Armando Alvarez suffered a traumatic brain injury after being thrown off of the back of his brother’s motor scooter at around 1:30am in August of 2007 in the southbound lanes of 441 just south of Stirling Road. At the time, Armando was in his early 20s. He was not wearing a helmet. He and his brother were on their way home from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The incident was caught on videotape. The tape showed that a taxi cab that pulled out in front of the scooter did not slow down or stop before causing the crash. Unfortunately, the taxi driver had no insurance coverage for the incident and the owner of the taxi cab had a minimal insurance policy, so the attorneys at Ellsley Sobol investigated additional avenues of compensation.
The median in front of the left turn lane from where the taxi cab was turning had a little overgrowth of its hedges (15 inches over the regulation) and created a partial visual obstruction for the motorists. Suit was filed against the State of Florida Department of Transportation, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as the various companies responsible for the design, construction, installation, and maintenance of the median. Liability was based upon the selection of the types of species of plants and hedges for the median as well as the lack of proper maintenance of those hedges. The main landscaping defendant, Vila & Son Landscaping Corp. argued that it had no duty to maintain the hedges because there was no written contract with the company, and that the only reason this incident occurred was that the taxi cab did not slow down or stop before making a left turn, all of which was captured on the video. The case settled shortly before trial in October 2012 trial.
A Special Needs Trust was set up for Mr. Alvarez and he now has substantial funds for the extensive daily therapies and rehabilitative treatments that are helping him move forward.