her from behind – directly – as she walked in the same direction. Ross also sued Angloamerican School of Miami LLC, a Florida for-profit corporation, owned and operated by Pulciani, and the owners of the Segway which Pulciani rented, A.K.S. International, Inc., a Florida for-profit corporation, and Abul Al Sibai, individually, for negligence. Ross claimed the speed and blunt force of the impact from the heavy Segway crushed her leg and threw her to the ground. She claimed Pulciani hit the brick pavers on the edge of the sidewalk while trying to overtake and pass her. Ross’ counsel claimed Pulciani also admitted turning his head to look back right before hitting Ross. Defendant Angloamerican School of Miami LLC was dismissed from trial on summary judgment, as it was determined that Pulciani was not engaged in scope of employment at the time of incident. Defendants A.K.S. International, Inc., a Florida for-profit corporation, and Abul Al Sibai were dismissed from the case prior to trial. Defense counsel for Pulciani claimed Ross’ walking cane was in his path and as he tried to pass her, he lost control of the Segway and it failed to stop in time to avoid hitting Ross. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that after the accident Pulciani drove the Segway back to the nearby rental shop, did not report the accident to the owner, and no damage was found on the machine. Plaintiff’s counsel also noted that the owner continued renting the subject Segway to customers with no complaints.
Ross was transported by ambulance to a local emergency room. She sustained a crush injury to her left leg, comminuted fractures of the tibia and fibula, and a large laceration on the lower leg. Ross underwent surgery during which 10 metal rods were inserted through her leg and fixed in place by a Taylor Spatial Frame external fixator. She remained in the hospital for seven months. Ross’ external fixator was removed at the time of her hospital discharge. Ross’ treating orthopedic surgeon opined that the impact from the Segway caused skin and soft tissue to be shaved off and for the broken bones to protrude through the remaining tissue. He also opined that Ross underwent three surgeries including painful harvesting of skin from her thigh for grafting/sewing that skin over the injury site in an effort to close a massive wound. He also opined that Ross developed bladder/kidney complications, renal failure, and urinary incontinence while in hospital. He opined that the bladder/kidney complications required painful catheterization every six hours during her hospital stay. He opined that Ross has a shortened leg due to the injury, will need to use a walker or cane for the rest of her life, and will have life-long balance problems, leg weakness and daily pain. He opined that Ross will require future surgery for her leg. He opined that the near loss of one’s leg by horrific accident is a catastrophic event. He further opined that Ross already had medical expenses approaching $300,000. Ross claimed that although nearly 90-years-old prior to the accident, she was a healthy, independent woman who drove, swam, worked on her inventions, and traveled by herself. Ross claimed that prior to the accident, she was in Miami staying at her ocean drive condominium by herself after Hurricane Sandy damaged her home in Long island N.Y. Ross’ counsel claimed Ross has a life expectancy of about five more years. She sought to recover damages for past and future medicals; and past and future pain and suffering. The defense did not dispute Ross’ injuries.
On Feb. 15, 2015, the jury found negligence on the part of defendant Massimilliano Pulciani that was a legal cause of damage to plaintiff Estelle Ross. The jury determined that the plaintiff’s damages for past medical expenses totaled $294,683. The jury determined that the plaintiff’s damages for past pain and suffering totaled $40,500. The total award was $335,183. The plaintiff filed a post-trial motion for additur arguing that the award of $40,500 for past future pain and suffering, and $0 for future pain and suffering is grossly deficient. On March 24, 2015, the judge entered an order granting additur, increasing the award to $794,682. On April 16, 2015, the judge entered final judgment on behalf of the plaintiff Estelle Ross for $794,682. Plaintiff’s counsel indicated that the judge had previously never entered a post-trial motion for additur in his 12 years on the bench.
Estelle Ross: $794,682 Personal Injury: Additur
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel for Massimilliano Pulciani did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.