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Verdicts and Settlements

When you are facing an injury or catastrophic event, you want the most experienced and proven attorneys on your side, fighting for you. At Coker Law, we specialize in civil litigation – from auto and trucking crashes to slip and falls and negligent security – it’s what we do and it’s all we do. We have the experience and the know-how to give you the representation you deserve. Our practice focuses solely on the civil side of the law. We have over 40 years of trial experience and the ability and resources to take your case all the way to trial.

Invitation Only Memberships

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The International Academy of Trial Attorneys is a group of truly elite trial lawyers representing both sides of the Bar. The Academy’s purposes are to promote reforms in the law, facilitate the Administration of Justice, promote the Rule of Law internationally, and elevate the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession. The Academy includes lawyers from more than 30 countries. Fellowship is by invitation only, limited to 500 members who have been invited to become Fellows only after an extremely careful vetting process that includes discreet inquiries of both judges and other trial lawyers of high standing. Howard Coker is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Attorneys.

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The International Society of Barristers is an honor society of outstanding trial lawyers chosen by their peers based on excellence and integrity in advocacy. It seeks to preserve trial by jury, the adversary system, and independence of the judiciary. As individuals, the Fellows of the Society are committed to the highest of ethical standards and to civility in all their personal and professional relationships. With a limited membership, the Society has Fellows from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and from Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, and Mexico, with the great majority from the United States. Members (the Fellows) are elected by the Society’s Board of Governors on nomination by a Fellow and after inquiry directed to other Barristers in the nominee’s region and to judges before whom the nominee has tried cases. Howard Coker is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers.

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Membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates is limited to attorneys selected by peers and who have tried at least 20 civil jury trials. Firm Partners Howard Coker, Jake Schickel, Charles Sorenson and Matthew Posgay are all members of this organization. Mr. Coker is Past President of ABOTA statewide and of the Jacksonville Chapter. Mr. Sorenson is also a Past President of the Jacksonville Chapter and Jake Schickel is currently the President Elect of the chapter.

Motor Vehicle Crashes

  • $ 11.3 Million
Jury Awards Millions After Insurance Companies Deny Claims

You would think 50-year old Sandy Noe would have the worst luck.  This father of two boys in the US Army was rear ended not just once, or twice, but three separate times.  To make matters worse, the crashes that occurred on November 2012, October 2013, and October 2016, were by three uninsured motorists.  Noe brought his first two claims to his insurance company GEICO Insurance to use his uninsured motorist coverage to his pay for the damage to his cars and to help cover the cost of his injuries.  He was shocked when they denied that he was hurt and disputed the extent of his damages.  He was so frustrated that he changed his insurance to The United Services Automobile Association (USAA).

 

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  • $ 983,000
Woman Hit By Drunk Driver On I-10

During rush hour on July 1, 2005, David Akers was driving at a dangerous speed of 90 mph on I-10 near Cassat Avenue. He was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and collided with Deborah Whiddon’s vehicle. The violent collision caused lifelong medical problems for Whiddon. Akers’ admitted his negligence was the sole cause of the crash, but he fought her claim she was suffering from permanent injuries. Whiddon knew she needed help, so she called Dan Iracki, partner at Coker Law. Iracki fought for Whiddon and successfully proved her injuries would impact her for the rest of her life and that she needed to recover lost wages.  The jury agreed and awarded her $983,000.

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  • $ 700,000
Jury Awards $700,000+ After T-Bone Collision

When Elizabeth Knazick was just 25 years old, she was involved in a t-bone motor vehicle collision. As she was pulling out of a parking lot, Marvin Bond abruptly pulled out in front of her car, causing the collision. Although Knazick suffered from many injuries and had to undergo extensive surgery due to the crash, she refused to let it define her or change the way she lived her life. Knazick started with conservative care to treat her injuries, such as trying different types of medication and participating in physical therapy. However, she wasn’t making much progress…

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  • $ 2,643,606
Jury Orders Insurance Company to Cover Young Mother’s Injuries

There was no way Monae Gadson could have anticipated the brutal collision that was about to happen to her on a spring day in 2013.  Out of nowhere, a vehicle driven by a negligent, uninsured/underinsured motorist slammed into Ms. Gadson, causing a terrifying T-bone collision.  She suffered permanent herniated discs in her neck and her low back as a result of the violent collision. When traditional medical care couldn’t stop the pain, Ms. Gadson sought the help of pain management experts, where she underwent painful radiofrequency ablations in her neck and epidural injections in her low back.

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  • $ 1,800,000
Victim No Longer Able to Work, Receives Settlement

A 40-year-old woman had to undergo intensive cervical surgery and deal with a lifetime of issues due to an 18-year-old’s negligent driving. A fast change of lanes resulted in the defendant slamming into Martin’s vehicle and forcing her onto the median. Martin was left unable to ever return to work and did not know where to turn. She called Coker Law, where Howard Coker and Charles Sorenson fought for Martin to receive the justice she deserved. Due to the efforts of Coker and Sorenson, Martin received a settlement for $1.8 million dollars.

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  • $ 299,777
Pregnant Victim Receives Medical, Lost Wages, Pain & Suffering

Maribel Hernandez was eight months pregnant when a driver crossed the center line at the intersection of Talleyrand Avenue and 8th Street, colliding with her vehicle. Hernandez started going into premature labor, but thankfully was able to hold off giving birth for another three weeks and delivered a healthy baby. However, as a result of the crash, she suffered numerous medical issues to her neck, back and head, as well as short-term memory loss, a cyst in her sinus cavity due to stress, blurry vision and sleep deprivation. The driver who hit her was uninsured and Hernandez needed help to cover her medical costs and lost wages. She called Coker Law in desperate need of someone to fight for her. Attorneys Howard Coker and Charles Sorenson battled her insurance company, Allstate Indemnity Company, to receive reimbursement for her lost wages and help with medical costs, in addition to compensating her for her pain and suffering. The insurance company only offered $25,000. Due to the efforts and determination of Coker and Sorenson, a jury granted Hernandez $299,777.21.

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  • $ 5,500,000
Jury Awards Millions Against Underinsured Motorist

When an underinsured motorist struck the side of Bradley Correia’s vehicle, at Atlantic Boulevard and Ridgewood Place, he was left with a disc herniation in his spine and permanent aggravation of a degenerative lumbar condition. However, the underinsured motorist’s coverage would only cover $25,000 of his medical costs. Correia knew he needed help, so he called the attorneys at Coker Law. Attorneys Howard Coker and Dan Iracki took on the underinsured motorist’s insurance company, Amerisure Insurance Company. They fought to get Correia’s medical expenses covered and provide support for his family. Due to Coker Law’s determination, a jury awarded Correia more than $5.5 million dollars for his medical expenses, personal injuries, and pain and suffering.

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  • $ 200,715
Woman Rear-Ended By Distracted Driver

Yanisei Valdes was driving down SR-9A in May 2011 when she was abruptly rear-ended by another vehicle. Coker Law argued that the driver who hit Valdes was driving while distracted, failed to keep a proper lookout, did not yield the right-of-way and failed to take evasive action. Valdes needed compensation for her multiple injuries, loss of earnings and ability to earn money, medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, disability, and mental anguish. The defendant’s insurance company only offered $10,000 to Valdes before and during trial. Coker Law attorneys Matthew Posgay and Stefano Portigliatti fought in trial for Valdes to receive fair compensation. A jury agreed with Coker Law and awarded $200,715 to compensate her for her medical costs, loss of income and injuries.

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  • $ 422,672
Driver Initially Denied Uninsured Motorist Claim

Terese Latham was driving down SR-600 when an uninsured motorist collided with her vehicle. The motorist had no insurance, so Latham filed a claim with her insurance company, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, under her uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits. USAA Casualty Insurance Company denied her request for compensation for her permanent bodily injuries and damage to her vehicle. She filed a complaint, arguing that USAA Casualty Insurance Company breached their contract by failing to fulfill its obligation to honor her claim. Latham turned to Coker Law for justice. Attorneys Howard Coker and Dan Iracki fought USAA Casualty Insurance Company so Latham could receive the benefits she rightfully deserved. The jury determined that USAA Casualty Insurance Company should pay for Latham’s losses, resulting in an award of $422,672.

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  • $ $3,090,717
Avid Athlete Receives Winning Verdict

On August 31, 2013, while driving her pick-up truck, Sequana Beale was violently rear-ended by the driver of a 2001 Toyota Camry, who was driving too close and too fast for road conditions. The force of the impact sent the Camry sliding underneath the bed of Sequana’s truck. Without the bumper to absorb the force of the crash, Sequana suffered serious and permanent injuries in the collision. Unfortunately, with no surgical option she has a possible lifetime of pain management treatment.

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  • $ 1,051,630
Golfer Gets Verdict That Gets Her Back on the Greens

Professional golfer Rhonda Ferguson made the most of every day.  But that all changed on June 18, 2013, when a speeding driver lost control of their vehicle on the Buckman Bridge, sliding sideways into Rhonda’s lane – and her car.  Fractures to her foot, torn ligaments and a permanent bone injury to her ankle, along with painful herniated discs in her cervical spine, left her facing a life time of pain management and potential future surgeries.

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  • $ 2,641,811.74
Insurance Attorney Turns to Coker Law for a Win

Ray Roebuck was delivered a heartbreaking diagnosis when a driver careened into the side of his car, sending him slamming into the guard rail on the interstate: surgery, a spinal cord stimulator and pain management treatment for the rest of his life. Having been offered no more than $50,000 from the insurance company, Coker Law fought back – for Ray, his employees that counted on him, and those cherished moments with his son on the golf course.

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  • $ 904,000
Drunk Driver Fatality: Settled

*** Limited by amount of insurance/assets.

 

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  • $ 680,000
Five day jury trial rejects challenges to mother of three’s life-long lower back injuries.

The car crash that left Cheryl Govea with life-long low back injuries was resolved by jury verdict concluding a 5-day trial in the new Duval County Courthouse on June 22nd. Cheryl was represented by partners Charles A. Sorenson and Howard C. Coker. The case was presided over by Circuit Judge Lawrence Haddock.

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  • $ 1,400,000
Jury awards woman damages for injuries from Interstate rear-ender.

In January 2010, Ms. Mahoney was rear-ended by another vehicle on Interstate-10 near the Luna Street exit in Jacksonville. As a result of the crash, Ms. Mahoney suffers life-long health problems. She sustained three herniated discs in her neck and was recommended for a future 3-level neck fusion surgery. The final verdict was $1.15 million with a final settlement of $1.4 million after an award of attorney’s fees and costs. The highest offer before trial was $75,000.

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  • $ 22,500,000
Roadway construction company settles in severe crash caused by insufficient safety signage

The difference of a day was all it took to turn fortune into misfortune for our client – a gifted University of North Florida student. On January 17, 2005, he was full of fortune: known for his lively, loving personality and remarkable musical talents. Misfortune came to him a few minutes after midnight in a devastating roadway crash.

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Personal Injury

  • $ 18,250,000
Coker Law Wins $18.25M Settlement for Residents Exposed to Toxic Landfill

More than 600 individuals made claims against Hipps Road Landfill in the early 1990’s, claiming that toxins emitting from the dump site were causing a devastating loss of property value, a variety of detrimental medical issues, and the fact that the area’s cancer rate was six times the expected amount. A host of medical professionals testified that the range of ailments, including cancers, learning disabilities, neurological issues, birth defects, reproductive problems and many others, were due to the toxic exposure surrounding the site. Howard Coker and Charles Sorenson fought aggressively for more than 2 ½ years for their clients to receive justice, successfully winning a settlement of $18.25 million.

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  • $ 3,500,000
Transportation Company Negligent in Employee Medical Claim

A 66-year-old railroad conductor B.W. Cox said that CSX Transportation was to blame for his interstitial fibrosis diagnosis. After cabooses had been discontinued, Cox would follow behind the locomotives in a trailing unit where he was exposed to substantial diesel exhaust. Although CSX said that cabooses being discontinued posed no medical hazards, Howard Coker and other attorneys at Coker Law argued that CSX had not taken any preventative measures to limit exhaust exposure to their employee. CSX was found to be at fault for employer negligence and Cox was awarded $3.5 million dollars.

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Trucking and Commercial Vehicle Crashes

  • $ 1,700,000
Cyclist Hit By Landscape Maintenance Truck

25-year-old college student Samantha Justyn was riding her bike when all of a sudden, her whole world came to a crashing halt, quite literally.  While making a wide turn, a truck driver for Valleycrest Landscape Maintenance struck Justyn with the trailer, knocking her from her bike onto the roadway. She sustained serious cervical and spinal injuries, resulting in multiple painful and expensive treatments and a deluge of costly medical bills. ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance hotly disputed liability and retained an engineer to claim that Justyn was at faulting for riding into their driver’s alleged “blind spot.” Therefore, they refused to cover the mounting costs of her medical needs.  With nowhere to turn, she called Coker Law.  Attorneys Howard Coker and Charles Sorenson fought for Justyn in an extensive trial. Thanks to their efforts and the Coker Law legal team, after a five-day trial the jury awarded Justyn $1.7 million dollars for her medical costs, pain and suffering and declared the defendant was 100% at fault.

 

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  • $ 940,000
Coker Law Takes on 21st Century Insurance Company and Wins Jury Verdict

In September of 2011, Jacqueline Smith suffered injuries to her lower back when a truck violated her right-of-way and T-boned her vehicle. The truck driver was underinsured, so Mrs. Smith filed a claim for her injuries through her underinsured motorist coverage with 21st Century Insurance Company. 21st Century Ins. Co. denied the collision caused all the injuries Mrs. Smith was claiming and tried to prove she was also negligent in the crash. Coker Law’s attorneys knew their client was in the right, so they fought 21st Century Ins. Co. in an intense four-day trial. The jury agreed with Coker Law and awarded Mrs. Smith more than $940,000 for medical expenses and pain and . Because of 21st Century Ins. Co.’s refusal to settle the case when given the chance, Coker Law is also going after 21st Century Ins. Co. for attorney fees and costs.

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  • $ 1,400,000
Sisters Hit By Truck While Stuck In Traffic Receive Jury Award

Darryl Waters was stuck in traffic on I-95 in Duval County, Florida, on Thursday, March 31, 2011.  He had two of his children in the car with him, daughters Darian and Khayla Waters.  A truck driver for Spa Crest Manufacturing, Inc., was hauling a trailer when he failed to stop for the traffic and plowed into the back of the Waters’ car. Darian, Khayla and Darryl were all injured from the brute force of the impact. Darian’s pain wouldn’t go away and three years later it was determined that her injuries would result in permanent damage to her spine.

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  • $ 450,000
Driver Hits Semi After Sudden Stop

James Tennant slammed into the back of a semi-truck owned by Handi-House Mfg. after it stopped suddenly in the midst of a left-hand turn. Tennant sustained a traumatic brain injury with cognitive difficulties, disc herniations and spondylosis from the crash. Handi-House Mfg. said Tennant was at fault, and they would not assist with his medical costs. Tennant knew he needed a strong team to win the case, so he called Coker Law. Attorneys Howard Coker, Dan Iracki and Joel Harris fought to prove that the driver of the semi-truck did not have the proper knowledge or skills needed and created the conditions that caused the crash. Due to the Coker Law legal team’s aggressive efforts, Tennant received $450,000 to cover his medical costs.

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  • $ 2,500,000
Settlement for family of man disabled after commercial truck rear ends vehicle.

Charles Sorenson and Aaron Sprague recently negotiated a $2.2 million settlement for their client, Eric Geidel, and his wife, Patricia. Permanently disabled due to the negligence of a commercial trucking company, Eric’s case exemplifies the frequency and severity of trucking accidents on our roadways today.

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  • $ 3,600,000
Seven day jury trial awards family of hero truck driver after DOT negligence.

Chris Stephenson wanted to be close to his family in Jacksonville so he traded a job driving a Northeast trucking route for a local assignment with Infinger Transportation Co. In the late and heavily rain-soaked afternoon of August 12, 2000, Chris was driving a gasoline tanker for Infinger and was at the base of Jacksonville’s Hart Bridge leaving downtown when motorist Jason Keiffer lost control of his automobile and swerved into Chris’ big rig.

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Premises Liability Cases and Animal Attacks

  • $ 1,475,000
Victim wins verdict for serious injuries from fall on flooded bathroom floor.

The fall that left Mr. White with life-long injuries was resolved by jury verdict concluding a four-day trial in Circuit Court in Duval County. Matt was represented by Howard C. Coker, Daniel A. Iracki and co-counsel Tracy Considine. The final verdict was $1.475 million for past as well as future medical costs as well as non-economic damages.

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  • $ 233,000
Jury finds movie theater was below code, liable for injuries from fall.

In January of 2006 Angie Vazquez and her then-fiancé, Chuck Kees, were excited about the opening of the film “King Kong.” The couple visited Jacksonville’s Regal Beach Theater to view the remake of the famous 1933 classic. They were unaware that the evening would cost them significantly more than the price of tickets and popcorn.

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  • $ 209,630
Thorough investigation helps win Federal jury case in fall at major bank branch.

It made all the difference that my attorneys believed in me. I was taking on Bank of America, but I felt I was right and was not going to get pushed around by a giant corporation. Your team was there at my side every step of the way. They really cared and supported me. In court, they made certain that I got to tell the truth about how I got hurt. I am grateful and would highly recommend this firm to anyone who has been injured, especially if they have to fight a big company like I did.”

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  • $ 1,000,000
Former Navy pilot gets settlement after our investigators show OSHA violations

Jerry Garrett wanted to be a commercial jet pilot after retiring from his 22 year Navy career. Instead, he is paralyzed below the waist and in a wheel chair, the results of a fall at a construction site where he planned to work part time, to make some extra money. It was his first day on the job and he was asked to work up on a scaffolding some 13 feet in the air. He slipped on a too-narrow plank and fell to the ground, sustaining major and life-changing injury.

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Medical Malpractice

  • $ Confidential
Patient Sexually Assaulted Gets Justice

Haley* had tried an extensive number of diets and exercise programs over the years, but she just couldn’t seem to lose the weight. When Haley was finally accepted into the bariatric surgery program at UF Health Jacksonville, she was elated. However, her excitement was short-lived. During her pre-check appointment to prepare for the surgery, the doctor who was supposed to help her through this process ended up sexually assaulting her.

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  • $ Confidential
Doctor Misses Breast Cancer Twice

When Heather Manning first felt the lump in her right breast, she wasn’t panicked; but she wasn’t going to waste any time either. She was well aware that early detection is key to surviving a breast cancer diagnosis, so she made an immediate appointment to see her gynecologist. To her relief, he assured her it was a benign cyst, nothing to worry about, she didn’t even need a biopsy. She was relieved and left the office grateful to have received such a confident response from her doctor. But the lump didn’t go away. It grew, and its shape started to change. She told her family she was worried…

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  • $ Confidential
Doctor’s Eye Surgery Deemed Unnecessary

Every parent wants the best for their baby.  So, when Diane and Ben* grew concerned and noticed their 20-month old was having trouble seeing, they wanted to see help. But with this being their first child, they thought they might be over reacting.  But as he grew and started becoming more active, they realized he couldn’t look up without raising his whole head.

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  • $ Confidential
Doctors’ Found Negligent in Delivery Death

Summer Gilhousen was so excited to be a mom and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first-born child. After her water broke, she was admitted into a local hospital and administered an epidural. After Summer was admitted to the hospital, she received an epidural to help ease the pain from her contractions.  She fell asleep and it wasn’t for several hours until nurses discovered she had become unresponsive and was turning blue. Her oxygen levels had drastically dropped so she was rushed into the operating room for an emergency C-section.

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Note: the accounts of recent trials, verdicts and settlements contained on this site are intended to illustrate the experience of the firm in a variety of litigation areas. Each case is unique, and the results in one case do not necessarily indicate the quality or value of any other case. Omitting clients' names and/or defendants' names are the results of requests for anonymity.