$10 million Dollar Verdict Upheld on Appeal for Young Apprentice Jockey (Miami)
David Ashcroft, a 20-year-old apprentice jockey, suffered catastrophic injuries when his horse veered across the racecourse toward a negligently placed exit gap, which caused his horse to attempt to leave the track. Ashcroft lost control of the horse and fell to the ground where he was run over by another horse, rendering him a quadriplegic. The case was tried before a jury, which rendered a $10 million verdict. On appeal, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the verdict, finding that David Ashcroft voluntarily assumed the risk and exposed himself to the danger. On further appeal, The Supreme Court of Florida reinstated the verdict after it determined that although horse-racing is a dangerous sport, Ashcroft did not assume the unreasonable risk of a negligently designed and maintained racetrack.