Elihu Berman, Attorney, Clearwater Florida
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Representative Cases
Personal Injury

Wilhelmina Mitchell v. Pinellas County Sheriff's Department, (Circuit Court, Pinellas County, 1987): Mr. Berman obtained a jury verdict in excess of $1,000,000 for a young woman whose car was struck by a Pinellas County Deputy Sheriff, resulting in her death. The jury found the Deputy Sheriff to be 75 percent at fault, and Mrs. Mitchell 25 percent at fault, and reduced the verdict to approximately $800,000. Florida law capped a recovery against the government agency at $200,000, but Mr. Berman was able to obtain from the Florida Legislature a special bill authorizing the County to pay the full amount of the verdict.

Defamation

Clifford Zalay v. John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, (Circuit Court, Pinellas County, 1989): Mr. Berman obtained a verdict of $26,000,000 against the insurance company for defamation of his client. It was, at that time, one of the ten largest verdicts in the United States. The verdict was set aside on appeal, and the case was subsequently settled for an undisclosed sum.

Family Law

Mr. Berman obtained reversal of a trial court order terminating alimony. Kenyon v Kenyon, 497 So.2d 839 (2nd DCA 1986): The court held that under the terms of a separation agreement entered into by the former husband and the former wife providing that alimony to the wife was to be terminated if the wife remarried or if the wife permanently resided with a non-related adult male, the fact that the male friend of the former wife spent eighteen (18) nights out of two and one-half years at the former wife's residence did not equate to "permanently residing with" the former wife so as to terminate alimony.