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

A Marion County jury handed down a $2,500,000 verdict to an Avera & Smith client who was 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 week-long trial, that the patient’s physician failed to meet the required standard of care, resulting in the patient’s death. By the time diagnostic tests were performed identifying the problem, the patient was already 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 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 personal injury, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. 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 the passenger seat of van owned by his employer for his commute home, he had no idea that his life, and the lives of his wife and three children, 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.

Farmer v. Safeco – Personal Injury – Lance Avera

In a case in which the Plaintiff’s foot was run over by the Defendant driver while attending a parade, Lance Avera negotiated a settlement in the amount of $500,000 where the insurance policy limits were only $25,000.

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

The Florida Supreme Court 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. The Supreme Court ruling reversed a First District Court of Appeal decision from 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.