Personal Injury Settlements
$10.3 Million – Condominium Collapses
The attorneys at Nance Cacciatore have assisted a great number of victims who have sustained personal injury due to the carelessness of others. We have the knowledge and legal experience to assist our clients in gaining the compensation that they deserve due to other people’s negligence.
In December of 1983, Nance Cacciatore was one of three law firms that secured a $10.3 million settlement for victims of the Harbour Cay Condo that collapsed, resulting in 11 deaths and a number of injuries.
$6.3 million – Trucking Accident Settlement
The Nance Cacciatore law firm has assisted many clients over the years who have been tragically affected by the negligence of tractor trailers over the years.
The Plaintiff was involved in a major commercial trucking accident on I-95 involving multiple vehicles. As a result of the negligence of the commercial vehicle, two individuals were killed and two others sustained injuries. Nance Cacciatore was asked by the surviving parents of one of the decedents, who was in his early twenties, to represent them in this complex case against multiple corporate and commercial defendants. Nance Cacciatore teamed up with two other Central Florida law firms to bring lawsuits on behalf of the families of the two deceased motorists and the severely injured victims. As a result of the intense pressure brought on the various defendants, the insurance companies tendered their collective insurance limits of $6,300,000.00. Sammy Cacciatore secured in excess of $2,000,000.00 of the gross settlement on behalf of the parents of this young man.
$5 Million – Pedestrian Death Trial
It’s a sobering thought when you realize how dangerous Brevard streets and roadways can be for pedestrians. Those who choose to go out for a leisurely walk or jog can sustain all manner of injuries and sadly can even be fatally injured.
The defendant was home in Merritt Island on Spring Break from the University of Florida. At approximately 11:10 a.m., she went for a jog near Rotary Park on S. Courtenay Parkway and, while on the bike path, a dump truck operated by one of Defendant’s employees lost control, flipped on its side, and careened off the road onto the bike path, striking the decedent. She was transported by air ambulance to an Orlando hospital and declared brain dead.
Life support was disconnected and an organ donation was made. The defendant driver claimed that his vehicle was overloaded with fill dirt, causing his vehicle to “float.” The driver had been driving the dump truck for nearly thirty miles in that alleged condition. Eyewitnesses claimed that the driver was traveling in excess of forty-five mph in a thirty-five mph zone. The Defendant alleged comparative negligence against Crusher Siteworks, Inc. (a non-party entity that had loaded the dirt into the dump truck two hours previous to the accident).
Nance Cacciatore and S. Sammy Cacciatore obtained a jury verdict of $5,053,000. They had previously filed a proposal for settlement with the Court for $3,000,000 which was rejected by the defense. This jury verdict resulted in the defense having to pay significant attorney’s fees and costs in addition to the verdict.
$3 million – Automobile Accident/Wrongful Death
Due to the carelessness of others personal injury and death can occur at an alarming rate. The attorneys at Nance Cacciatore understands that those who are negligent need to be held accountable. We have the experience and resources to handle wrongful death cases of all types.
The Plaintiff was returning from a vacation on Sanibel Island with his wife and their five-year-old son, when a logging truck — overloaded by 6,000 pounds — caused a terrible accident. The logging truck hit a dairy truck, which was forced into their car. Our client tried to pull over and get out of the way, but the dairy truck was forced into his car, killing him instantly. Fortunately, the wife and child were spared. The logging truck was found to have 23 defects, 11 of which would have kept it off the highway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
James Nance negotiated a settlement agreement that paid in excess of $3 million.
$3 Million – Space Shuttle Program Injuries and Deaths
Over the years the Nance Cacciatore law firm has represented clients who have been injured under all manner of circumstances. When an individual or individuals are injured due to the carelessness of others Nance Cacciatore has the experience and resources to take on plaintiffs both large and small.
One notable case took place in September of 1984, Nance Cacciatore secured a $3 million settlement of 5 lawsuits for 2 deaths and 3 injury claims against NASA, Pan Am, and Wackenhut Services, Inc. The accident resulted from negligence by NASA in failing to warn of an extended nitrogen purge of the compartment in which the workers/clients were working as part of the Space Shuttle program.
$2.55 Million – Semi-tractor & Automobile Collision Settlement
The attorneys at Nance Cacciatore are experts in personal injury law, particularly when it comes to trucking accident cases.
In one case S. Sammy Cacciatore was retained by the family for the death of the patriarch and matriarch of the family. The deceased was 75 years of age and a retired postal worker. His wife was also 75 years of age and together they were survived by three adult children in their forties and several grandchildren. They were driving north on Interstate 95. As they approached the Beeline Expressway along with two other vehicles, a semi-tractor trailer traveling southbound failed to notice a white car that pulled out from the median shoulder. Because of his inattention, the truck driver never reduced speed but rather turned into the median, crossing it and jack-knifing the trailer across both of the northbound lanes, instantly throwing a “barndoor” across the lane that our client’s vehicle was traveling. There was an instant collision and our client had no time to take any evasive action.
Our firm utilized a large amount of witnesses in the case. The truck driver testified that he had noticed the white car parked in the median shoulder over 1300 feet earlier. Another truck driver ahead of him testified that he, too, had noticed this car and had moved into the right lane with no problems. Furthermore, the truck involved had various violations of truck regulations including faulty front axle brakes that would have put it out of service. The defense claimed that this was a sudden pull out and that there was nothing the truck driver could have done to avoid this wreck.
This case was consolidated with the cases of the other victims. S. Sammy Cacciatore was one of the lead counsels in preparing this case for trial. Because of the positions taken by the truck driver and the company for which he was driving, it was a technical case involving trucking experts, accident reconstructionists, trucking regulation experts and depositions from various witnesses and truck drivers from all over the country. A trucking expert testified that as a professional driver, the defendant had a responsibility to keep alert of hazards and potential hazards ahead.
A car sitting in the median was a potential hazard and as the other truck drivers had done, should have been anticipated. The defendant had not considered that vehicle as a hazard and never slowed down. When the vehicle did start to pull out, he testified that the defendant’s actions were also inappropriate because he did not attempt to stop and went into the median which posed a significant danger to oncoming traffic.
A professional engineer was hired to reconstruct the accident. From his reconstruction, it was established that if the defendant had applied his brakes, this tragedy could have been avoided. The defense in the case also hired a professional engineer to reconstruct the accident. Under careful cross-examination, the professional engineering expert for the defense actually admitted that had the defendant simply applied his brakes instead of taking the action that he did, he would have been able to stop without striking the white car.
On the morning of trial just before the selection of the jury, the defendants finally settled the case. On behalf of the adult three children, Nance Cacciatore was able to obtain a total settlement of $2,550,000.00.
$2 million – Pedestrian Injury settlement
Due to the negligence of truck drivers many pedestrians are injured and even killed while traversing our local roadways. The Nance Cacciatore law firm has handled many such cases over the years. In one case the plaintiff pedestrian was struck on I-95 by a Mack truck in St. Lucie County. He had stopped as a good Samaritan to pick-up a ladder that was a hazard laying in the highway. Jack Hamilton hired a truck driving expert to help show how the truck driver was negligent in failing to follow proper procedures in maintaining control of his vehicle. The case settled on the eve of trial for $2 Million.
$2 million – Catastrophic Automobile Accident Settlement
The Nance Cacciatore law firm has substantial experience with personal injury cases. For example, attorney Jack Hamilton obtained a $2 million recovery for a young man who, as a pedestrian, had been struck by a tractor trailer on I-95. The plaintiff and his father had stopped along the side of the highway to remove a ladder that had fallen off another vehicle, as they thought that it represented a safety hazard. While the rest of the vehicles on the highway slowed, the defendant trucker did not. The plaintiff’s attorneys hired a truck driving expert to show that the truck driver should have had a clear view of sight from his lofty position in the cab and should have been able to avoid the plaintiff in the roadway.
Unfortunately, the truck ran directly into the young man causing serious and permanent bodily injury and brain damage. Attorney Hamilton hired 10 separate damage witnesses to evaluate the injured plaintiff and testify at trial. The trucking company originally denied liability but on the eve of trial paid $2 million to settle. Most of the money was placed into a structured settlement which will provide the plaintiff with benefits for the rest of his life. When it comes to personal injury cases, the Nance Cacciatore law firm has the experience and resources to help our clients achieve the best outcome for their case.
$1.875 Million – Ant Bites Cause Death
Sometimes nursing homes don’t provide our loved ones with the care that they deserve and they can even be neglected to the point that they receive a life threatening injury. Nance Cacciatore has experience helping families get the compensation they and their elderly loved ones deserve.
The decedent was a 73-year-old retired postal employee who was admitted to Mariner Healthcare of Atlantic Shores Nursing Home for rehabilitation following complications from a cervical surgery. While sleeping in his bed at the nursing home, the decedent was attacked by fire ants and stung repeatedly on various parts of his body. The fire ant attack caused the decedent to suffer from anaphylactic shock which ultimately resulted in his death the next day. The decedent’s surviving spouse retained Nance Cacciatore to represent her for the wrongful death of her husband.
During the discovery phase of this case, Nance Cacciatore discovered that the defendant nursing home had a known on-going fire ant problem for a period of years which intensified into a significant infestation in the months immediately prior to the fire ant attack. The nursing home had been advised by its pest control company it had under contract to increase the pest control activities and/or alter the pest control program in order to combat and control fire ants. The nursing home, however, made an affirmative decision not to do so because they did not want to incur any additional expense associated with the increased service.
The defendants denied responsibility for decedent’s death and argued that the anaphylactic reaction had ended and completely resolved before the decedent died.
This recovery did not include punitive damages as Mariner Healthcare of Atlantic Shores had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and punitive damages were prohibited as a result of an order entered in the bankruptcy case.
Prior to trial, Nance Cacciatore recovered $1,875,000 for his client in this case.
It’s shameful when the elderly are neglected and taken advantage of. The Nance Cacciatore Law firm has great passion for making sure that nursing homes are held accountable when they don’t provide the vital services and care that our older loved ones have earned.
$1.7 million – Automobile Collision/Wrongful Death
It’s tragic when a loved one is injured in an automobile accident and taken away in the prime of their life. Nance Cacciatore secured a $1.7 million settlement on behalf of the husband and children of a woman killed as a result of an automobile accident in Ft. Myers, Florida. The at-fault driver was operating a leased vehicle and his automobile insurance coverage had been canceled. This case was instrumental in a change in the law that later required long- term vehicle lessors to carry a combined property damage and bodily injury liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1 million or more.
$1.5 million – Police Officer killed by drunk driver, Verdict
Our roadways can be a dangerous place and tragic accidents occur all too often. On May 31, 1992 the decedent, a Satellite Beach police officer, had made a routine stop of a motor vehicle along Highway A1A in Satellite Beach. While working a routine traffic stop, the on-duty police officer was killed when a drunk driver rear-ended his motor vehicle that was stopped along the side of the road.
Nance Cacciatore with James H. Nance represented the mother and father of the deceased, a 22 year-old police officer, in a wrongful death action against the drunk driver and obtained a $1.5 million verdict at trial for their clients. Our firm was very pleased to be able to obtain this verdict for our client.
$1.4 million – Wrongful Death/Murder
It’s tragic when a loved one is senselessly taken from us. Our firm has decades of experience helping families get compensation after their loved one has been taken away from them all too soon. Nance Cacciatore received a $1.4 million verdict on behalf of the children of a man murdered by the defendant.
$1.25 Million – Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Our roadways can be hazardous, particularly for those who enjoy riding motorcycles. The Nance Cacciatore law firm is well acquainted with handling personal injury cases involving victims riding their motorcycle. For instance, Nance Cacciatore obtained a $1.25 million settlement for a Satellite Beach man serving in the Marine Corps and stationed at Camp Pendleton who was involved in a motorcycle/van accident in Los Angeles, California, that resulted in brain damage.
$1.2 Million – Pedestrian Accident Settlement
Nance Cacciatore is very acquainted with the dangers of Brevard roadways, especially for pedestrians. It’s always tragic when a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle.
The plaintiffs walking southbound along Croton Road on the bicycle path and stopped at its intersection with Treeline Boulevard. The defendant was driving his automobile southbound on Croton and attempting to turn left onto Treeline Boulevard. The other defendant was traveling northbound on Croton at an excessive rate of speed when his vehicle struck the turning vehicle operated by the first defendant forcing his vehicle toward the bike path striking the two pedestrians.
One of our clients suffered a fracture of the left clavicle, injury to the left shoulder and multiple lacerations on the scalp and knees. He had a loss of consciousness immediately following the trauma and suffered from dizziness.
Our other client suffered fractures of the right tibia, left femur, left ankle, left calcaneus, right fifth metacarpal, tears of the right knee ligament and meniscus, and multiple lacerations on the upper and lower extremities. She developed an infection following a bone graft.
S. Sammy Cacciatore obtained a joint settlement of $1,200.000.00. It was an honor for our law firm to be able to achieve such a verdict for our client.
$1.2 Million – Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Riding a motorcycle can bring a lot of enjoyment, but unfortunately accidents occur. Oftentimes, careless drivers do not look for motorcycle riders on our roadways and serious injuries result. Nance Cacciatore has had the momentous privilege of representing motorcycle accident victims over the years.
The Plaintiff was seriously and permanently injured when a driver of an Enterprise Rent-a-Car turned in front of him while he was riding his motorcycle. He was forced to lay down the bike and in doing so suffered orthopedic injuries as well as a closed head injury. The Plaintiff was represented by Attorney Jack Hamilton and the case was settled at a mediation conference for $1.2 million. Most of the proceeds from that settlement were placed into a structured annuity which will pay the Plaintiff benefits for the rest of his life.
$1.2 Million – Motorcycle Accident Settlement
It’s always tragic when any accident occurs, particularly when it involves a motorcycle. Often times the injuries can be catastrophic. The Nance Cacciatore law firm has a wealth of experience representing clients who have been involved in tragic motorcycles accidents. In one case our client was heading southbound on US 1 on his Indian motorcycle, not wearing a helmet, when the defendant made a left turn in front of him, violating his right-of-way. Various witnesses to the accident testified that the defendant must not have seen our client and also testified that our client was traveling within 5 mph of the posted 45 mph zone.
Due to the nature of the impact, the plaintiff was thrown some 10 feet into the air and landed on his back on the asphalt. He was unconscious at the scene and bleeding from his ears and mouth. He spent the next 8 days in an induced coma. He was ultimately diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, left temporal bone skull fracture, post-traumatic epilepsy and seizure disorder, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and a balance disorder. He was unable to return to his occupation in the automotive field. Nance Cacciatore settled with all insurance companies involved for $1.2 million.
$1 Million – Dog Attack
Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pets under control. Every year many individuals are injured as a result of vicious dogs and the negligence of their owners. The Nance Cacciatore law firm has experience representing victims of dog attacks.
A meter reader was walking her route when she came upon a house rented by the Defendant-tenant in Port St. John. As the client approached the house, four dogs – all pit bulls – leaped over a four-foot high fence and attacked her. She tried using pepper spray to force the dogs to back off, but it had no effect. The dogs immediately bit her and dragged her around the yard, their sharp teeth and clenched jaws showing no signs of letting up. Once able to get away, she ran to a neighbor’s house for help, with the neighbor calling 911.The client sustained a number of injuries, with severe scarring and disfigurement to the face.
Investigation is very important in these types of cases, so when she contacted Nance Cacciatore, our investigators interviewed several of the Defendant-tenant’s neighbors and learned that a number of previous complaints had been made to the property owner, Penn Properties, and its trustee about the dogs, with one neighbor even resorting to a claw hammer to defend himself against these vicious hounds. Our firm filed suit, based in part on the fact that defendant Penn Properties either knew or should have known that the dogs were dangerous.
Based on our investigation and subsequent negotiations with the defendant’s insurance carrier, James Nance settled the case for the policy limit of $1 million, giving our client the financial security to cover future medical expenses and lost wages without worrying about how she will make ends meet. Our firm was very pleased with this result for our hard working client.
$1 Million – Roof Collapses: First Million Dollar Verdict in Brevard County
Due to the negligence of others at the workplace accidents occur that result in person injury. The Nance Cacciatore law firm is well versed in handling a wide variety of personal injury cases. One example took place in 1971 when Nance Cacciatore obtained the first $1 million verdict in Brevard County. A worker was rendered paraplegic when the trusses supporting the roof of a new Sears store failed during a concrete pour and he was crushed by over 200,000 pounds of wet concrete.
$470,000 – Negligent Maintenance of Power Pole Trial
Nance Cacciatore obtained a $470,000.00 verdict against St. Cloud Utilities for negligent maintenance of the power poles on U.S. 192 in the St. Cloud area when a vehicle crashed into a rotten power pole causing the line to fall. A 15 year old boy’s arm was severely burned by the power lines.
$6.4 Million – Catastrophic Automobile Accident Trial
The Nance Cacciatore law firm has a tremendous amount of experience assisting individuals who have sustained injuries from automobile accidents. In one such case a tragic auto accident left a man a quadriplegic. During an eight-day trial, Jack Hamilton and Sammy Cacciatore presented critical evidence that the accident was caused by the driver of a rented (Enterprise Leasing Company) Cadillac sedan. The defendant denied being in the driver’s seat at the time of the accident.
Our client was driving his Dodge pickup truck south on I-95 toward Palm Bay, Florida. As he approached the Eau Gallie interchange, there was a collision with the Cadillac. The impact caused his pickup truck to topple forward and roll over three times before it came to rest in the median. Due to the extreme force of the rollover, the roof of the car was crushed, and he sustained a compression injury to his spinal cord.
Five minutes earlier, the defendant had driven the Cadillac into the rear of another vehicle, causing that car to spin off the road, down the embankment to the west. He claimed he left his car to check on the occupants of the car he had hit, and that he was not in his rented Cadillac at all, when the collision with our client’s pickup truck occurred. This was not true, and Jack Hamilton and Sammy Cacciatore hired a professional engineering expert to prove it. This expert demonstrated how a deformation in the Cadillac’s driver’s seat and console area did prove that this defendant was indeed seated in his car and pulling out into the roadway at the time of the collision with our client’s vehicle.
There was also extensive testimony regarding the angles of impact of the vehicles, including an attempt by the defense to use a computer program to try and prove that the Cadillac had been parked on the side of the road.
The defendants had offered $3 million to settle the case before it went to trial, but Jack Hamilton and Sammy Cacciatore took the case to court. After eight days of trial, the partners obtained a $6.4 million settlement for this deserving client. Our firm was extremely glad that we were able to play a part in helping our client after such a traumatic moment of their life.
$3 Million – Automobile Accident Settlement
When you’ve been seriously injured in an auto accident, the last thing that you need to worry about is how you’re going to be able to pay your expenses. Just one day before the scheduled court date, Jack Hamilton was able to reach a $3 million settlement for his client, who suffered permanent injuries as a result of a car accident. The Plaintiff had just picked up her daughter from daycare and was driving southbound on U.S. 1 when a car crossed the median and smashed into her vehicle head-on. A parent’s worst nightmare became real, as it took the Jaws of Life and several firefighters to free her from her car. Fortunately her daughter was physically unharmed. When the accident first occurred, doctors wanted to amputate her right leg because of the extensive damage. She refused, and opted for heavy doses of medication and a year-and-a-half of rehabilitative therapy instead. To this day she walks with a limp and there is always the possibility she can still lose her leg, but the way that Jack Hamilton was able to structure her settlement of $3 million, our client will get benefits for the rest of her life.The attorneys at Nance Cacciatore are determined always seek to make sure that their clients achieve the best outcome possible not just for the short-term, but for the rest of their lives.
$1.6 Million – Bicycle Accident
The attorneys at Nance Cacciatore are well-versed in the dangers bicycle riders often face. When a bicyclist is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle the results can be tragic. A Brevard County jury awarded $1.6 million dollars to the Plaintiff whose leg was crushed when she was run over by an 18 wheel tractor trailer. The Plaintiff was riding her bicycle east on the Eau Gallie Causeway when the tractor trailer pulled out of the Coastal convenience store parking lot. The accident left the Melbourne woman with a malfunctioning ankle and the inability to walk without the use of crutches or a cane.
The case handled by Attorney John N. Hamilton was tried by a jury and the verdict rendered was believed to be the second largest personal injury verdict in Brevard County history at the time of the trial.
The case highlighted the problem with bike lanes in that area. Unlike bike paths, which permit two way traffic, riders must go with the flow of traffic on bicycle lanes.
At Nance Cacciatore we look into the factors that contribute to an accident so that we can assist in making our roads safer.
The Juliana Mason Case
When equipment is well maintained, or proper precautions are not put in place, tragic accidents can occur. The Nance Cacciatore law firm is well versed in representing clients who have experienced personal injury due to the negligence of others. In one notable case back in 1971 Nance Cacciatore obtained the first $1 Million verdict on behalf of an African American in the United States. The plaintiff Juliana Mason was a concrete worker who was seriously injured when the roof of the Sears building in Melbourne collapsed, causing him to fall some 20 feet. When he awoke, the doctors told him that the news was grim – he was permanently paralyzed from the waist down. The defendants in the case were the building contractors involved in construction of the scaffolding and the roof. There was no settlement offer made before trial. During jury selection, attorneys Jim Nance and Sammy Cacciatore had to deal with many jurors who had deep-seeded prejudice about the prospect of awarding money damages to a black man. The trial lasted over 4 weeks and reporters worked in shifts to cover the story. The jury deliberated for some 33 hours. When the landmark verdict was announced there was an eruption in the courtroom. The headline in the Florida Today newspaper said, “From itinerant cotton picker to millionaire.”
Mason, who was 31 at the time, had grown up in a poverty stricken area around Tuskegee, Alabama. He was the son of itinerant laborers and picked cotton as a boy. He dropped out of school in the 5th grade and moved to Florida to pick oranges. When he landed a construction job making $1.95 an hour, he said, “I was on top of the world. That was more money than I’d ever made before.” Mason promised to give his son opportunities in life that he’d never had growing up. It was a privilege for our firm to assist Mr. Mason.