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Wrongful Death Verdicts


$10.3 Million – Condominium Collapses

New construction in Florida is a common occurrence. Unfortunately, accidents can occur onsite that result in serious injuries and even fatalities. Nance cacciatore has decades of experience handling construction site accident cases.

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 highways around Florida can be hazardous, especially when passenger vehicles are involved in collisions with large trucks. Truckers can pose many potential problems for other motor vehicle drivers, especially when they are not as alert as they should be, or when their vehicles are not maintained like they need to be. Nance Cacciatore has decades of experience assisting victims of trucking accidents gain the compensation they deserve.

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

Accidents can and do befall pedestrians as they try to get some exercise on our local streets and roadways. Sadly, fatal accidents can befall pedestrians in all sorts of unexpected ways. The attorneys at Nance Cacciatore have been able to help victims and their families when they suffer traumatic and even fatal injuries.

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

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.

$3 Million – Space Shuttle Program Injuries and Deaths

Over the decades the attorneys at Nance Cacciatore have had the opportunity to be integrally involved in a number of significant cases. From setting legal precedent, to taking on major corporations, Nance Cacciatore has the experience and resources to try cases at some of the highest levels of our judicial system.

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.

James Nance negotiated a settlement agreement that paid in excess of $3 million.

$2.55 Million – Semi-tractor & Automobile Collision Settlement

Semi-tractor collisions all too often result in horrible injuries and fatalities every year on Brevard roadways. The Nance Cacciatore law firm has been involved in a multitude of trucking cases over the years and we’ve been proud to assist victims and their families get the compensation that they deserve.

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.

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.

$1.875 Million – Ant Bites Cause Death

The elderly need extra help and attention, and nursing homes can do a great job providing that care. However, sometimes our loved ones don’t receive the care that they deserve and can even be neglected. 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 decendant 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.

$1.4 million – Wrongful Death/Murder

Nance Cacciatore received a $1.4 million verdict on behalf of the children of a man murdered by the defendant.

Confidential Settlement – Wrongful Death

Wrongful death lawsuit was successfully settled during mediation. The suit was filed on behalf of the two surviving sons of the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff, her husband and two young sons were driving their Nissan truck on I-295 near Jacksonville when the rear end locked up, causing the truck to spin out of control and hit a tractor trailer. The passenger door flew open and the Plaintiff was ejected and killed.

The week of the accident, the Plaintiff’s husband took the truck to the Nissan dealership in Duval County for service when he heard a whining noise in the rear end. When he picked up the truck the day before the wreck, the dealer’s mechanic, who performed the work, said that he had filled the truck with fluids and had test driven it. However, immediately after the accident, there was no fluid in the differential and the odometer indicated that the truck had not been test driven.

Nance Cacciatore alleged that the Nissan truck had both design and manufacturing defects and was not serviced properly by the dealer. Specifically, the accident was caused when differential fluid got out through the front pinion seal. The lawsuit stated that the dealer’s mechanic neither adequately repaired the truck nor warned the Plaintiff not to drive it until a new differential, which had been ordered, was installed.

Nance Cacciatore hired metallurgical experts from the University of Florida to conduct extensive tests on the truck, including the use of an electron scanning microscope, to show that the fill plug and drain plug had not been removed by the mechanic to fill the differential with fluid. A mechanical engineer, an accident reconstructionist, and an economist rounded out the expert team.

$1.7 million – Automobile Collision/Wrongful Death

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

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.

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