Duval County

(8) JOSHUA MATTHEWS vs. JENSENS LIQUOR STORE, INC. d/b/a PETE’S BAR et al. (Court of Duval County, 4th Judicial Circuit, Florida)

County/Docket #/Judge: Duval / 2013-CA-5112 / Tatiana Salvador

Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s): Michael S. Pajcic, Stephen J. Pajcic, III, Robert J. Link, Raymond P. Reid, Jr., and Benjamin E. Richard of Pajcic & Pajcic, P.A., Jacksonville, FL

Defendant(s) Attorney(s): Joseph T. Kissane and Blake H. Cole of Cole, Scott, et al., P.A., Jacksonville, FL

Age/Sex/Occupation Of Plaintiff: 34 / M / n/a

Cause Of Injury: Negligence/Premises Liability/Inadequate Security/Patron Struck during Bar Fight. On July 22, 2012, plaintiff Joshua Matthews was at Pete’s Bar in Neptune Beach, FL. An altercation between customers broke out near the front door of the bar, and Joshua was punched, causing his head to strike the ground. Joshua suffered a traumatic brain injury, vision loss, partial paralysis, and partial loss of speech, among other injuries, as a result.

Plaintiff filed a complaint on May 17, 2013, against defendant Jensens Liquor Store, owner of Pete’s Bar, claiming that defendant was negligent in failing to provide adequate security and failing to properly train its bouncers. Defendant claimed that plaintiff himself was negligent in that he was drunk and could have avoided the fight.

Nature Of Injury: Traumatic brain injury causing limited speech (severe expressive aphasia); right-side vision loss; weakness; mobility challenges; seizures; cognitive deficits; pain and suffering; lost wages; loss of earning capacity.

Expert Witnesses:
Plaintiff's:
Craig Lichtblau, M.D., Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, North Palm Beach, FL
Frederick Raffa, Ph.D., Economics, Orlando, FL

Defendant's:
Michael Shahnasarian, Ph.D., Life Care Planning, Tampa, FL

Verdict: $18,740,000 for Plaintiff on Oct. 31, 2016 ($1,300,000 – past medical expenses; $5,000,000 – future medical expenses; $90,000 – past lost earnings; $1,350,000 – future lost earnings; $8,000,000 – past pain and suffering; $3,000,000 – future pain and suffering).

Editor’s Note: The jury found defendant 60% at fault, and plaintiff 40% at fault. The verdict amount was prior to reduction for plaintiff’s comparative negligence.