Robert Robertson seems like a typical member of the South Beach, Florida health and fitness community. He works as a personal trainer and massage therapist for celebrities and other wealthy clients at a number of luxury hotels.
One night while riding his scooter to work, as he traversed a section of pavement being resurfaced by Maggolc, a general engineering and road construction company located in Miami, he hit a protruding manhole cover–causing him to fall from the scooter and sustain injuries.
He sued Maggolc for his past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and lost future earning capacity. The jury returned a verdict totaling $532,294.54 for him, as follows:
- Past Medical Expenses of $17,294.54
- Future Medical Expenses of $20,000.00
- Pain and Suffering of $250,000.00
- Past Lost Wages of $85,000.00
- Future Lost Earnings of $160,000.00
What makes this case interesting to me, as a personal injury lawyer in Miami, was Mr. Robertson’s claim for lost wages and the jury’s verdict.
PROVING LOST WAGES CLAIMS IN A MIAMI PERSONAL INJURY CASE NO DOCUMENTATION OR TAX RETURNS
Mr. Robertson had not filed any tax returns and produced no bank records, Social Security earning history, receipt books, credit card slips, client lists, appointment books, or any other form of documentation to prove his lost wages.
Moreover, he did not possess a license to perform massages in the State of Florida, and instead testified he was permitted to “touch people for money” because of his credentials as an ordained minister. Notwithstanding this lack of proof, both the Miami-Dade Jury and Trial Judge Spencer Eig believed him, as reflected in the verdict.
APPELLATE COURT OPINION
Unconvinced, Maggolc appealed to the notoriously pro-defendant Third District Court of Appeal–and its opinion, I happily admit, surprised me, a personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL. The Third District Court of Appeal held that no court in Florida has ever determined that a claim for an individual’s lost past earnings must be supported by documentary evidence or that the failure to file income tax returns precludes recovery.
I have represented thousands of individuals in personal injury claims across the State of Florida, many of whom were either unemployed or had never filed tax returns. I recall a particular case where a judge even threatened to report my client to the IRS for failing to file tax returns—forcing me to move for her to recuse herself as the judge, which she refused to do.
This outcome surprises me, but it reinforces the vital importance of a jury system in resolving these kinds of disputes. I, a Miami personal injury attorney, applaud the Third District Court for not disturbing the verdict of the six members of our community, based upon the evidence and credibility of the witness.
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YOUR FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION-305-441-0440
If you have been injured in a scooter or motorcycle accident in Florida because of an improperly constructed or maintained parking lot or road, please Email me, Spencer Aronfeld a Miami accident attorney, or contact our Miami Beach personal injury lawyers at 305-441-0440 or Toll Free at 1-866-597-4529 to find out if you have a case. You may be entitled to money for lost and future wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
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