David Sweat, an attorney with the Port Orange-based law firm of Rue & Ziffra, wrapped up an emotional 2½-year-old wrongful-death motorcycle accident case last week with a Volusia County circuit civil court jury awarding his client – a 5-year-old girl – damages of $1 million.
The judge entered a directed verdict on the issue of liability in favor of the plaintiffs prior to closing arguments.
The victim – a 23-year-old Palm Coast man – died in Daytona Beach on May 30, 2007, when according to police reports, the defendant in the case failed to yield the right of way to the victim and turned left, striking the victim and his motorcycle at the intersection of Clyde Morris Blvd. and the entrance to Halifax Medical Center.
In addition to the $1 million awarded to the victim’s daughter, Sweat said the victim’s parents each will receive $500,000, and more than $4,200 was allowed for funeral costs, and nearly $794,000 awarded to the estate for “economic damages.”
“While neither this, nor any amount of money will ever bring back the father and son lost in this tragic accident, I am very satisfied that the jury awarded this child double what we had asked for,” Sweat said at the conclusion of the one-day trial.
The suit – which originally was filed in circuit civil court and removed to federal court before being remanded back to circuit civil court – carries among one of the largest verdicts received by the firm.