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Florida First DCA reverses damages component of motor vehicle negligence jury verdict, finding that trial court erroneously failed to instruct jury on plaintiff’s claim that she suffered an aggravation of a preexisting migraine condition

On September 29, 2021, in Turner v. Gamiz, No. 1D19-4661, the Florida First DCA reversed the damages component of a plaintiff’s motor vehicle negligence jury verdict and remanded for a new trial on damages because of the trial court’s erroneous directed verdict for the defendant on the issue of whether the plaintiff suffered an aggravation of a preexisting condition. The trial court had granted the defendant’s motion for a partial directed verdict as to the issue of aggravation of a preexisting condition after concluding that there was no evidence of aggravation. The jury subsequently returned a verdict for the plaintiff of only $1,428, consisting of her medical expenses for the ambulance ride and ER visit. The First DCA found that there was sufficient evidence of an aggravation for this issue to have been submitted to the jury, pointing to the evidence at trial that the plaintiff suffered from pre-accident migraines which escalated after the accident. The First DCA concluded that the trial court erred both by directing a verdict in the defendant’s favor and in failing to instruct the jury on the issue.