A Florida man who suffered a spinal cord injury in a devastating accident has accepted a $5.95 million settlement with a landscaping company that failed to comply with the state’s height limitations for median strip plantings. The man was driving his motorcycle down a roadway and was struck by a motorist making a U-turn who was unable to see him because of a hedge measuring a full one foot higher than the allowable height.
The attorney for 26-year-old motorcyclist Alexander Ramos credits the quick collection of evidence after the accident with his ability to get his client the compensation he needed for his spinal cord injury. Ramos suffered permanent neck, back, and arm injuries as a result of the visual obstruction that was documented in photographs and corroborated by witness statements taken immediately after the accident occurred.
Original Lawsuit Blamed Driver, City, State, and Landscaping Company for Spinal Cord Injury
The incident that led to Mr. Ramos’ spinal cord injury occurred on the evening of March of 2018 when he was driving his motorcycle in the left lane of Oakland Park Boulevard. He was struck by Sharon McLeod when she pulled in front of him while performing a U-turn. He initially filed suit against McLeod, the city of Oakland Park, the state and the private landscaping company that the city had contracted with for maintenance of the hedge.
One of the key points presented in the spinal cord injury case was Florida’s state regulation that no hedge should be more than two feet tall while the hedge present at the point where the accident occurred was almost three feet tall. Though the landscaping company blamed driver negligence for the accident and pointed out that Ramos was speeding, an accident reconstruction engineer blamed the hedge for the accident and pointed out that many of Florida’s public roadways had been planted with grass to prevent similar injuries.