Recently, J.L. Property Owners Association and Jonathan’s Landing Golf Club were sued by two former residents, James and Christine Schnurr, for injuries sustained by Mr. Schnurr when, on April 10, 2016, he allegedly struck a post on the promenade system while riding his bicycle. As a result of the accident, Mr. Schnurr was rendered quadriplegic. The Golf Club settled with the Schnurrs, but the lawsuit against the Property Owners Association proceeded to trial.
On May 15, 2019, after a four-and-a-half week trial, the jury returned a verdict, finding that the Property Owners Association, while not found negligent in the maintenance of this promenade, was negligent in failing to warn the Schnurrs of a dangerous condition. The jury determined that the Schnurrs suffered a total of approximately $41 million in past and future damages as a result of the accident. Concurrently, the jury found that Mr. Schnurr was 50% responsible for the accident and his resulting damages, that the Golf Club 5% responsible, and that the Property Owners Association was 45% responsible. The damages for which the Property Owners Association may ultimately be held responsible are fully covered by the Property Owners Association’s insurance policies.
Please note that various post-trial motions will be filed in the next few weeks, the resolution of which may affect the amount of the Schnurrs’ damages and/or the apportionment of responsibility among the Schnurrs, the Golf Club, and the Property Owners Association. Due to the Court’s schedule, we anticipate that the Court will not rule upon the motions for a few months. After these post-trial motions are resolved, the Court will enter judgment in accordance with each parties’ respective percentage of fault for the Schnurrs’ damages.
In our post-trial motions, we intend to raise a number of issues that we will argue warrant a new trial or, alternatively, require the Court to reduce the amount of damages awarded by the jury. These issues include: several erroneous rulings regarding substantive legal issues; certain improper jury instructions given by the Court; the amount of damages awarded to the Schnurrs, which is not supported by the evidence; and various erroneous evidentiary rulings.
In the event that the Court does not grant our post-trial motions, we will likely pursue an appeal. However, this consideration need not be addressed until the trial court disposes of the post-trial motions.
JLPOA will keep you apprised of the situation as things move forward.