Broward Jury Awards Quadriplegic $31.45 Million in I-95 Wreck

Posted By Daily Business Review | 9-Nov-2010

Wendy Whitney of Jacksonville was driving a 2008 Kia Sedona minivan with her 2-year-old daughter in a child safety seat when she rear-ended a 1996 Toyota Corolla in the slow lane in Deerfield Beach.

The Corolla was moving about 50 mph, and the Sedona was doing about 75 mph when they collided, said Scott Henratty, co-counsel for the plaintiff. Stephen Malove also worked the case. Both attorneys are with Stephen Malove & Associates in Fort Lauderdale.

Whitney was distracted at the time of collision but never explained why to the jurors, Henratty said.

“The jury wanted to know that,” Henratty said. “There was talk she may have been talking on the phone, or she was distracted by the baby. It was never explained.”

There were three people in the Toyota, and Milien was the only one in the back seat. An expert witness said a seat belt would not have helped. Milien’s neck was snapped when the Sedona crushed the Corolla’s trunk and pushed the roof down onto his head.

Milien, a father of eight, lives at the Florida Institute for Neurological Rehabilitation in Wauchula.

“It’s an advanced rehab center for quadriplegic and brain-damaged patients,” Henratty said. “Milien needs 24/7, round the-clock care. The man can’t do anything for himself. He has no feeling below the neck.”

Expert Witnesses testified his life was shortened by two to eight years, and he has a life expectancy of 6 to 15 years.

Damages were separated into 53 percent for pain and suffering, with the remainder covering past and future medical expenses.
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