On January 26, 2011, plaintiff Dawn Beauchamp, 42, was awarded $503,398.84 after her lawsuit against Central Florida Fitness Inc. She was injured while sitting on an adjustable bench seat, when the seat collapsed. The accident resulted in a herniated disc which resulted in two surgeries, a discectomy on February, 2008 and a lumbar fusion on Sept 30, 2009. As a Legal Nurse
, you may see many similar cases in your practice.
The lawsuit against Central Florida Fitness Inc., which was doing business as Gold's Gym, claimed that the defendant failed to properly repair and maintain the seat, creating a dangerous situation. The defendant claimed it was Beachamps' error and the gym was not at fault. They also argued her injuries were pre-existent to the accident.
Beachamp sued Central Florida Fitness Inc for the following:
Past Medical Cost- $280,962 Personal Injury
Future Medical Cost- $158,236 Personal Injury
Past Pain and Suffering- $130,000 Personal Injury
Future Pain and Suffering- $320,000 Personal Injury
The jury determined the total damages to be $889,198. Beachamp's husband also presented a derivative claim for loss of consortium, but was declined. In the end the jury found Beachamp to be 30% liable. After the comparative liability offset, she was awarded $503,398.84.
According to a blog by David Fuch, from southfloridapersonalinjurylawyers.com, he states, 'The defense counsel moved for a new trial, which will be heard on Feb.2, 2011. According to the defense counsel, the motion is based on the courts improper allowance of plaintiff's counsel's disparaging remarks during closing arguments, plaintiff's expert's new opinions at trial, plaintiff's biomechanical expert's opinion regarding the cause of injury and plaintiff's counsel's introduction of evidence regarding subsequent remedial measures. It is also based on the court's instruction to the jury, over objection, allowing the jury to infer negligence because the defendant did not maintain possession of the maintenance log and the weight bench involved. If the motion is denied, defense counsel will appeal.'
Is this a fair verdict? Beachamp's past medical bills will be covered, but what about the future medical costs and loss of wages she will endure? The injury she encountered has a 3-11% risk of re-operations over the next five years resulting in additional medical costs.
References: David Fuchs from www.southfloridapersonalinjurylawyers.com and www.lawyersandsettlements.com .