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$3.8 Million Motorcycle Accident Verdict for Hillsborough County Man

— June 4, 2019

A jury last month finally gave justice to Anthony Ellis, injured in a life-changing motorcycle accident. The verdict will help this young man rebuild his life.

Following two years of contentious litigation by the defense, a Florida Jury returned a verdict of more than $3.8 Million for a twenty-four year old, Anthony Ellis.

On January 29, 2016, Mr. Ellis, just 21 at the time, was riding his motorcycle north on U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview, Florida.  Ellis’ life was changed in an instant when a driver of a car made a left turn in front of him, t-boning him and catapulting him and his motorcycle into a drainage ditch.  Ellis sustained severe injuries that required surgical reconstruction to his left knee and dislocated and broken long bones of his left foot, as well as the removal of chunks of gravel from his right knee.  Additionally, Ellis broke his right toe and right finger.

Ellis, who in the months leading up to the wreck had decided to act on following in his grandfather’s footsteps, was deep in the process of applying to the Air Force at the time of the collision.  Now, unable to run or swim from his injuries, he was forced to forever say goodbye to that opportunity.

The defense disputed fault, accusing the plaintiff of driving with his headlight off.

Three motorcyclists riding on an open road at sunset; image by Rafael Lopes de Lima, via
Three motorcyclists riding on an open road at sunset; image by Rafael Lopes de Lima, via

Attorneys Kenneth Amos and William Gula of Vernis & Bowling of the Gulf Coast P.A. represented the defendant.

Suit was filed after the driver’s insurance company, GEICO, ignored offers to settle the claim within the driver’s insurance coverage for over a year.  Now, GEICO will also be responsible to pay Ellis’ attorneys’ fees.

The plaintiff was represented by Swope, Rodante P.A. attorneys Stephanie Miles, Brandon Cathey and Casey Gartland.

The Honorable Cheryl K. Thomas of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County presided over the case.

On Thursday, May 16, 2019, after a four-day trial and two hours of deliberation, a Florida jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Ellis totaling approximately $3.8 million — $3.5 million of which was non-economic damages.

About Swope, Rodante P.A.

As advocates of justice, Swope, Rodante P.A. is dedicated to fighting for the underdog, protecting our client’s rights, and recovering compensation for clients to help rebuild their lives. 

Founded in 1979, Swope, Rodante P.A. has grown to meet the unique needs of our clients and the challenges of today’s legal environment. The firm’s focus is complex litigation, insurance bad faith and catastrophic injury cases which include brain and spinal cord injuries.

With a Tampa office located in the historic Florida Brewery building, Swope, Rodante P.A. handles complex litigation across the Southeast and Nationwide. 

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