Brett Alan Panter and Mitchell J. Panter from the Law Firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A.
Eric Zivitz, Esq., Butler, Burnette and Pappas, Alfred I. DuPont Building, Suite 1300, 169 E. Flagler Street, Miami, Florida 33131, Attorneys for Gusto’s;
James Sparkman, Esq., Sparkman, Robb & Mason, Biscayne Building, Suite 1003, 19 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130, Attorneys for Colleen Foyo
Jeffrey Shapiro, Esq., Arnstein & Lehr, 801 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1501, Miami, Florida 33131, Attorneys for George and Mary Foyo;
James K. Clark, Esq., Clark, Robb, Mason & Coulombe, Biscayne Building, Suite 720, 19 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida 33130, Attorneys for George and Mary Foyo.
Description of Liability Aspect of Case:
This was an automobile crash claim and a claim against a bar for serving a minor. Colleen Foyo was the defendant driver who was driving while under the influence of alcohol and crashed her car into another car that the plaintiff, Renae Williams, was a passenger in. Renae Williams was single and 21 years of age at the time of the crash.
Plaintiff brought a claim against Colleen Foyo, the drunk driver, and her parents, Mary and George Foyo, because they were owners of the car. The case against the drunk driver and the owners of the car settled for $1,350,000 (this was $100,000 above and beyond the liability coverage).
The case continued against Gusto’s Bar & Grill which served Colleen Foyo alcohol. Colleen Foyo was a minor at the time she was drinking at the Gusto’s Bar.
The liability against the bar was based on the statutory exception enabling Renae Williams to bring a claim against Gusto’s for knowingly selling alcohol to a minor.
Description of Plaintiff:
Renae Williams as single 21 year old woman at the time she was involved in this tragic motor vehicle crash. Prior to the accident, Ms. Williams lived at home with her mother. She was an unemployed, high school graduate, looking for a job in computers.
Description of Injuries:
Renae Williams had numerous orthopedic injuries, they included bilateral pubic rami fractures, right ileum fracture extended to the acetabulum, right femur fracture, right radial fracture, C2 ring fracture. She also had abdominal injuries including retro peritoneal hematoma, liver laceration, mesenteric lacerations at the ileum. Renae also had neurologic injuries including a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Renae was treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital and also went through the Jackson Memorial Rehabilitation Program. She was hospitalized at Jackson Memorial Hospital from May 13, 1992 to July 2, 1999. She entered the hospital suffering from a coma rated under the Glasco Coma Scale at Number 5. She was ultimately discharged home on September 13, 1999 with an excellent recovery considering the nature of her injuries. She was treated by many of the attending physicians at the University of Miami along with numerous residents. The physicians are too many to mention.
Defense of this Claim:
The Plaintiff obtained a summary judgment with respect to the liability pertaining to the drunk driver and the defendant bar used the settlement with the defense as a buffer and claimed they would have a substantial set off. The defendant bar also claimed that there was an issue of causation claiming that Colleen Foyo had an unaccounted period of time after leaving the bar where they alleged that she continued to drink and the cause of the accident was not related to the drinking that occurred at the defendant bar.
There was no substantial claim for lost wages.
Plaintiff hired Miles Moss, accident reconstruction expert to assist in obtaining summary judgment. Plaintiff also retained Michael Morgenstern, Vocational Rehabilitation expert. the Plaintiff also hired a bar and tavern liability expert by the name of Fred Del Marva. Plaintiff also hired a toxicologist by the name of Bruce Goldberger from the University of Florida.
This case was settled with the defendants driver and owners of the car for $1,350,000.00, which is $100,000 greater than the insurance coverage available.
The case was settled against the defendant bar for $637,500.00, one day after mediation.
The total settlement, including interest earned the settled funds, exceeded $2,000,000.00.