Motion for Summary Judgment
Sandra Knudson v. FDOT
Plaintiff, a 67 year old woman from Cocoa Beach, was riding her bicycle on a sidewalk when she swerved to avoid pedestrians. She rode her bicycle off the sidewalk into a grassy median with lose dirt and gravel. Plaintiff fell and suffered a broken leg. She then filed suit against City of Cocoa Beach and Florida Department of Transportation (“DOT”). She had over $70,000 in past medical expenses, a claim for past loss wages and loss of future earning capacity. City of Cocoa Beach settled with Plaintiff for $15,000 even though they were not the responsible party. Despite potentially being the more culpable party, we filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of DOT. Plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that DOT was negligent or caused her incident. We explained to the judge that she made a voluntary decision to ride her bicycle into an area that was not designed to be used by pedestrians or bicycle traffic. Plaintiff argued that she had to take evasive action and that DOT had a duty to maintain and created a dangerous condition. Plaintiff produced documents showing DOT had subcontracted to repair similar medians and areas along the same road. However, the Court was not impressed with Plaintiff’s rebuttal and the judge granted our Motion for Summary Judgment! Plaintiff’s original demand was $200,000 and DOT was released without paying a dime! Motions to recover fees and costs on behalf of DOT are pending.