In Wellington lawyer Michael Elstein’s 25 years of handling car crash lawsuits, he said he’s become accustomed to hearing West Coast defense attorneys warn: “What you’re asking for is totally out of line with what cases are valued at this side of the state.”

They point to the typically underwhelming verdicts rendered by conservative-leaning juries, Elstein said. But that didn’t put him off from pursuing a Collier County case, which ended with a $965,000 settlement for a one-level cervical disc replacement claim.