Representative Verdicts And Settlements

Representative Cases

Roger N. Messer

Bowes v. Landis (2012 Jury Verdict, St. Lucie County Circuit Court). $553,726.90 jury verdict in mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) case of a 55 year old white male who works as head grounds keeper for the New York Mets at their Port St. Lucie, Florida facility. Our client suffered from a concussion and had a ten minute loss of consciousness due to a head on motor vehicle collision. He suffers from both short and long term memory loss. He had normal brain CT scans as well as normal standard brain MRI's. A Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) MRI scan showed abnormal brain function and damage to the axons (white matter) of the brain. This scan assisted the treating physicians and neuropsychologist in making the mild TBI diagnosis. The verdict was over 5 times greater than the highest insurance company offer pre-trial. After the Court entered an Order awarding attorney's fees, the case settled for $725,000.00.

Calkins v. Classy Equipment Corp., etc. (2006 St. Lucie County) settlement of $1.68 million for a dump truck driver seriously injured in a crash with a semi tractor-trailer on I-95 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. This case involved a negligent truck driver who maintained two sets of log books; one for his deliberately negligent employer, and one to show to law enforcement if he was stopped. The at fault driver was driving his 18-wheeler at a very high rate of speed, while asleep.

Kisiel v. Gilster Mary Lee Trucking (1998 Indian River County Circuit Court) This was a $425,000 settlement for a seriously injured dump truck driver who was hurt when a semi tractor-trailer crashed into his rear on Florida's Turnpike.

Williams v. Gator Freight Lines (1978 St. Lucie County Circuit Court). $105,000 jury verdict for a marine diesel mechanic injured in a rear-end collision with a large delivery truck in downtown Ft. Pierce. The pre-suit settlement offer was only $7,500.

Badillo vs. Nationwide Insurance and Knox (2009 St. Lucie County Circuit Court). Jury verdict of over $536,000 in a case involving a drunk driver and Uninsured Motorist Insurance Carrier Nationwide for 50 year old female client who was injured while jogging when a drunk driver ran off the road and struck her, fracturing her sacrum and causing a herniated disc in the lower back. After Nationwide's appeal was denied, we pursued a bad faith claim. Ultimately, Nationwide paid over $750,000.00 to its insured under policies only totaling $50,000.00. This was because, pre-suit, our client was willing to accept her policy limits from her insurance company, but they forced her to go to trial.

Riggs v. American Chambers Life Insurance Co., (St. Lucie County Circuit case 1998): 1998 pretrial settlement of $1.75 million in an insurance bad faith case against a health insurance carrier which had wrongfully refused to pay for medical bills of $650,000 for a paralyzed accident victim. Litigated in both State and Federal Court as co-counsel.

Gressman v. Capak, Inc., (St. Lucie County Circuit Case, 2002): $1.6 million settlement in a products liability case against the distributor of a defective wheelchair. An axle on one side of Mr. Gressman's wheelchair broke, causing a fall which severely injured the right shoulder of this previously paralyzed client. The injury made him unable to transfer in his chair, with horrible consequences therefrom. Mr. Gressman lost his job, his freedom of movement, and had numerous other problems which flowed from the inability to use his right arm. Litigated in Federal and State Court.

Ayala v. Larson's Dairy, (Okeechobee County Circuit Court Case, 1984): Structured settlement for $1.3 million (present value $750,000) for the wrongful death of a male Mexican Farm worker in collision with a hay truck.

Carroll v. State Farm (St. Lucie County Circuit Case, 2000): $265,350 verdict for female client injured by an uninsured driver. Initial defense offer, $6,000. State Farm ultimately paid $530,000 to settle all claims, including bad faith in May, 2000.

Delia v. Romano (St. Lucie County Circuit Court case, 1985): $350,000.00 jury verdict against corporation president, individually, who hired a truck driver with a prior DUI conviction and a horrible driving record. The driver caused an accident in a company truck after drinking after work. This was a negligent hiring and entrustment case. The insurance company claimed there was no coverage. The jury verdict and the finding of insurance coverage by the Court were upheld on appeal by the 4th District Court of Appeals. The case ultimately settled for an amount in excess of the verdict.

Hogan v. Granados and Allstate Insurance Company, (St. Lucie County Circuit Court Case, 1996): $98,500 verdict for female client injured by a drunk driver. Pretrial offer $25,000. Post-trial bad faith case against Allstate settled for over $177,000.

DeAyala v. Florida Farm Bureau Insurance, 543 So.2d 204 (Fla. 1989): Successfully held portion of Worker's Compensation Law unconstitutional. Resulted in survivors of deceased worker obtaining $100,000 death benefit which had been denied them. Roger Messer handled the underlying trial as well as arguing the appeal at the 4th District Court of Appeals and the Florida Supreme Court. This was a victory, not only for Mr. Ayala's family, but also the families of other legal resident aliens (with green cards) who are killed on the job in Florida.

Steven A. Messer

Quercioli v. LaConte, (St. Lucie County Circuit Case, 2002): Associated counsel in pretrial settlement in the amount of $1 million in a breach of trust case on behalf of the beneficiary against the trustee. The case included multi-state discovery in Ohio, Mississippi, and Florida.

Autrey v. Thomson, (St. Lucie County Circuit Case, 2002): $77,500 settlement from Defendant's insurance company for damages to Plaintiff's semi-tractor trailer for accident caused by Defendant's negligence. Plaintiff owed in excess of $80,000 on the truck and $15,000 in towing and storage charges on the vehicle and had previously only received an offer for $49,000 from his own insurance company. All bills were negotiated, including the note on the truck. All parties were satisfied, and Plaintiff walked away with $5,000.

Arriaga v. Baker's Termite and Pest Control, (St. Lucie County Circuit Case, 2002): $44,700 settlement after defense caused mistrial for damages resulting from a negligent termite inspection performed by the Defendant company on behalf of the Plaintiff, who was a perspective homebuyer. Actual damages to the home were estimated at $23,000.

Ok Kyong Dong, Seung C. Hong, and Su Y. Chon v. Joon Koo Lee and Kung Ae Lee. Case Number: 50-2010-CA-4673 (Palm Beach County Circuit Court, August 2012): Trial wherein Steven Messer successfully represented the Plaintiffs in a case where the pastor of a church had illegally and improperly removed the Plaintiffs who were members of the Board of Directors and then illegally obtained monies from church bank accounts. Mr. Messer was successful in reinstating the Plaintiffs as board members and obtaining an order requiring the Defendants to return monetary sums to the organization that were illegally obtained.