A Miami-Dade jury has awarded $14.5 million against Geico to a former chiropractor who was severely injured in a highway collision with an uninsured motorist.
Jurors sided with Dr. David Zucker and his wife on Monday in awarding $14.5 million for past and future lost earnings, medical expenses, pain and suffering. Zucker suffered permanent spinal and urologic injuries in the collision near the Golden Glades interchange in December 2004. The award included $2.5 million to his wife and passenger, Carrie Zucker, for loss of consortium. She was pregnant at the time.
The Zuckers were represented by Crane Johnstone and Charles Patrick of the Schlesinger Law Offices in Fort Lauderdale in the trial before Judge John Schlesinger.
Miguel Gonzalez collided with Juan Chirino, who was driving an 18-wheel tanker. The impact sent Gonzalez’s vehicle careening across three lanes of traffic before crashing head on into Zucker’s car.
Gonzalez was uninsured, while Chirino was underinsured. Carrying uninsured motorist benefits, the Zuckers filed a claim against Geico, their insurer. The couple sued after Geico refused to pay.
The jury found Gonzalez fully responsible for the accident, which put Geico on the hook for the award.
GEICO was represented by James Clark of Clark, Robb, Mason, Coulombe, Buschman & Charbonnet in Miami. Clark said GEICO plans to appeal