Rob Blank and Carie Hall Win Howl-O-Scream Trial
Attorneys Rob Blank and Carie Hall of the firm’s Tampa office obtained a favorable verdict in a negligence case in Hillsborough County, Florida in April of 2014. Blank and Hall represented Busch Gardens, a theme park located in Tampa, in the case styled Rafael Ramos-Lopez v. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment LLC d/b/a Busch Gardens. The plaintiff claimed he was injured when an actor struck him in the leg with a steel barrel while performing a scare at Howl-O-Scream, a Halloween-themed event. Busch Gardens denied the actor was negligent and denied the back and neck injuries claimed by the plaintiff were caused by the accident. The jury originally returned a verdict for plaintiff for only $274, which represented approximately 25% of the bill for his emergency room visit the night of the accident, despite a two-level back surgery and $130,274.46 in claimed medical expenses. When instructed by the judge that they needed to also award some amount of non-economic damages, the jury determined plaintiff was only entitled to $1 for past pain and suffering and $1 for future pain and suffering, making the total verdict $276. Busch Gardens has moved for its attorneys’ fees pursuant to plaintiff’s rejection of Busch Gardens' $10,000 proposal for settlement.