Two Florida bars must pay $30.8 million to a woman who suffered a severe brain injury in a hit-and-run crash, a jury ruled.
On a November night in 2014, a young man who was 20 at the time was drinking at a bar near the Florida State University (FSU) campus in Tallahassee. An 18-year-old woman was drinking at a different bar. She was in the city to visit her brother, a student at the university.
After leaving the bar, the woman was walking on West Pensacola Street in Tallahassee when she was struck by a car driven by the young man. He fled the scene.
Since the accident, the woman has been mostly bedridden. She is unable to speak or take care of herself.
The man was arrested, convicted and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
In this case, the bar that served the young woman took responsibility for serving alcohol to her. The owner of the bar that served the man said he was not drunk when he hit the woman.
The man said he had four or five beers over four hours, and it was argued in court by the bar that the woman was negligent and the man couldn’t avoid the accident as he drove.
Representatives for the woman’s family, however, argued that the man was driving at least 15 mph over the speed limit. They stated that he could have avoided the accident had he not been underage and served by a bar, which left him intoxicated.
The jury awarded a verdict that will cover the medical care the brain-damaged woman will require throughout her life. Accident victims deserve just compensation for the damages and injuries they suffer from others’ negligent actions.