A Broward County jury awarded Ronald Reed more than $6,500,000 for injuries sustained following a motorcycle accident in front of the Thunderbird Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Reed was traveling Westbound on Sunrise Boulevard following a day at the beach. As he approached the Swap Shop cars were stopped in the middle of the street as the result of traffic from patrons heading into the drive-in theater and Swap Shop. As he approached the entrance to the theater, a pick-up truck trying to gain entry onto the property made left turn in front of him and was not able to complete the turn because of a blocked driveway. As a result, Mr. Reed’s motorcycle struck the pick-up truck causing severe fractures to his arms and legs, jaw and larynx. The severity of the fractures left Mr. Reed wheelchair bound. He additionally had a severe head injury and is unable to speak.
It was discovered in litigation that the Swap Shop was expecting a large crowd of people on the property that day but did not have any traffic control measures instituted. The Swap Shop hired off duty police officers during the daytime to direct traffic but did not hire officers for the theater operation. It was also revealed in discovery that there was not enough space on the property to handle the volume of business and the entrance of the property needed to be redesigned. Based on these findings, the jury found that the theater was negligent in its design and construction of the parking lot and the manner in which they handled traffic flow for patrons coming on to the property.