Recent Results

Davis v. H&A

September 2018

Train v. Tractor Trailer Collision

In a Tampa courtroom, from September 4 thru September 8 (yes, from the day after Labor Day through and including the following Saturday), E.T. and Maryanne defended a Train v. Tractor-Trailer accident. As always, the train “wins” but the Conductors alleged serious injuries as a result of it. The Trial, in Tampa, marked the first of those two Conductors’ cases being presented to a jury.

This accident was unique in that it just so happened to have been captured on film from both a surveillance camera on nearby private property … AND … from the inside of the train’s engine! As a result, a summary judgment was entered against our driver long before Trial started.

Add insult to injury, defense counsel for CSX was actually and actively working with counsel for the Plaintiff by providing him with information not shared with the defense, countless objections to discovery on behalf of our client and hiding information … all in hopes of protecting its lien.

At Mediation, the demand was Four (4) Million Dollars. At Trial, the Plaintiff presented over Six (6) Million Dollars in damages.


The jury, in just 1:55 minutes, returned a defense verdict and awarded only $250,000.00.

[The Plaintiff left much … MUCH … more than that amount “on the table”.]

E.T. defended the entirety of the case with but one witness … the CME doctor. In a presentation that looked more like a classroom lecture, it was clear to see how the Plaintiff failed to convince the jurors that there was a significant injury and refused to award him any past pain and suffering and no future medical expenses.


Ocean Village v. North East Florida Contracting

February 2018

Construction Defects

Ellis T. Fernandez, III, Esq.

Gregory E. Blackwell, Esq.

Maryanne Durden

A large condominium complex along the Atlantic Ocean was the subject of claims of millions of dollars of damage as the result of water intrusion allegedly caused by our clients’ work. Literally, hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on Plaintiff’s experts simply trying to prove the connection.

Defended by E.T. and Greg Blackwell, Esq of FTL, the jury remained unconvinced and a “hung jury” was the result of two weeks of Trial. Like E.T. says, “If you can’t get a complete defense verdict, a jury unconvinced in the plaintiff’s claim is the next best thing. They came to take your client’s money … and failed.”

VERDICT: "HUNG JURY" (Plaintiff Failed to Prove Their Case)


Kuntzman v. Saylor

August 2017

Dog Attack

John M. Howell, Esq.

Maryanne Durden

At 82, the Plaintiff was “attacked” by a dog owned by the Defendants, a Navy Chief and his Wife. The “attack” was actually the dog jumping on the Plaintiff and knocking her frail and diminutive stature to the ground causing serious injury and surgery. As many know, Florida now adopts and follows a “strict liability” theory of law to injury by animals. No longer is there even a “one bite rule” (i.e., you aren’t responsible for an injury by an animal if it marks the first time such behavior occurred). In a strict liability claim, the questions are simple: (1) Is it your animal?, (2) Did it hurt someone or do property damage?, and (3) Where is your check book because you’re going to pay?

Yet, John Howell, Esq of FTL, taking advantage of one of the last known defenses to such claims, proved the plaintiff actually “provoked” the animal to jump on her. By engaging the services of a real life “dog whisperer”, he was able to convince the jury this defense applied and waltzed the clients out of the Courtroom with a complete defense Verdict.

As a result, John forever has earned his new moniker: “Lord Trial Dog".



Cardona v. National Truck Leasing

July 2017

Tractor Trailer v. Automobile

Michael S. O'Neal, Esq.

Maryanne Durden

In Federal Court in Miami, a Hispanic Plaintiff claims she was the driver of a vehicle and said our client’s Tractor Trailer “drifted” in to her lane of travel, caused a violent accident, resulting in hundreds of thousands of medical expenses attendant with future medical needs and permanent pain and suffering.

Within weeks before Trial, the Federal Judge started striking witnesses from both sides to shorten the anticipated length of the Trial. (Although 2 weeks were requested by both sides, he insisted it WILL be completed in but 1 week.) Not the least of the witnesses struck by the Court was our expert accident reconstructionist.

Armed with common sense logic … and an unmatchable Courtroom presence … Mike O’Neal, Esq of FTL convinced the jury … by pointing out and explaining the laws of Newton and forces of energy … the Plaintiff could not have come to rest where she did on the highway had SHE not been the at fault party who "drifted” in to our lane.

The jury wasted little time in delivering a complete defense Verdict, and once again, being witness to hundreds of thousands of dollars being “left” by a Plaintiff.

It is why we call Mike O'Neal … “Magic Mike”!