Premises Liability Litigation Settlement Recovery

Attorney(s) for Plaintiff:
Emerson Straw PL


Pinellas County, FL

This action involved an unwitnessed bicycle crash adjacent to a sidewalk along a public right of way. The pre-governmental healthcare eligibility Plaintiff suffered traumatic brain injuries that were so severe that he was found unresponsive by a motorist laying next to a sidewalk running adjacent to the roadway. Plaintiff’s wrecked bicycle was located close to him, and it was obvious to law enforcement investigators that Plaintiff’s bicycle had impacted something next to the sidewalk that ejected him from his bicycle. Investigators captured photographic physical evidence that was left at the accident scene from Plaintiff’s bicycle tire tracks in the ground that identified the location of the crash occurring at an unnatural trench or depression in the ground adjacent to the sidewalk.

The Plaintiff strongly believed that the post project clean-up and restoration work was done negligently. The physical evidence showed that the subject-trench was not properly filled in, and the dirt used had settled over time due to expected settling and erosion. The trench was hidden from the view of bicyclists because the grass had regrown inside the trench to a height similar to that of the grass next to the trench – visually suggesting that there was not a trench or depression present to endanger the bicyclist.

Emerson Straw PL undertook an investigation that led to the discovery of a permit for a project that involved underground drilling and digging in the area for public utility installation some years earlier. Plaintiff’s investigation included hiring expert witnesses in the areas of accident reconstruction, medical professionals, weather and erosion, and utilized ground penetrating radar to identify existing utilities in proximity to the trench.

Plaintiff initiated the lawsuit against multiple Defendants, including the utility company and its subcontractors. The multiple Defendants denied liability, and primarily blamed the injured Plaintiff for not maintaining control of his bicycle. The case was litigated against the three Defendants, and dozens of depositions were taken. Numerous hearings were required to resolve legal issues. One Defendant settled following mediation for a confidential sum, and then within days of trial, the other two Defendants also settled.

The Plaintiff’s head and brain injuries were serious, but he made a significant physical and mental recovery. Plaintiff’s net monetary recovery will cover his out of pocket losses and financially protect him from any future complications that could appear.

This case exemplifies why injured victims must retain litigation and trial counsel with the financial resources and professional skill requisite to prove a contested case.

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