Woman Gets $65,000 Settlement from Escambia County
A woman sued Escambia County and the Cantonment Football Club after she fell from a third-row bleacher onto the concrete. Tonia Moye completely shattered her left ankle in the fall. In 2017, she was there watching a Cantonment Cowboys football game. The woman and her family say that the board they were sitting on in the bleachers felt loose prior to the fall.
In addition to shattering her left ankle, Moye also broke her right foot rendering her immobile for a period of time.
The County’s Argument Against Moye
According to the county, Moye had a recent surgery to remove a tumor from her brain. The surgery rendered her completely blind in one of her eyes and affected her depth perception. The county maintained that Moye told emergency medical personnel that her lack of depth perception contributed to her fall.
However, Moye retained a forensic engineer to provide testimony that the county contributed negligence to the accident. He testified that the county failed to inspect the boards and bolts yearly in direct violation of Florida building codes. Additionally, video taken after the accident showed that the bleacher board was not connected to the frame. Lastly, Escambia County replaced a loose bolt in the third bench where Moye was sitting when she fell.
As a result of the accident, Moye underwent surgery to reconstruct her ankle and currently has several pins and rods in it to stabilize her. She still experiences pain when walking and can no longer enjoy activities she once enjoyed like hiking and dancing. The surgery alone cost $115,000, but between the county and the football club, Moye was only able to recover $65,000.
Who Contributed What Liability
In a case such as this, liability is assigned to each party. The county’s portion of the liability was $45,000. The deputy attorney recommended settlement after the video evidence containing the condition of the bleachers was brought to light. The football club’s insurance company paid another $20,000 raising the total to $65,000.
It probably wasn’t the settlement she hoped for, but a jury would have likely found that she contributed some fault to the accident given her depth perception and eye issues. However, that doesn’t completely absolve the county or the football club from maintaining the bleachers in good condition. A judge would have likely admitted evidence concerning the condition of the bleachers and that alone would have helped Moye make her case.
The verdict is also lower than it should be due to the fact that Moye was suing the county. Municipalities are protected by sovereign immunity laws that prevent certain kinds of litigation and limit awards in the event that a municipality is liable.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured by another person’s negligence, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. can help you recover damages related to your injuries and hold the negligent party responsible. Call us today to set up a free consultation.