Trial Opens Over Crash That Ex-Soccer Player Says Left Her With Lifelong Pain

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Mar 8, 2023 9:16:19 AM


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Miami, FL— Jurors Tuesday previewed evidence concerning the impact a February 2019 rear-end crash has had on a former collegiate soccer player, as a damages trial opened against the driver responsible and others. Alexander v. Rojas, et al., 2019-CA-028093. 

Chantelle Alexander was a 19-year-old soccer player at Miami’s ASA College when the Honda Civic in which she was a passenger was rear-ended by a pickup driven by Ariecel Rojas. In her suit against Rojas; the truck’s owner, Antonio Perez; and the pair’s employer at the time, US Fire Systems, Inc., Alexander contends the collision left her with long-term neck and lower back injuries that require regular pain management treatment, including radiofrequency ablation and chiropractic visits. 

With the defense admitting fault for the crash, Alexander’s injuries serve as the central point of dispute in the case. 

During Tuesday’s opening statements, Alexander’s attorney, Morgan & Morgan’s Keith Mitnik, walked jurors through Alexander’s physical history before and after the crash. Mitnik said Alexander was a healthy athlete before the collision. But he told jurors evidence would show the crash robbed her of the ability to play soccer at the skill she previously played, and it left her with injuries that would cause recurring pain and require treatment for the rest of her life.

“The kind of pain you’re going to hear [about] is like a thief. It comes in and it takes. But it doesn’t take like a burglar, all at once,” Mitnik said. “It takes in little pieces like an embezzler, over a long period of time, that adds up to a load.”

But the defense challenges Alexander’s claimed injuries. During his opening statement, Conroy Simberg’s Thomas McCausland told jurors Alexander was examined and discharged immediately after the accident and did not seek further medical attention for 10 days after the crash. And he added surveillance video showed her playing competitive soccer in the season following the collision. 

“We bring this [video] to you to show you that, hey, she’s doing OK. She’s enjoying her college life,” McCausland said. “She really liked playing soccer. Well, guess what? She went and did it.”

Trial in the case is expected to last through the week. 

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Topics: Florida, Transportation, Alexander v. Rojas, et al.