A Florida Appeals Court recently upheld a $65 Million Jury Verdict from Polk County, Florida, for a woman who was severely and permanently injured when she was 19-years-old. The verdict is said to be one of the largest for the relatively small Florida county with a population as of 2000, of just under 500,000 people.
The plaintiff in this case is a woman by the name of Kendra Lymon. Ms. Lymon was 19 when her Dodge Neon was traveling through an intersection in accordance with the green light giving her the right-of-way. Her compact car was struck by a tractor-trailer on August 21, 2007.
Ms. Lymon had a bright future, a future which would be forever changed by the horrific accident. At trial, her attorneys showed the jury that she was a high school graduate attending South Florida Community College and was studying psychology. Ms. Lymon was an exemplary individual who spoke six languages and worked as an aide at the Florida Institute of Neurologic Rehabilitation.
After the accident her injuries, including severe brain damage, left her unable to care for herself. Her mother testified at trial that Ms. Lymon requires constant supervision. It was this tremendous change from what could have been to what is that helped the Polk County jury render such a large verdict. Defense attorneys argued that it was excessive and should have been reduced by the trial court judge. However, the Court of Appeals took only one page to uphold the jury’s decision and ensure that Ms. Lymon’s right to have her case heard by a jury would not be tarnished.