$11.1M Okeechobee Florida Jury Verdict, Largest Award in County History, Showcases Need for Governor's Signature on Hit and Run Bill

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Steinger, Iscoe & Greene attorneys comment on their Hit and Run client's $11.1 Million Verdict, the largest award in county to date, while unanimously approved legislation awaits Florida Governor's signature

This bill needs to be made law, so people know that after an accident, they won't escape responsibility, but will be held more accountable. No one should have to endure what our client [Wilde] did.

In his CBS 12 news interview May 19, 2014, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene attorney Neil Anthony spoke passionately about the bill currently moving through Florida legislation, awaiting Governor Scott's signature. "This bill will let people know that they won't escape responsibility after an accident, but will be held more accountable," said Anthony. The bill would mandate at least a four year minimum sentence for hit and run drivers. Currently, there is no minimum.

On May 16, 2014, Rodney Wilde, a client of Anthony and Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, received a jury verdict of $11.1 Million for an accident that may have been prevented or resulted in much less injury if this bill had been enacted sooner. (Case No. 2010 CA 457, Okeechobee County, Florida) According to Anthony, stricter laws pertaining to hit and run accidents and the responsibility of drivers and the bars that serve them, would make drivers more apt to stop and help rather than leave people like Wilde for dead.

According to official accident reports, Rodney Wilde was riding his motorcycle on his way to his wife Charlotte and their grandchild on March 19, 2010 when drunk driver Leroy Felt, who had been drinking continuously for 11 hours at Eagle's Lodge bar, drove into Wilde's path while his rear wheels were still on the Eagle's property. Felt hit and dragged Wilde 200 feet, leaving him for dead in the middle of the road according to the accident report. An independent witness saw Mr. Felt lower his window to see Wilde's body and motorcycle on the ground before he "hightailed it north." Okeechobee County Sheriff's office found Felt at his home 2 hours later and upon inspection of his vehicle found Wilde's glove between the brake line and the frame of Felt's truck. A blood draw measured Felt's BAC alcohol level at .221 - nearly 3 times the legal limit, more than 2 hours after dragging Wilde under his vehicle as outlined in case documents.

Wilde sustained multiple broken bones and massive brain injury from being hit and dragged, the results of which are permanent as outlined in court documents. Charlotte Wilde shared yesterday in a CBS 12 interview, "[My husband] went through a spell where he was angry that I did not let him die."

All present in the Okeechobee County courtroom on Friday May 16, 2014, including the Wilde family and Steinger, Iscoe & Greene legal team were emotional when the jury delivered the $11.1M verdict according to Michael Steinger who was at the trial. As the courtroom cleared, the Wildes waited outside the courthouse to personally address and thank their Steinger, Iscoe & Greene legal team that had stood by them through years of expert investigation and work to prove the Eagle Lodge's responsibility in the gross over-serving of Leroy Felt, a patron they knew or should have known was an alcoholic; liability that was proven by the legal team throughout the 2-week trial. (CASE NO. 2010 CA 457)

"No one should ever have to go through what we went through," said client Charlotte Wilde.

"Steinger, Iscoe & Greene is a family who embraces our clients as family. This case was a long haul but we believed in our clients. We cannot undo the accident or miraculously take away the pain and loss our clients endure - the thing we can do is work tirelessly to get our clients the money and resources that can help them move on with their lives, with hope for the future," said Michael Steinger, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene founding partner who was in the courtroom for the Wilde's verdict.

About Steinger, Iscoe & Greene
Since 1997 Steinger, Iscoe & Greene has served the Florida community as one of the state’s leading plaintiff personal injury law firms. A legal team of more than 30 attorneys and 140 legal professionals to date, the firm takes pride in the fact that they represent individuals and families – not big business interests. With offices throughout the state – Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Port St Lucie, Okeechobee Tampa and Orlando as well as San Diego, California – Steinger, Iscoe & Greene’s goal is to achieve maximum recovery to afford clients and their families the resources necessary to put the pieces of their lives back together after an accident or sudden injury. The firm considers it a privilege to help injury victims through some of life’s most challenging and uncertain times. Day or night, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene is available to injury victims to answer any legal questions.
For more information, visit http://www.InjuryLawyers.com or call 1-800-560-5059

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