Aggressive. Thorough. Accomplished. Creative. Determined. Ethical. Respected. These are some of the words often used to describe personal injury attorney John Leighton.

Leighton is unlike most lawyers.  He doesn’t seek out cases; they seek him out.  For 30 years he has represented people who have been seriously injured and families of those killed by negligence.  But his cases most don’t usually come from the public.  They come from other lawyers.

That’s because Leighton is referred the serious, complex and catastrophic cases from around the state.  He is seen as the go-to trial lawyer for major personal injury cases like medical malpractice, catastrophic trucking and car crash, resort/hotel/theme park, violent crime/negligent security and defective product cases. His cases are almost always referred by lawyers from Florida and around the world.

Mr. Leighton fought for passage of the first parasailing safety law in the United States after his client’s daughter was killed while parasailing off Florida’s coast. It took seven years but the regulations were finally passed in 2014.

Known for his success in medical malpractice cases, Leighton’s track record in obtaining recoveries in Central Florida is remarkable.  He won a record-setting $24.1 million verdict for a child who suffered a terrible medical mistake in Seminole County.  Then he obtained $9 million for a woman who was given improper anesthesia in the hospital, and $3 million for the Citrus County family whose mom bled to death after her doctor abandoned her. He followed that with a $24.3 million verdict for the family of an off-duty Orlando police officer who was robbed and killed at an ATM, won an $8 million award for the parents of a teenage girl killed on the turnpike, and recently got a $7.4 million verdict in Osceola County for a trucking crash.

These are examples of why Leighton has developed a statewide and national reputation. He has been hired to handle cases in Georgia, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, Illinois and Texas. And while many of his cases garner media attention, most of the time Leighton’s clients are ordinary people who have suffered serious loss.  Like the Orlando family of a teen who was killed in a drunken boating crash. That family hired Leighton, who obtained a $1.35 million recovery, with the boater going to prison for 6 years.  And like the $3.5 million recovery he won for a motorcyclist who suffered a brain injury where the driver who hit him only had $10,000 in insurance. By hard, tenacious, creative lawyering, Leighton was able to recover from the insurer for bad faith.

A board certified trial lawyer, Leighton is considered one of the foremost experts in negligent security litigation (people injured from a criminal assault).  He wrote the textbook (Litigating Premises Security Cases), lectures around the world, and is Chairman of the Inadequate Security Litigation of the American Trial Lawyers.  He is past Chairman of the organization’s Motor Vehicle, Highway and Premises Liability Section and currently chairs the Academy of Trial Advocacy, an invitation-only association of catastrophic injury lawyers. As part of his commitment to give back to the legal community, Leighton has lectured to lawyers in over a dozen states and two other countries.

Leighton is recognized by his peers as being at the very top of this his field. For 10 years he has been chosen as one of the Top 100 by Florida SuperLawyers, is included in Florida Trend magazine’s “Florida Legal Elite,” and selected 10 consecutive years for The Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff’s personal injury, medical malpractice and product liability litigation. He received his Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Florida.  When he is not in court fighting for his clients, he tries to find time to ski, bike and enjoy classic cars.


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