Sampling of Settlements and Verdicts at the Law Office of David Gorewitz:

Maritime employee, Amputated Thumb: $650,000 settlement

Plaintiff was fifty-five year old able-bodied seaman working on his employer’s tugboat when the Captain, in rough weather, attempted to dock (hip up) to a barge.  Because of the movement of the vessel, Plaintiff stumbled forward wherein his hand became entangled in a tow line, which upon tightening amputated Plaintiff’s dominant thumb.  Thereafter, Plaintiff’s employer failed to follow up with adequate or proper medical care, aggravating the extent of the injury.

Plaintiff brought a lawsuit against his employer alleging Jones Act Negligence, Failure to pay adequate Maintenance and Cure and Unseaworthiness.  Plaintiff claimed the action of the Captain in attempting to dock with the barge in rough weather and high seas was negligent because the Plaintiff was not properly trained for his job under such conditions. 

Employer claimed Plaintiff was totally responsible for the accident for failing to do his job in a seaman like manner.

Plaintiff claimed loss of earning capacity, loss employment opportunities, disability and mental distress and pain and suffering from the loss of his thumb. Plaintiff further sought punitive damages pursuant to maritime law due to the egregious manner in which he was treated by his employer, who refused to provide adequate medical treatment after the injury.  Employer denied any aggravation of the Plaintiff’s injuries due to its conduct, asserted Plaintiff needed no additional medical care and that he was earning more money in a new job than before the accident.  Employer also claimed that Plaintiff had only lost two weeks’ worth of work for which he received generous maintenance and cure payments.

Plaintiff was prepared to prove future surgeries on his thumb could exceed the cost of $200,000 and demanded a settlement in excess of seven figures due to his injuries and the aggravating element of employer’s conduct after the incident, but elected to accept a settlement of $650,000.00 in 2016, for a relatively rapid termination of the claim.

When we last spoke with Plaintiff, he was leaving for an overseas job expected to last six or more months and was very happy he had accepted arguably less than full value for his claim because he was able to fund the purchase of a house for his daughter and parents and still had money in the bank. 

Maritime employee / Bridge Worker who suffered a fractured leg and subsequently a sub-dural hematoma due to blood thinner therapy:  9,000,000.00 + Settlement.  

Plaintiff was assisting in the construction of a bridge over the Intercostal Waterway in St. Augustine Florida when he broke his leg due to the negligence of his employer.  Plaintiff was inspecting a cement post of the Bridge when the operator of a man-basket being operated from a barge, accidentally pinned the Plaintiff between the man-basket and the cement post, breaking his leg.

Plaintiff was treated as a land-based Worker’s Compensation employee by his employer and was provided treatment for his broken leg, including the use of blood thinners.  While on the blood thinners, Plaintiff tripped and fell, suffering a significant subdural hematoma, damaging portions of the frontal-lobe of Plaintiff’s brain.

Plaintiff hired David Gorewitz who brought a lawsuit against employer for Jones Act negligence, or alternatively for injuries caused by the negligence of a vessel pursuant to the Longshore Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act under Section 905(B) of that act.  

Defendant moved to Dismiss the case claiming immunity under the Florida Worker’s Compensation Act.  The Dismissal was denied and after months of litigation, the Defendant stipulated to the Plaintiff being a Jones Act Seaman under the Federal Maritime Law, not subject to the protections of the Worker’s Compensation act. 

Thereafter Employer defended the case by denying liability and denying causation.  Employer claimed Plaintiff tripped and fell because he was drinking heavily and that it was not liable for either the initial accident or the subsequent brain injury.

Plaintiffs’s counsel thereafter teamed up with an attorney who specialized in prosecuting brain damage cases. Plaintiff’s counsel focused on proving the negligence of the Defendant and his co-counsel focused on proving the extent of the medical damages and future economic losses as a result.  

The case settled in 2014 for an amount exceeding $9,000,000 dollars and all liens were waived by the worker’s compensation carrier for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical and hospital bills.

Maritime employee injured when he fell from a cargo box on a merchant marine vessel.  2,000,000 settlement:

Plaintiff was a Jones Act seaman when he fell from the top of a Container on a container ship, injuring his back and resulting in multiple surgeries.  Plaintiff eventually settled his case with his employer for 2,000,000.00 dollars.

Maritime employee injured in the scope of his employment.  Plaintiff was compelled to do heavy labor resulting in a ruptured disk and eventually back surgery.  Plaintiff sued in Jones Act negligence and settled his claim for $800,000.00

Maritime employee injured while working as a Nurse on Merchant Vessel: Plaintiff fell down a defectively maintained stairs and fractured her wrist. During Trial, case settled for close to $300,000.00

Auto Accident: Young Minor, thirteen years old,  drove his grandfather’s ATV into a busy highway, was struck by a car, and lost not only his spleen but his leg below the knee.  Total Recovery 1.3 million dollars.

Plaintiff’s counsel was hired shortly after this tragic accident, and David Gorewitz immediately retained an accident reconstruction expert to analyze the highway and the possible negligence of the driver who struck the Plaintiff.  A significant contributory cause to the accident was overgrown shrubbery on a road on which the Plaintiff was driving his grandfather’s ATV, possibly obstructing visibility of the stop-sign.  The case was made more difficult when a County Court convicted the minor Plaintiff of failing to observe roadway signs and violating the right of way of the Defendant Driver.

Eventually Plaintiff recovered policy limits from the driver of the vehicle who struck him, from the homeowner’s insurance company of the owner of the ATV due to lack of supervision, and against the owner of the property where shrubbery was obstructing the stop sign, for a total recovery of 1.3 million.  

Plaintiff’s counsel also litigated with Florida Medicaid and pursuant to Court Order after hearing, received a very significant reduction in the amount due Medicaid.  Plaintiff claimed the amount recovered was signficantly less than the total amount of damages and therefore the Medicaid lien must also be proportionally reduced.  Medicaid refused to negotiate with Plaintiff and litigation and a trial was unavoidable on the issue.

INSURANCE DISPUTE: Plaintiff was injured in an automobile accident.  Plaintiff sought PIP benefits for lost wages under his no-fault insurance.  The Insurer refused to pay.  Verdict in favor of Plaintiff. Appeal rejected.  Insurer was responsible to pay Plaintiff’s attorney fees.

In this case, the Plaintiff drove a Taxi for a living and after he was injured sought wage loss benefits under his personal injury protection insurance due to his missing two weeks of work.  Plaintiff’s insurer, responsible for personal injury protection benefits,  demanded tax returns before paying wage loss benefits.  Plaintiff, from Jamaica, did not file tax returns, but a statement from his taxi-employer was provided indicating Plaintiff earned approximately $50.00 per day.  Insurer rejected this proof and refused to pay lost wage benefits.

Plaintiff  brought a lawsuit against his insurer and rather than simply pay the $500.00 sought for lost wages, the insurer took a scorched earth policy and refused to pay, instead electing to defend the claim.  Eventually Plaintiff  won the case at trial, and subsequently defendant’s appeal was rejected and the trial Court Judgment affirmed.  
Over what should have been a simple case and only $500.00 at issue, Plaintiff’s insurer ended up paying a very large attorney fee due to its intransigence and refusal to act reasonably. 

INSURANCE: Insurer rescinded homeowners coverage after a house fire: Ultimate recovery by Plaintiff was approximately $100,000.  Insurer paid Plaintiffs’s attorney fees in addition and Plaintiff paid nothing from her settlement for attorney fees.

Plaintiff purchased Home Owner’s insurance from an insurance company to protect the purchase of a new house. Several months later, Plaintiff suffered a house fire and when claim was made to the Insurance Company, it rescinded its coverage by claiming Plaintiff had misrepresented material facts when she applied for Insurance.  

Plaintiff hired David Gorewitz, who after reviewing the application for insurance, concluded Plaintiff had not materially misrepresented any facts in her application.

David Gorewitz, on behalf of his client, filed a complaint with the Florida Insurance Commissioner, who in response, sided with the decision of the Insurance Company.

Plaintiff brought a lawsuit against her insurance company and after what amounted to a war of litigation, the case was tried to a Brevard County Jury, and the Jury found in favor of the Plaintiff and against the Insurer.  

In the interim, because Plaintiff could not live in her house and was renting another, she stopped paying her mortgage and the house was foreclosed upon.

The insurer did not go down without a fight.  It raised additional defenses such as the mortgage holder on the foreclosed upon house was entitled to a significant portion of the proceeds because Plaintiff no longer owned the property.  After the insurer filed an appeal, in Court Ordered mediation, the insurer finally agreed to pay all of the Plaintiff’s damages and pre-verdict interest from the date of the fire, as well as all of the Plaintiff’s attorney fees. Therefore, the Plaintiff received a full recovery and did not need to pay for her attorney out of her recovery.

INSURANCE:  Insurer refused to pay for the no-fault benefits for plaintiff’s injuries, claiming that plaintiff was not an insured under the policy of insurance since the vehicle she was driving was owned by her husband’s “corporation”, and she could not be the resident relative of a corporation. The Court granted Plaintiff Summary Judgment in her favor. Insurer paid Plaintiffs’s attorney fees in addition and Plaintiff paid nothing from his settlement for attorney fees

Plaintiff  brought suit against the insurer and eventually, after significant litigation, the Court granted a Summary Judgment, in 2016, against the Defendant insurer. The insurer decided not to appeal and it has paid all of the damages due the Plaintiff.  The issue of attorney fees is subject to a Court hearing arising in the near term future.  Insurer agrees that it owes attorney fees but denies the Plaintiff’s attorney is entitled to the amount sought.

1900 S. Harbour City Blvd. 
Suite 129 
Melbourne, Florida, 32901

(321) 984-0046

David Gorewitz P.A. 

Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer