Marion County Jury Awards $2.5 Million Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

A Marion County jury has handed down a $2,500,000 verdict to an Avera & Smith client and the spouse of a patient who passed away after a family practice physician failed to identify the signs and symptoms of a deadly disease.

The Ocala jury determined, after a weeklong trial, that the patient’s physician did not meet the standard of care to his patient resulting in the patient’s death. By the time diagnostic tests were performed identifying the problem, the patient was already declining and near death.

Avera & Smith attorneys Mark Avera and Ben Steinberg tried this case to verdict with the support of Avera & Smith staff.

Avera & Smith has represented Floridians for more than 60 years with a legacy of personal service and genuine care for clients and the local community. Visit www.avera.com for more information.

Hill v. State Farm – Motor Vehicle Injury – Rod Smith and Benjamin Steinberg

Almost three years after suffering a traumatic brain injury which kept Mr. Hill from continuing his career as a schoolteacher, he learned that he had insurance available from State Farm. Instead of resolving the claim, the insurance company called him a “malingerer” and offered him only $500 for his damages – injury, wages, and pain and suffering. In response, he hired Avera & Smith. Rod Smith and Benjamin Steinberg took his case all the way through to a jury verdict in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida. The jurors disagreed with the insurance company’s evaluation and awarded our client a verdict of over $1,600,000.

Quiros v. Builders FirstSource, LLC – Workers’ Compensation / Personal Injury – Lance Avera and Benjamin Steinberg

When Mr. Quiros finished a long day of work and climbed into the van owned by his employer for his commute home, he had no idea his, his wife, and his three children’s lives would change in an instant. When his co-worker fell asleep at the wheel, the van violently rolled over, and Mr. Quiros suffered catastrophic injuries, including a significant brain injury. After his workers’ compensation benefits were wrongfully denied, Avera & Smith stepped in and brought suit against the responsible parties. Had he been confined to only a workers’ compensation claim, his wife and children would have been entitled to nothing as a result of his injuries. However, after an extremely complex case involving workers’ compensation and personal injury law, Lance Avera and Benjamin Steinberg were able to secure a recovery of over $11,000,000 to benefit his entire family.

Lucille Soffner vs R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company – Wrongful Death – Mark Avera, Rod Smith and Dawn Vallejos-Nichols

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Avera & Smith client Lucille Soffer in a case against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company that will have significant implications for other Engle progeny tobacco-related cases statewide. As a result, Avera & Smith will litigate the matter of punitive damages in the case before the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida, perhaps later this year. The Supreme Court ruling reversed a First District Court of Appeal decision in 2012 that affirmed the compensatory damages verdict in the case, but found that the plaintiff was not entitled to seek punitive damages on the unintentional tort claims for negligence and strict liability.

Hall Estate v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. – Wrongful Death – Rod Smith, Mark Avera, Dawn Vallejos-Nichols

Trial verdict in the amount of $17.5M to the estate of Lamar Hall, who died in 1995 of lung cancer related to nicotine addiction. This case was the first to be heard in North Central Florida after a landmark ruling by the Florida Supreme Court in 2006, in which the high court upheld a jury verdict finding tobacco companies liable for smoking-related injuries and deaths, but said that smokers and their families must bring individual suits to prove that smoking harmed them. In this case, and others following, attorneys challenge whether or not the tobacco company concealed or omitted information for decades regarding the dangerous health effects caused by cigarette smoking.