Alachua County

(1) OLIVIA CLARK vs. TANYA DARLENE CHAPPELL and SECURE INVESTMENTS REALTY AND MANAGEMENT CORP. (Circuit Court of Alachua County, 8th Judicial Circuit, Florida)

 

County/Docket #/Judge: Alachua / 2014CA003908 / Toby Monaco

 

Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s): Howard G. Butler and Drew W. Baskin of Butler Law Group, Jacksonville, FL

 

Defendant(s) Attorney(s): Michael Donsky, Christopher Long, and Eric Neiberger of Dell Graham, P.A., Gainesville, FL

 

Age/Sex/Occupation Of Plaintiff: n/a / F / n/a

 

Cause Of Injury: Negligence/Motor Vehicles/Rear-End Collision/Distraction with Mobile Device. On April 8, 2014, plaintiff Olivia Clark was operating a motor vehicle when she was rear-ended by a vehicle being operated by defendant Tanya Darlene Chappell. Plaintiff claimed that Chappell failed to brake before the collision and struck her vehicle with such force that she pushed plaintiff into the vehicle in front of her. Plaintiff further claimed that Chappell was working for defendant Secure Investments Realty and Management Corp. at the time of the collision, using the vehicle as a mobile office and allegedly sending and viewing emails while she was driving.

 

Plaintiff filed a complaint against defendants asserting negligence and wantonness claims and seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Plaintiff claimed that Chappell deleted evidence of her cell phone activity at the time of the collision.

 

Nature Of Injury: Personal injuries to back, neck, spine, and shoulder; pain and suffering.

 

Expert Witnesses:

Plaintiff's:

Vicente M. Rosado, Computer, Digital Data, and Cell Phone Forensics, Jacksonville, FL

Chet Tomlinson, Accident Reconstruction, Saint Johns, FL

Richard J. Boehme, M.D., Ph.D., Biomechanics, Jacksonville Beach, FL

 

Defendant's:

David Rosenbach, M.D., Radiology, Tampa, FL

Dwayne Denney, Mobile Forensics, Valrico, FL

 

Verdict: $735,000 for Plaintiff on Jan. 13, 2017 ($350,000 – future medical expenses; $25,000 – past pain and suffering; $360,000 – future pain and suffering).

 

Editor’s Note: The jury found Chappell 90% negligent and Secure Investments 10% negligent. The jury declined to award punitive damages.