Jurors Award Florida Man $100K in Trial Over Rear-End Crash

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Jul 18, 2022 10:27:33 AM


Stock image. 

Update: This article has been updated with post-verdict comments. 

Gainesville, FL— Jurors handed down a $100,000 verdict for the injuries a Florida man says he suffered in a 2020 collision. Ortiz v. Uy, 2020-CA-002198. 

The 8th Circuit Court jury, in Alachua County, issued the $100,000 award for Jose Ortiz’s past medical expenses related to the crash, but declined to award future medical expenses and rejected Ortiz’s claim that the crash permanently injured him. 

Ortiz was stopped at a red light in his Honda CRV when he was struck from behind by a car driven by Gina Uy. Ortiz says the crash, on State Road 121 in Gainesville, Florida, injured his neck, shoulder, and back, and left him with long-term back pain. 

With Uy admitting responsibility for the crash, the three-day trial focused on the extent of Ortiz’s injuries and whether the injuries he claimed were related to the collision. 


During closing arguments last Thursday, Ortiz’s attorney, Morgan & Morgan’s Keith Mitnik, compared Ortiz’s medical treatments before and after the crash. He said post-crash physical therapy, pain injections, and surgery proved Ortiz’s injuries were caused by the wreck. And Mitnik said evidence showed Ortiz would need further treatment and suffer with “pilot light pain” that would continue to flare up in his day-to-day life.

“The totality of the evidence, from all these doctors, and all this treatment, and the MRIs that prove it when they come from a reliable source, is that he’s got a back that’s now a mess,” Mitnik said after requesting more than $7.5 million in damages.

But the defense argued the crash did not cause all of the pain Ortiz complained of. During her closing, Kubicki Draper’s Kendra Therrell walked jurors through evidence that showed Ortiz suffered from a variety of injuries before the crash and had suffered from back and nerve pain long before the wreck. Therell also pointed to Ortiz’s history playing sports and working in a physically demanding job that she said had taken a toll on him. 

“Life is catching up with Mr. Ortiz,” Therrell said, suggesting jurors award $51,000 and find Ortiz did not suffer a permanent injury in the crash. ”He has lived an intense lifestyle.”

After the verdict, Mitnik told CVN in an email "As disappointed as we are with this outcome, we feel strongly that this is the beginning, not the end, because of multiple, powerful appellate grounds."

Mitnik added that trial losses, while difficult to process, ultimately help drive attorneys forward. "[H]ow do winners respond to a loss? They turn the pain into fuel. They convert it into a burning desire to get back into court as soon as possible. They convert it into energy to come up with new ways to lessen the chances of it happening again," Mitnik said. "Scars motivate, they do not incapacitate."

CVN has reached out to Kubicki Draper attorneys and will update this article with their comments. 

Email Arlin Crisco at

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Topics: Ortiz v. Uy