Florida Man Gets $250,000 in Truck Injury Lawsuit
Technically, the Florida man was awarded $1 million in the truck accident lawsuit, but the judge reduced the verdict to $250,000. Later, the verdict was thrown out altogether.
Now, the man has filed an appeal to have the original $1 million verdict reinstated.
The crash occurred in 2012. Robert Spinnenweber was driving a Dodge Caravan in the right-hand lane of I-94. A tractor-trailer driven by Robert Laducer of Red River Supply was driving in the center lane. When Laducer attempted to change lanes, his vehicle struck Spinnenwebber’s leading to a crash.
At trial, the jury determined that the Red River Supply driver was negligent and caused the accident. They awarded Spinnenweber $1 million in damages.
Red River Files Appeal Over Excessive Verdict
After the verdict was announced, Red River filed an appeal claiming that the verdict was “grossly excessive” and that Spinnenwebber’s medical bills and injuries did not justify a seven-figure award. Red River further claims that the verdict was emotionally biased against the trucking industry.
Problematically for Spinnenwebber, he continued on his journey after the accident occurred without seeking medical treatment. Spinnenwebber was on his way to a go-cart event and would spend the next three days sleeping in his van. Then he drove 1,000 miles back home.
Further issues with the case were also used as the basis for overturning the verdict. Spinnenwebber never introduced any evidence of medical expenses or lost wages. The only medical evidence in the record said that Spinnenwebber suffered “whiplash” and “a very mild concussion”.
It’s true that concussions can remain asymptomatic for a while before an individual knows the full extent of their injuries. Spinnenwebber claimed he later developed tinnitus alongside several other symptoms that were consistent with head injuries. However, no evidence of these symptoms was ever submitted and no attempt was made to connect these injuries to the crash.
Ultimately, the court overturned the verdict because the plaintiff had not prepared his case well enough to justify a $1 million award. The judge reduced the verdict and then tossed it entirely because the jury failed to award damages that were commensurate with the types of injuries that Spinnenweber sustained.
Legal precedent supported the defendant’s arguments and the case will need to be retried. The plaintiff attempted to compare his case to other similar cases with large jury awards but that completely backfired. The judge found that cases similar to Spinnenwebber’s actually had jury awards between $30,000 and $215,000. The judge reduced the verdict giving Spinnenwebber the option of either accepting the offer or a new trial.
Spinnenwebber opted for the latter and requested a bench trial. Apparently, he represented himself and lost. Spinnenwebber will now be required to pay Red River Supply $3,000 in legal fees.
Call an Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a tractor-trailer, call the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. We will represent you thoroughly and fight tirelessly to see that you are compensated for your injuries.