$6.3 million – Trucking Accident Settlement
The Plaintiff was involved in a major commercial trucking accident on I-95 involving multiple vehicles. As a result of the negligence of the commercial vehicle, two individuals were killed and two others sustained injuries. Nance Cacciatore was asked by the surviving parents of one of the decedents, who was in his early twenties, to represent them in this complex case against multiple corporate and commercial defendants. Nance Cacciatore teamed up with two other Central Florida law firms to bring lawsuits on behalf of the families of the two deceased motorists and the severely injured victims. As a result of the intense pressure brought on the various defendants, the insurance companies tendered their collective insurance limits of $6,300,000.00. Sammy Cacciatore and Jamie Nance secured in excess of $2,000,000.00 of the gross settlement on behalf of the parents of this young man.
$2.55 Million – Semi-tractor & Automobile Collision Settlement
S. Sammy Cacciatore was retained by the family for the death of the patriarch and matriarch of the family. The deceased was 75 years of age and a retired postal worker. His wife was also 75 years of age and together they were survived by three adult children in their forties and several grandchildren. They were driving north on Interstate 95. As they approached the Beeline Expressway along with two other vehicles, a semi-tractor trailer traveling southbound failed to notice a white car that pulled out from the median shoulder. Because of his inattention, the truck driver never reduced speed but rather turned into the median, crossing it and jack-knifing the trailer across both of the northbound lanes, instantly throwing a “barndoor” across the lane that our client’s vehicle was traveling. There was an instant collision and our client had no time to take any evasive action.
The truck driver testified that he had noticed the white car parked in the median shoulder over 1300 feet earlier. Another truck driver ahead of him testified that he, too, had noticed this car and had moved into the right lane with no problems. Furthermore, the truck involved had various violations of truck regulations including faulty front axle brakes that would have put it out of service. The defense claimed that this was a sudden pull out and that there was nothing the truck driver could have done to avoid this wreck.
This case was consolidated with the cases of the other victims. S. Sammy Cacciatore was one of the lead counsels in preparing this case for trial. Because of the positions taken by the truck driver and the company for which he was driving, it was a technical case involving trucking experts, accident reconstructionists, trucking regulation experts and depositions from various witnesses and truck drivers from all over the country. A trucking expert testified that as a professional driver, the defendant had a responsibility to keep alert of hazards and potential hazards ahead.
A car sitting in the median was a potential hazard and as the other truck drivers had done, should have been anticipated. The defendant had not considered that vehicle as a hazard and never slowed down. When the vehicle did start to pull out, he testified that the defendant’s actions were also inappropriate because he did not attempt to stop and went into the median which posed a significant danger to oncoming traffic.
A professional engineer was hired to reconstruct the accident. From his reconstruction, it was established that if the defendant had applied his brakes, this tragedy could have been avoided. The defense in the case also hired a professional engineer to reconstruct the accident. Under careful cross-examination, the professional engineering expert for the defense actually admitted that had the defendant simply applied his brakes instead of taking the action that he did, he would have been able to stop without striking the white car.
On the morning of trial just before the selection of the jury, the defendants finally settled the case. On behalf of the adult three children, Nance Cacciatore was able to obtain a total settlement of $2,550,000.00.
$800,000 – Truck Accident settlement
Jack Hamilton recovered $800,000.00 for the Plaintiff who was injured when an FPL truck backed into his pickup. The Plaintiff incurred injuries to his low back as well as his neck and several years later underwent surgery in both areas. The case was settled prior to trial at a mediation conference.
$335,000 – Van & Tractor Collision Verdict
The Plaintiff was one of five passengers in a Plymouth van that was rear-ended by a 1985 Peterbilt tractor that was “bobtailing”, or traveling without a trailer attached. The vehicles were traveling on S.R. 192 when the accident occurred near camp Holly on the St. John’s River in Brevard County.
The collision was quite significant. The Plaintiff was seated on the floor of the van as one of the seats had been removed prior to taking this trip.The Plaintiff suffered transverse spinous process fractures at L1 through L4 that were minimally displaced. In addition, two years before the trial, he began to develop a sporadic problem with a left foot drop phenomenon. However, all diagnostic studies performed to date were essentially normal.
While the defense expert, an orthopedic surgeon, testified that the Plaintiff had not suffered a permanent injury as a result of this accident, Nance Cacciatore’s expert physician disagreed.
The Plaintiff’s expert, a neurosurgeon, testified that the Plaintiff had indeed suffered a permanent injury as a result of this accident. It was his opinion that the Plaintiff would need updated MRI scans of his spine, as well as updated nerve testing of his upper and lower extremities. These would be done in an effort to pinpoint the source of his underlying radiating problems.