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ARTICLE ID 195727

$________ GROSS – PREMISES LIABILITY – DANGEROUS CONDITION AT MIAMI CAR DEALERSHIP – PLAINTIFF STRUCK BY VEHICLE WHILE LOOKING AT NEW CARS – ANKLE FRACTURE – MULTIPLE SURGERIES PERFORMED – 15% LIABILITY ON DEALERSHIP.

Miami-Dade County, FL

This action arose when the plaintiff – a 52-year-old physician at the time – was struck by a motor vehicle while shopping for a car at the defendant car dealership in Miami, Florida. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant created a dangerous condition where customers leaving the premises were forced to drive past those customers looking at the cars for sale. The defendant argued that the accident was caused by the negligence of the plaintiff and the customer who struck him. The customer involved was not insured, and the plaintiff settled an uninsured motorist claim for $________ prior to trial.

The plaintiff testified that he was considering the purchase of a vehicle from the defendant dealership and was talking on his cell phone at the time of the accident. The uninsured driver/customer was at the location to purchase a part for his car and was exiting the facility when his vehicle drove over the back of the plaintiff’s ankle. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant created a dangerous condition where customers looked at cars on the side of an alley where motorists were required to exit to go back to Biscayne Boulevard. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant should have provided a safe viewing area, positioned warning cones at the location, or assigned a “flag man” to direct exiting traffic.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with a dislocated pylon fracture (where the femur meets the ankle). He underwent a total of five surgeries, but continues to walk with a limp. The plaintiff contended that he was unable to return to his position as the head of the anesthesiology department at a hospital. The plaintiff’s doctors testified that an ankle replacement is recommended. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was talking on his cell phone, stepped back into the alley, and was not watching for traffic. The jury viewed a surveillance video of the collision.

The defendant also maintained that the defendant driver was responsible for the collision as he admittedly saw the plaintiff in the area, and was driving a vehicle with a non-functioning horn.The jury found the uninsured driver 80% negligent, the defendant car dealership 15% negligent, and the plaintiff 5% comparatively negligent.

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