An Orange County judge has denied the University of Central Florida Athletics Association's movement to overturn the jury verdict in the Ereck Plancher case, according to reports from the Orlando Sentinel. The court previously ruled that the UCFAA was at fault for the death of UCF football player Ereck Plancher, and his parents were to be awarded $10 million in punitive damages from the university.
Orange County Circuit Judge Robert M. Evans denied the movement during a hearing Tuesday, also denying the university's request for a new trial in the process. He explained the choice after the ruling, stating, "I don't second-guess juries unless there simply is no evidence on which they could have based their verdict."
Evans also ruled that Plancher family prosecutors are entitled to receive payment for court costs and legal fees directly from the UCFAA. The judgment was made as a result of a proposed $4.75-million settlement offer that the university's defense spurned before the onset of the trial.
Plancher family attorney Steve Yerrid said the combination of likely court costs, legal fees and interest would push UCFAA's bill to nearly $14 million.
"The Plancher family prevailed once again today, and we commend the judge for being fair and honoring the jury's decision," Yerrid said.
Unfortunately, the process is not yet over, as Evans elected to further investigate UCFAA's request that several jurors may have infringed upon court rules by passing notes during the proceedings. Should the judge deny the request, UCFAA will still be permitted to file an appeal with the Fifth District Court of Appeals.
For more updates on the Ereck Plancher trial, keep up with this StoryStream.