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Man who said he became sick after eating oysters, appeals judges ruling reversing jury award

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Almost a year to the day from when a jury awarded Angel and Maria Martinez nearly $7 million dollars, a judge upheld his order, to take it all back.

The Martinez’s filed suit against Lobster Haven, a seafood restaurant in Tampa. It followed a meal in 2013 in which they said they ate raw oysters that made them sick.

“I’m living with pain but I’m very thankful to be alive,” Angel Martinez said. 

Martinez said he got sicker than his wife. 

“I was paralyzed from the waste down and spent about 45 days in Tampa General,” Martinez said.

He developed Guillain Barre Syndrome and ended up in a wheelchair.

“Everyday is a struggle, but I’m better off than a lot of people with GBS,” he said.

The Martinez’s sued Lobster Haven and their insurance company and five years and two trials later, a jury awarded them about $6.7 million dollars.

But almost immediately after, the judge in the case took it all back.

Martinez’s attorney’s at Swope Rodante asked the judge to reconsider his ruling. He denied the request. Now they’re appealing that. 

Martinez said, initially the insurance company offered them $20,000.

“The medical bills are still out,” he said. “Offering $20,000 and we owe over $300,000 in medical bills, is kind of tough.”

Martinez said the situation has been extremely frustrating since it’s been five years now and he’s still suffering with pain.

No word on when the appeals court will decide if they will reverse the judge’s decision.

Officials at the restaurant said they possibly talk about the case with News Channel 8, Friday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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