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SARASOTA, FL, June 19, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On May 6, 2010, a Sarasota, FL jury awarded Erica Gombash, a 31-year-old female who was struck by a drunk driver in 2006, a $96,855 gross verdict.
On December 9, 2006, Plaintiff, Erica Gombash, went to Siesta Key Village with friends to celebrate her birthday. At 1:30 am. Erica and her friends began crossing Ocean Boulevard at a marked crosswalk. The drunk driver, Mr. Brandon Ware, after driving home from a night of drinking, struck Ms. Gombash three-quarters of the way through the crosswalk. Mr. Ware, who declined to submit to a blood alcohol test, stated he never saw Erica. The impact of Mr. Ware's vehicle threw Ms. Gombash onto the windshield of the car and onto the street after braking and finally realizing he had hit Ms. Gombash.
Erica was taken to the emergency room by ambulance with immediate complaints of neck pain and bruises to her entire body. Erica received approximately four months of conservative medical care and was ultimately diagnosed by a board certified pain management specialist with traumatic cervical facet arthropathy. Ultimately, Ms. Gombash required cervical radiofrequency ablation. Two and one-half years later, Erica found herself in pain again requiring a second cervical radiofrequency ablation. With no insurance or ability to pay, Ms. Gombash was unable to proceed with a second procedure.
Through her attorneys, Jeffrey Luhrsen of Luhrsen Law Group, P.L., and co-counsel, Matthew Haynes, Ms. Gombash pursued Mr. Ware as 100% responsible for the crash because he was drunk and did not yield to Erica, a pedestrian rightfully in a crosswalk. Mr. Ware's attorney presented testimony from the emergency room physician that Erica had a blood alcohol content of .240 on the night she was hit. Mr. Ware's counsel argued that despite Ms. Gombash lawfully crossing the road at a marked crosswalk, Ms. Gombash was comparatively negligent, that her treatment was unnecessary, did not suffer from facet trauma or require a radiofrequency ablation, and did not suffer a permanent injury. Mr. Ware further alleged that Erica was partially at fault because she was intoxicated by alcohol at the time of the crash and did not take reasonable measures to avoid Mr. Ware's vehicle.
Attorney Jeff Luhrsen argued that despite her intoxication, Ms. Gombash had made the responsible decision to walk to her destination instead of drive, and that she was properly using the lighted crosswalk when she was hit.
Following a four-day trial in front of a jury comprised of four women and two men, Erica was awarded $96,855 (past medical expenses in the amount of $84,855.02 and future medical expenses of $12,000), and determined that although Ms. Gombash was walking in a crosswalk her own intoxication rendered her 10% negligent for being hit by Mr. Ware.
Luhrsen Law Group, with offices throughout Florida (principal office, Sarasota), specializes in personal injury cases, with an emphasis on those involving alcohol-related negligence. Attorney Jeffrey Luhrsen, a Tampa native, attended Stetson University College of Law and earned his post-graduate degree in Trial Advocacy from Temple University, with a focus on personal injury trial law. For more information, contact Jeffrey Luhrsen at (866) 957-4878 or go to www.luhrsen.com.
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