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Florida Fifth DCA reverses judgment for future medical expenses in Uninsured Motorist negligence case, finds insufficient evidence that expenses were reasonably certain to be incurred

On January 26, 2018, in State Farm v. Harmon, No. 5D16-2948, the Florida Fifth DCA reversed a trial court’s final judgment following a jury verdict for the plaintiff in an Uninsured Motorist (UM) case in which the jury awarded $100,000 in future medical expenses. The plaintiff’s treating physician testified at trial that the plaintiff “may” need certain modalities of treatment in the future that “might” include trigger point injections, which “might possibly” be of benefit along with other treatments that “might” be indicated in the future. After the jury verdict, the defense sought a remittitur or a new trial regarding the $100,000 in future medical expenses. The trial court denied the motion. Quoting Volusia Cty. v. Joynt, 179 So. 3d 448, 452 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015), the Fifth DCA concluded that because “Florida law restricts recovery of future medical expenses to those expenses ‘reasonably certain’ to be incurred,” there was no evidentiary basis for those potential future medical expenses. Seealso Gen. Emps. Ins. Co. v. Isaacs, 206 So. 3d 62, 63 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016) (“[t]estimony or evidence that certain treatments might possibly be obtained in the future cannot merit an award of future medical expenses”).

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