The Louisiana Supreme Court recently released a ruling in a negligence lawsuit affirming a district court’s decision to award a plaintiff over $250,000 in damages as compensation for lost future earnings as a result of injuries that she had suffered due to the defendant’s negligence. The defendant appealed the district court’s ruling, claiming that the plaintiff was not employed when she suffered the injuries and that it was inappropriate for the court to award her future earnings as part of the damages award. Based on the high court’s ruling after the plaintiff’s appeal, the defendant will most likely be required to pay the damages awarded to the plaintiff.
The Plaintiff Suffered Serious Injuries While Rock Climbing
The plaintiff in the case of Fecke v. Louisiana State University was injured after she fell from a rock climbing wall that was operated by the defendant. The plaintiff alleged that an employee of the defendant acted negligently, causing her fall. She sought damages from the defendant to compensate her for the expenses and losses related to the injuries she suffered in the fall.
After a jury trial on the plaintiff’s claim, the defendant was found liable for her injuries and ordered to pay a total of approximately $1.44 million in damages to the plaintiff as compensation for their negligence. As part of the final verdict, the plaintiff was awarded $262,500 in compensation for future income that she would be unable to earn as a result of her injuries.
The Defendant Appeals the Verdict and Disputes the Future Earnings Award
The defendant appealed the jury verdict on several grounds. In part, the defendant challenged the propriety of the jury’s award for the plaintiff’s future earnings because she wasn’t employed when the accident occurred. The state supreme court evaluated the trial court’s decision to award the loss of future earnings, and it rejected the defendant’s arguments that the plaintiff should not receive the award. Although the plaintiff was not employed when the accident occurred, she was a student at the defendant’s university and was two weeks away from obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Since the plaintiff’s career prospects and earnings ability were negatively affected by the injuries she suffered, the high court determined that the award for future earnings was completely appropriate.
Florida Negligence Victims Are Entitled to Future Losses Reasonably Related to a Defendant’s Negligent Act
Similar to the plaintiff’s right to recover future earnings that was upheld by the high court in the case discussed above, Florida personal injury plaintiffs may be entitled to future earnings, whether they were employed at the time of an accident or not. Florida law requires claims for lost future earnings to be reasonably related to the plaintiff’s injuries and corroborated by evidence to justify the proposed calculations. If these requirements are met, a jury should be permitted to award future earnings to an injured or disabled plaintiff that exceed the amount the plaintiff was actually earning when the accident or injury occurred. A skilled Florida negligence attorney can assist an injured plaintiff in making a claim for the full amount of damages to which they may be entitled.
Contacting a Qualified South Florida Negligence Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by the negligent conduct of another person or entity, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the expenses and losses you endured. The qualified South Florida personal injury and negligence attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank assist injured people in seeking the compensation that they deserve. You may be entitled to a larger award than you think, and our skilled legal advocates can help you seek what you’re entitled to receive under the laws of our state. Contact us at 877-448-8585 or use our web-based form to get started on your claim today.
More Blog Posts:
Federal Court Refuses to Impose Sanctions Against Pharmacy for Destruction of Evidence in Prescription Error Lawsuit, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 4, 2016.
Court Upholds Verdict in Icy Road Car Accident Case, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published September 23, 2016.