Miami, FL— A Florida jury last week awarded more than $2.8 million for the neck and back injuries it found a former college soccer player suffered in a 2019 car crash. Alexander v. Rojas, 2019-CA-028093.
Thursday's verdict, which includes $2 million for Chantelle Alexander’s pain and suffering, wraps a three-day, damages-only trial in Florida's 11th Circuit state court over the rear-end collision that Alexander says left her with life-long pain.
Alexander was a 19-year-old soccer player at Miami’s ASA College in February 2019 when the car in which she was a passenger was hit by a pickup driven by Ariecel Rojas. Alexander contends the crash left her with injuries that require regular chiropractic and pain management treatment, among other issues.
With the defendants, including Rojas; the truck’s owner, Antonio Perez; and the pair’s employer at the time, US Fire Systems, Inc., admitting fault, the trial focused on the long-term fallout, if any, from the crash.
The defense argued Alexander’s injuries were not as severe as she claimed. During Thursday’s closing arguments, Conroy Simberg’s Thomas McCausland reminded jurors of surveillance video that showed Alexander playing competitive soccer in the season following the crash. And he argued that video refuted Alexander’s contentions surrounding her injuries.
“You can look at that surveillance… and see her running around, heading [the ball], doing what she’s doing on the soccer field,” McCausland said. “The simple fact is they didn’t prove their case. They didn't meet their burden of proof.”
Alexander’s attorney, Morgan & Morgan’s Keith Mitnik, acknowledged Alexander had played soccer in the season following the crash. But he contended evidence showed her injuries robbed her of the ability to play it without pain and at the same level she did before the wreck. And he argued defense contentions that Alexander recovered within six weeks following the crash were outweighed by plaintiffs’ medical evidence and Alexander’s own testimony detailing her pain, and the limits it placed on her life.
“Can she still go out on the soccer field? Is it worthwhile, is the question, for the price she pays for it,” Mitnik said. “And the answer, we know, is no, or she’d be out there doing it today.”
CVN has reached out to attorneys for both parties and will update this article with their comments.
Email Arlin Crisco at acrisco@email@example.com.
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