Ocala, FL— Jurors awarded a Florida woman $160,000 Wednesday at a damages trial over the two-car crash she says left her with a traumatic brain injury. Griffis v. Green, et al., 2014CA001726.
The Florida Fifth Circuit Court jury, sitting in Ocala, deliberated about 2 hours before handing down the award, which includes $60,000 for Constance Griffis’s medical expenses and $100,000 for her pain and suffering following the 2010 wreck.
Griffis’s pickup was hit from behind by Jared Green as the two drove along US 441 near Belleview, Florida. Griffis contends the crash injured her knee and back, and left her with memory loss, confusion, and seizures from a traumatic brain injury.
Although jurors awarded six figures to Griffis herself, they rejected claims by Griffis's husband and two children for damages based on her injury.
With Green admitting fault for the wreck, the seven-day trial turned on whether the crash caused the injuries Griffis complained of.
During Wednesday’s closings, MattLaw’s Matthew Powell highlighted medical records showing the crash caused long-term damage to her back, and noted testimony showing the effect her memory loss and seizures had on her daily life. “She’s losing her identity because of these episodes or seizures,” Powell said. “She loses control of her body. She loses control of herself. And she becomes dangerous to the point that she could fall and injure herself.”
But the defense argued the accident, which did minimal bumper and fender damage to Griffis’s truck, could not have caused the injuries she complained of. During closings, Bret Little of Brett Little, P.A., noted that paramedics did not take Griffis to the hospital after the accident, and he said Griffis’s claim that the wreck knocked her unconscious lacked support. “People don’t get hurt in accidents like this,” Little said, noting evidence that the car was traveling less than 10 miles per hour at the time of impact. “And if they do, it’s extremely minimal.”
Email Arlin Crisco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: The verdict was handed down by a Fifth Circuit Court jury in Ocala. An earlier version of this story misnamed the circuit.
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