Ocala, FL— Surveillance video taken of a Florida woman years after a 2017 car crash that she says left her in life-long pain could play a pivotal role in the damages-only trial over the wreck, which opened Tuesday. Osvath v. Dolive, 2018-CA-000843.
Maricela Osvath says she suffered back, neck, shoulder, and knee injuries when a vehicle driven by James Dolive, Jr. hit her car on Florida’s State Road 35.
With liability for the crash admitted, trial is focused on the extent of Osvath’s injuries.
Osvath’s attorney, Morgan & Morgan’s Keith Mitnik, told jurors Tuesday that the wreck has left Osvath with what he described as life-long “pilot light pain,” or ever-present, flickering pain that flares with activities such as driving or sitting for long periods.
“A piece of her freedom was taken to be able to live life without making all those many choices to do or don’t do [certain activities],” Mitnik said in openings Tuesday. “You either do without, or do it and pay the price. And that’s going to be there forever.”
But the defense contends Osvath has largely recovered from the accident. On Tuesday, Smith Bigman Brock’s Jeffrey Bigman told jurors that more than half of Osvath’s roughly $139,000 in past medical expenses were incurred in the first three days following the crash. “She has not been hospitalized. She has not had emergency room visits since [the accident]. She has had no surgery,” Bigman said.
And he said surveillance video taken in 2019 shows Osvath going about her regular daily activities, ranging from shopping to carrying hospital gowns. “There’s nothing dramatic here, Bigman said. “But the few snippets in time from 2019 show her everyday life in a manner that is similar to the way she’ll describe her everyday life from before this accident.”
But Mitnik told jurors the videos would be played as part of plaintiff’s case in-chief and said they would see nothing inconsistent with the pain Osvath describes. “This just isn’t the kind of injury where anyone ever said ‘I can’t grocery shop,’” Mitnik said.
Trial is expected to be completed before the end of the week.
Email Arlin Crisco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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