As I foresaw as a distinct possibility in a blog entry of several weeks ago, the Herald Tribune is reporting that Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matthew Bush is now being sued by the elderly victim of a DUI accident last month in Florida that led to Bush’s arrest and the victim’s hospitalization with severe injuries.
The plaintiff who is still hospitalized and in an intensive care unit with a punctured lung, broken ribs and other serious injuries is seeking $5 million in his lawsuit against Mr. Bush. The complaint also joins as a party defendant Brandon Guyer, a minor league outfielder with the Tampa Bay Rays who loaned his SUV, which struck the plaintiff, to Mathew Bush.
The lawyers for the plaintiff indicate that the size of the request for damages is driven by the victim’s medical bills which are now very large and will likely keep growing. They further indicate that the plaintiff is expected to survive but that there is no way at this point to determine when he will be released from the hospital.
As I indicated in my prior blog on this car accident, the police report indicates that Matthew Bush’s rear-ended the victim’s motorcycle, and then ran over the victim after he fell. Mr. Bush left the scene of the accident in contravention of Florida law.
The Herald Tribune reports that Mr. Bush had quite an eventful day prior to his car accident. He was reportedly removed from a strip club after climbing onto the stage that afternoon. He also reportedly smashed the SUV in question into a light pole.
Matthew Bush is still incarcerated and has had bail set at $1 million. In addition to a DUI charge, he is also facing an additional charge of leaving the scene of a car accident in violation of Florida Statute 316.027. As I indicated in my prior blog this is a very serious charge that could lead to a long time in prison for Mr. Bush.
Mr. Bush in the civil suit that has been filed could be facing a large jury award for damages in favor of the plaintiff. A Florida jury will in all likelihood be appalled by Mr. Bush’s callous disregard for the safety of the victim in both striking him while intoxicated and then leaving him at the scene. Florida Statute 768.81 allows a jury to apportion fault to both of the defendants named in the complaint and to reduce the plaintiff’s ultimate award by any amount that the jury believes is representative of the plaintiff’s responsibility for causing the accident, Here, based on what has been reported by the police, the plaintiff will I believe be found to have no comparative fault for this accident. The jury will in all likelihood award a large plantiff’s verdict and apportion the damages between Mr. Bush and Mr. Guyer.