Florida State Jury Awards College Student $ 1.1 Million Against Landlord And Fraternity After Balcony Broke, Causing Student Fall And Broken Neck At Party
In 2009, defendant Shahab Derazi purchased a two-story residential home at a foreclosure sale. Between 2009 and 2013, Derazi rented the home to tenants but did not have the home inspected. In June of 2013, Derazi received complaints from his tenant, defendant Daniel Diaz, regarding disrepair of a second-story deck attached to the home. Derazi hired an unlicensed contractor to make repairs, and no permit for the work was obtained. On Sept. 13, 2013, Diaz had a social event at the home to welcome new members to defendant Pi Kappa Phi (PKP) fraternity. Plaintiff Amanda Fournier, a college freshman, was standing on the second-floor balcony when the railing broke free, causing her to fall to the ground. Plaintiff suffered compression fractures in her neck and back as a result of the fall.
Plaintiff filed a premises liability action against Diaz, PKP, and Derazi on Dec. 11, 2013, in the Circuit Court of Duval County, FL. Diaz and PKP were dismissed with prejudice on Aug. 6, 2015, and plaintiff's claim against Derazi proceeded to a jury trial before Judge Karen Cole. On July 17, 2017, the jury returned a verdict of $ 1,105,547.88 for plaintiff, including $ 145,547.88 in past medical expenses; $ 60,000 in future medical expenses; $ 600,000 in past pain and suffering; and $ 300,000 in future pain and suffering. The jury found Derazi 80% liable, plaintiff 5% liable, and PKP 15% liable.
Plaintiff was represented by Mark A. Avera and Rod Smith of Avera & Smith, LLP. Defendants were represented by R. Daniel Noey and Wesley D. Fina of Schutt, Schmidt, & Noey and Michael L. Glass and Paul M. Eza of Stone, Glass, & Connolly, LLP.
Lexis Advance Subscribers may view the complete summary, including expert information, here: Amanda N. Fournier v. Daniel A. Diaz, Pi Kappa Phi, and Shahab Derazi; 2017 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 2246.
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