Establishing Causation in Florida Personal Injury Cases

Traveling by air is generally safe, but turbulence, rough landings, and other conditions encountered while flying can sometimes cause personal injuries. Merely because a person suffers harm while flying does not necessarily mean they can recover damages from an airline, however. Instead, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling, they must provide competent evidence establishing causation, and if they fail to do so, their claims may be dismissed. If you sustained losses while flying, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to confer with a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered injuries during a rough landing on a flight from Florida to North Carolina. Specifically, she asserted she sustained a compression fracture and other back injuries because the flight crew neglected to monitor the rate of descent and approach speed of the plane, which caused it to land in a violent manner. She subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit in federal court against the airline that operated the plane. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing in part that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate causation.

Establishing Causation in Florida Personal Injury Cases

The court ultimately adopted the defendant’s reasoning and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. The court explained that, pursuant to Florida law, to sustain a claim for negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach caused the plaintiff to suffer damages. In negligence actions, Florida has established a preponderance test for causation; a mere probability of causation is not enough. Expert medical testimony as to medical causation is often necessary in a negligence lawsuit when the causal relationship between alleged injuries and the incident at issue is not clear to a layperson.

In the subject case, due to the nature of the plaintiff’s claim and her pre-existing back problems, the Plaintiff needed to provide expert medical testimony to meet her burden of proof on the element of causation. As she failed to do so, the court determined that summary judgment was warranted. Because the plaintiff bore the burden of proof at trial, the defendant merely needed to show that there was a lack of evidence supporting the plaintiff’s. As the defendant met its burden and the plaintiff did not, the court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Speak to an Experienced Florida Attorney

Rough landings and other dangerous conditions encountered on planes can cause painful injuries, and in some cases, people hurt while flying can pursue claims against airlines. If you were injured while flying, you should speak to an attorney regarding your rights. The experienced Florida personal injury lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. are well-versed in what it takes to demonstrate negligence, and if you engage our services, we will zealously pursue any damages you may be owed. You can contact us through our form online or by calling 800-283-7442 to set up a confidential conference.





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