Kansas R. Gooden and Kevin D. Franz recently obtained a per curiam affirmance from the Third District Court of Appeal of a total defense jury verdict in an automobile accident case. The allegedly injured driver sued the driver and owner of the vehicle. The Plaintiff admitted that the accident happened while driving under 5 mph. The Defendants admitted liability for the accident but disputed that Plaintiff’s claimed injuries were caused by the accident. Evidence at trial reflected that Plaintiff’s claimed injuries were a result of a prior severe accident in 2012 and that he embellished the severity of his injuries. Furthermore, the Plaintiff did not reveal the extent of his 2012 injuries to the physicians who treated him for the 2014 accident. The jury found that the 2014 accident was not the cause of his claimed injuries.
The Plaintiff appealed arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in allowing evidence of the 2012 accident. He also claimed that closing argument on behalf of the defense was improper and prejudiced his claim. On appeal, we argued that the Plaintiff failed to preserve any of his arguments in the trial court, and regardless, that the arguments were meritless. The appellate court issued a per curiam affirmance upholding the jury’s verdict and the final judgment in favor of the Defendants. The Court also issued an order provisionally awarding appellate attorney’s fees.
Kansas Gooden is a Board Certified Appellate Specialist, AV rated, and serves as the firm’s appellate practice group leader. She has extensive experience handling all types of civil appellate proceedings, including extraordinary writs and plenary appeals, in state and federal courts. She also provides trial and litigation support to attorneys throughout the state. Kansas is highly involved in the state and local bar associations and has served in many leadership roles. She currently is the Chair of the FDLA’s Amicus Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the organization. Kansas is a frequent lecturer and travels the state presenting seminars and presentations on various topics to both attorneys and adjusters.
Kevin Franz is a senior associate in the appellate practice group. His practice focuses on insurance defense with an emphasis on litigation support and appeals. Kevin has received the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating. He has handled appellate proceedings in all five District Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
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