Marion County

(18) YOLANDA ALDANA; LEYVIER HERRARRA, her Husband; and YOLANDA ALDANA, as Mother and Natural Guardian of K.M., a Minor; as Mother and Natural Guardian of A.M., a Minor; as Mother and Natural Guardian of A.A., a Minor; and as Mother and Natural Guardian of K.H., a Minor, vs. NATHAN T. PYLES and ALISHA M. PYLES (Circuit Court of Marion County, 5th Judicial Circuit, Florida)

 

County/Docket #/Judge: Marion / 14-2030-CAB / Lisa Herndon

 

Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s): John H. Piccin of Piccin & Glynn, Ocala, FL

 

Defendant(s) Attorney(s): Jeffrey E. Bigman of Smith, Stout, et al., P.A., Daytona Beach, FL

 

Age/Sex/Occupation Of Plaintiff: n/a

 

Cause Of Injury: Negligence/Motor Vehicles/Rear-End Collision/Traumatic Injuries to Family. On Dec. 6, 2013, Nathan T. Pyles was driving towards the intersection of Southeast Maricamp Road and 31st Street in Ocala, FL. He reportedly failed to apply his brakes and hit a Nissan Sentra from behind. Yolanda Aldana was driving the Nissan Sentra and her four children were in the car, ranging in age from 23 months to 12 years old. The family suffered numerous injuries, several requiring surgery, including traumatic brain injuries; spinal, rib, femur and pelvic fractures; collapsed lung; spleen and liver lacerations; and blunt force trauma. The youngest, K.H., was rendered a paraplegic with no use of his hands or any bladder or bowel control. The past medical bills were $500,592.72 and future medical costs for Aldana, K.H., and A.M. were estimated to be about $15,500,000. Pyle was reportedly ticketed for and found guilty of careless driving with serious bodily injuries and for not wearing a seat belt.

 

On Aug. 14, 2014, Aldana and Leyvier Herrarra, her husband, and Aldana as mother and natural guardian of her four minor children, filed an action against Pyles and Alisha M. Pyles. Alisha M. Pyles was later dropped as a defendant. On Oct. 10, 2014, defendants filed an answer generally denying the allegations and asserting affirmative defenses including contributory negligence, third party negligence, collateral source coverage, failure to state a claim, and failure to mitigate.

 

Nature Of Injury: Personal injuries including traumatic brain injuries; spinal, rib, femur and pelvic fractures; collapsed lung; spleen and liver lacerations; blunt force trauma; paraplegia; loss of consortium.

 

Expert Witnesses:

Plaintiff's:

Paul Bryan Kornberg, M.D., Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tampa, FL

Darlene Mae Carruthers, Life Care Planning, Buffalo, NY

Frederick A. Raffa, Ph.D., Economics, Orlando, FL

 

Defendant's:

Stephen E. Durham, Ph.D., Economics, Tampa, FL

Gerri Pennachio, M.A., Rehabilitation and Life Care Planning, Lakeland, FL

Trevor J. Resnick, M.D., Pediatric Neurology, Miami, FL

Troy D. Lowell, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Ocala, FL

Mike R. Schoenberg, Ph.D., Pediatric Neuropsychology, Tampa, FL

Mark Steven Chaet, M.D., Pediatric Surgery, Orlando, FL

 

Verdict: $51,813,592.72 for Plaintiffs on Feb. 27, 2017.

 

Editor’s Note: The jury awarded a total of $ 28,217,262.71 to K.H., including $217,262.71 for past medical expenses, $12,000,000 for future medical expenses, $3,000,000 for loss of ability to earn, $1,000,000 for past pain and suffering, and $12,000,000 for future pain and suffering; a total of $11,714,656.17 to A.M. including $214,656.17 for past medical expenses, $2,500,000 for future medical expenses, $1,000,000 for loss of ability to earn, $3,000,000 for past pain and suffering, and $5,000,000 for future pain and suffering; a total of $2,044,542.02 to K.M., including $44,542.02 for past medical expenses, $1,000,000 for past pain and suffering, and $1,000,000 for future pain and suffering; a total of $1,007,089.92 to A.A., including $7,089.92 for past medical expenses, $500,000 for past pain and suffering, and $500,000 for future pain and suffering; a total of $7,580,041.90 to Aldana, including $17,041.90 for past medical expenses, $1,000,000 for future medical expenses, $63,000 for past lost earnings, $500,000 for loss of ability to earn, $3,000,000 for past pain and suffering, and $3,000,000 for future pain and suffering; and a total of $1,250,000 to Leyvier Herrera for past and future loss of his wife's services, comfort, society, and attention.