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An 83-year-old woman arrived at her local hospital in Rochester, NY to undergo a surgical cancer treatment. It was early in the morning, so it was dark and the overhead lighting in the parking garage was poor. She parked in the handicapped spot and then helped her daughter, seated in the backseat, into her wheelchair.parkinglots

As the Democrat & Chronicle reported, the hospital placed cement parking stops inside the pedestrian walkway that bordered those handicapped parking spaces. The stops were the same color as the concrete floor. As plaintiff rounded the corner of her car, she tripped and fell. She sustained a serious shoulder fracture.

When the hospital refused her offer a reasonable settlement for the 2013 injury, she filed a premises liability lawsuit. The case went to trial just recently, with jurors deciding the case in plaintiff’s favor after just 20 minutes of deliberation. The final award: $550,000. Continue reading →

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A Palm Beach County woman was awarded $480,000 by a jury after she suffered serious injuries in a fall that resulted when a bus driver accelerated the vehicle before everyone was seated.bus

Plaintiff attorneys told The Sun Sentinel the county should train its drivers to refrain from moving the vehicle until all passengers are safely in their seats.

Although conceding bus drivers are constantly pressed for time, the safety of passengers can’t be sacrificed just so the driver can be punctual. Everyone deserves a chance to get to their destination safely.
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A civil trial is underway in South Florida alleging personal injury and loss of consortium in a bicycle accident in July 2014 that nearly killed a cyclist, also a husband and father. bicyclist1

As The News-Press reports, plaintiff in the case said he now “feels more like a son than a husband” to his wife after the accident. He explained during testimony at trial that his relationship with his wife was substantially altered following the collision in which an elderly motorist plowed into him as he and other cyclists rode in a group on Fort Myers Beach. As the cyclist lay bleeding and unconscious on the road, the 86-year-old driver reportedly shouted, “I should have hit them harder. I should have hit all of them.”

Family members for the driver, who is now deceased, say those comments were extraordinarily out of character for him. Photographs taken in the aftermath of the crash show him standing nearby with his pants on backward. They say he was later treated for a neurological issue. He died less than two years later.  Continue reading →

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A habit for fitness is supposed to be a good thing. However, an increasing number of brain injury cases are cropping up at gyms across the country, particularly involving falls from treadmills.treadmill2

You may recall the headlines last year when Dave Goldberg, the 47-year-old chief executive of $2 billion company SurveyMonkey, died unexpectedly after falling off a treadmill on vacation. The husband of Facebook’s CEO Sheryl Sandberg, Goldberg suffered massive head injuries.

The case of 60-year-old Etelvina Jimenez was far less high-profile, though it was highlighted recently in the Sacramento Bee. In 2011, Jimenez reportedly fainted while on a treadmill at a 24 Hour Fitness location. She fell backward and hit her head on equipment, suffering numerous skull fractures. Although the facility may not have been able to prevent her fainting or protect her from all injuries, improper placement of other equipment too close to the rear of the treadmill is a real problem at many facilities, who try to pack as many pieces of equipment as they can into a space – despite manufacturer instructions. Continue reading →

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Federal regulators are seeking to forcibly lower the speeds of semi-trucks, buses and other large vehicles by installed devices that would cap their top speed. The measure has been proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It would set the maximum speed for these large vehicles at either 60 mph, 65 mph or 68 mph, depending on the feedback they receive from the public. truckoverbridge

Top NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind called the theory behind the proposal, “Basic physics.” That is, the faster a vehicle travels, the greater force the impact is going to be. When we’re talking about vehicles this large, the potential for damage is astronomical. In fact, regulators say that if this proposal is adopted, it has the potential to save somewhere between 162 to 500 lives every year. That could mean as many as half of the 1,000 people who die every year in accidents caused by speeding large trucks. What’s more, it could reduce the number of serious injuries by 550 or so while slashing the number of minor injuries by as much as 10,300 a year. Not only that, but the agency estimates it could means fuel savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions that would total nearly $850 million a  year.

Unsurprisingly, some in the trucking industry is not enthused. There has been grumbling about the fact that truckers would need to be on the road longer and this will mean not just reduced profits for trucking firms, but also lower efficiency in many other economic sectors.  Continue reading →

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When someone suffers a work-related injury, typically the only remedy they have against the employer is a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the exclusivity provision of workers’ compensation law does not prohibit injured workers or their families from seeking compensation from negligent third parties. In some cases, that could include the owner of the property where the work was being conducted. propane

One such case was recently weighed by an appellate court in California. In Regalado v. Callaghan, justices were asked to consider whether the trial court made any mistakes that resulted in a finding that a homeowner was liable for the injuries suffered by an employee of a pool contractor. Jurors at trial had found the homeowner 40 percent liable for the worker’s injuries based on theories of negligence and premises liability and ordered him to pay $3 million in damages.

According to court records, the homeowner was a licensed subcontractor who wanted to build a “dream house” for his wife in the Coachella Valley. He acted as an owner-builder for his home project, meaning he obtained the permits for construction and served as the person responsible for overseeing the construction – similar to the role a general contractor would take on. Continue reading →

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A mother in Texas has filed a lawsuit against a flea market where her child was run over by a motor vehicle last year. At the time of the accident, the girl was just 18-months-old. Now age 2, her mother says she is still “struggling to live a normal life.” fleamarket

She has filed a premises liability lawsuit against the flea market, as well as a general negligence lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle. Plaintiff raises questions about the safety of the property where pedestrians were so close to motor vehicle traffic.

Flea markets – both indoor and open air – are popular in Florida (including Fort Lauderdale) as well as other southern states. Questions of liability can be tricky, however, because you’re dealing with a host of different businesses. You have the vendors, then the operator of the facility and, often, a separate owner of the land. There may be other companies contracted to provide traffic control or security. There is potential in these types of cases to name numerous defendants, but it’s important to conduct a thorough investigation so that all parties can be properly identified and the narrative fully formed by the time negotiations begin or litigation is filed.  Continue reading →

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It’s been seven years since a New Jersey girl was shot accidentally in her head with an metal arrow by a young boy, causing her to suffer a massive stroke and aneurysm that almost killed her. Now, according to, a judge has allowed that discovery for her claim for product liability – including punitive damages – against the distributor of that arrow set may proceed. However, the judge denied discovery in the claim against the boy’s father, leaving the sporting goods store as the only defendant. bowarrow

According to news reports of the case, the girl and her twin sister were at a friend’s house one day in July 2010 when she wandered in front of a 9-year-old boy who was practicing archery with a compound bow in the same yard. The arrow, which can only be purchased by an adult with a hunting license, struck the girl between her nose and right eye. It tore through her cerebral artery, lodging into the left temporal lobe in the middle of her brain.

The arrow was reportedly purchased by the boy’s father at a sporting goods store in New Jersey. Under state law, it’s illegal to shoot any metal-tipped arrow without a hunting license – and those are only available in that state when a child turns 10. Further, anyone who sells youth-sized or metal-tipped arrows is supposed to inquire as to whether the user has a child’s hunting license. Continue reading →

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When a person is injured as a result of the negligence of another who owed them a duty of care, that individual usually has the right to pursue compensation under Florida law. That part is pretty well-known. What is less understood is that certain loved ones of the person injured may also pursue their own claim for damages under a type of compensation called “loss of consortium.” hug

A claim for loss of consortium alleges damages suffered by a loved one of a person who has been injured or killed as a result of a defendant’s negligent, intentional or otherwise wrongful act. Loss of consortium claims vary widely from state-to-state, with some imposing strict limitations on who has the right to a loss of consortium claim. Typically, it’s filed by one’s spouse, and asserts the loss of “normal marital relations,” which can be a euphemism for sexual intercourse, but also for loss of companionship. The exact measure of this kind of loss is speculative, which is why only an experienced injury attorney should handle such claims. Proving damages often requires delving into the strength of the bond and the closeness of the relationship.

In Florida, unlike in some other states, the law allows for claims of loss of consortium brought by others besides one’s spouse. Specifically, parents may sue for loss of consortium of a child and children may sue for loss of consortium of a parent. Rights to these claims are found in several statutes, including F.S. 768.21Continue reading →

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A federal appeals court ruled recently that a boating company didn’t have a responsibility to keep an eye on the weather and offer an updated forecast to six vacationers from Florida whose rental boat sank seven years ago, leading to four deaths. But the 3-0 ruling in the case of In re: Aramark Sports wasn’t a total win for the boating company. That’s because justices remanded the case on the question of whether the firm was negligent in its failure to warn the boat renters of the wind speed limitations  of the rented vessel’s design.


The boat, a Baja 202 Islander, was a 20-foot vessel that had the capacity to carry eight people. Court records indicate the manual for that boat revealed it was able to withstand maximum wind speeds of just 31 mph. That manual also stipulates that the maximum noted wave height and wind speed for that category doesn’t necessarily mean the boat is safe at that speed or that passengers will survive if the vessel encounters those conditions. In fact, the manual indicates that only highly experienced boaters will have the ability to operate safely the boat in those conditions.

But this was not information that was passed on to the vacationers – three retired police officers from St. Petersburg, FL and their wives – in Utah. When they met with steady winds of 35 mph. At times, gusts hurled past them at 55 mph. Their boat began taking on water. They issued a mayday as the boat sank in Lake Powell. One couple made it to some jagged rocks, where they clung until rescuers found them. However, the other two couples perished in the sudden storm.  Continue reading →

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