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A bicyclist who suffered a severe injury after his bicycle struck a pothole will receive a $6.5 million settlement from the City of Los Angeles, following lawmaker approval of a claims bill. The claims bill process involving public entities in L.A. is somewhat similar to how such matters are handled here in Florida, where damage caps per F.S. 768.28 allows for up to $200,000 per claim or $300,000 per occurrence, unless legislators pass a claims bill to allow for more. pothole1-300x225

According to the Los Angeles Times, plaintiff suffered severe and permanent brain damage when he encountered a pothole while on his bicycle. The impact tossed him from his bicycle, causing him to suffer several broken bones and a traumatic brain injury.

He alleged in his lawsuit that the street on which he crashed was poorly maintained, causing what was in essence a concealed trap for those on bicycles. Claimant presented evidence that he is likely to suffer some form of disability for the rest of his life. Members of city council agreed to approve the multi-million dollar settlement.  Continue reading →

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We trust that the products we purchase will be safe for the purpose intended. We also trust that when promises are made that a product will protect us from a given danger – whether that promise is express or implied – that it will do so. product liability

The solar eclipse that took place last month was an historic event, and people across the U.S. were eager to have an opportunity to experience it. Special sunglasses that could filter out the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays were a must-have, and they were in particularly high demand.

However, according to one lawsuit, some manufacturers and vendors sold glasses that were not powerful enough to adequately block the dangerous rays, resulting in a range of vision problems, ranging from temporary discomfort to permanent blindness.

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In a lawsuit against a fatal amusement park accident during a school outing that claimed the life of a child, defendant amusement park cannot seek indemnification from the school. However, according to a recent New Jersey Supreme Court opinion, defendant will be allowed to seek a verdict that allocates fault to the school, meaning it plaintiffs could ultimately receive less. wrongful death attorney

The issue in Jones v. Morey’s Pier was that defendant amusement park failed to give proper notice of claim to the school under the state’s Tort Claims Act. Still, the park will be allowed to present evidence during the pending trial against it that the school was negligent and that this negligence was a proximate cause of the girl’s death. If the jury finds credible evidence of this, it can allocate a percentage of fault to the school, which would reduce the park’s overall liability and the amount it would have to pay the child’s parents.

This question of common-law indemnification against a public entity was one of first impression in New Jersey, and although it has no direct bearing on the court process in Florida, courts often look to the decisions of their sister courts in reaching conclusions about similar matters.  Continue reading →

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Jurors awarded $148 million in damages to a former dance student who was permanently paralyzed as a result of a poorly-maintained pedestrian shelter at a bus stop of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. That amount fell shy of the $175 million plaintiff’s attorneys sought for her injuries, but it was far more than the $30 million defense attorneys suggested to jurors.injury attorney

According to The Chicago Tribune, the City of Chicago, which is responsible for maintenance at the airport, conceded liability in the case. The only matter to be decided by jurors was how much should be paid in damages.

In Florida, when someone has been injured in any type of accident, there may be grounds to pursue both financial (economic) as well as non-economic damages. Economic damages are calculated by determining the cost of things like medical bills, therapy and lost wages resulting from the incident. Non-economic damages, meanwhile, are intended to cover the kinds of intangible negative impact of an injury. For instance, non-economic damages would cover things like pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, permanent disfigurement or loss of consortium.  Continue reading →

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For the last four years, Florida has used the Daubert standard in civil trials as a means of testing the scientific validity of testimony by expert witnesses. Previously, the state courts adhered to the less strenuous Frye standard. Both standards are named for specific cases that set the criteria for what kinds of evidence would be admissible in civil cases. Federal courts have been using the Daubert standard for 20 years. Florida legislature’s passage of House Bill 7015 eliminated Florida’s reliance on the Frye standard, effective July 2013. Defense attorneys in particular were pleased with this because it meant more ways in which to attack expert witness testimony from plaintiffs, who bear the burden of proof.injury attorney

Now, a closely-watched case that will be weighed by the Florida Supreme Court by the year’s end could change that. In Delisle v. Crane Co., et al., plaintiffs, husband and wife, challenge several industrial manufacturers, alleging liability for the husband’s mesothelioma allegedly linked to defendant’s asbestos-laden products. Plaintiffs originally filed suit against 16 different manufacturers, but only proceeded to trial against two of those – and won an $8 million verdict.

Defendants appealed, arguing there was a lack of causal connection between their products and plaintiff’s illness. Specifically, they challenged the admission of certain plaintiff expert witness testimony. Defendants asserted causation testimony by a pulmonologist should not have been admitted because the expert failed to provide an adequate scientific basis for his opinion. Another challenge was that the “every exposure” argument presented by plaintiff had already been discredited by previous court decisions. The appellate court reversed and remanded for a new trial.  Continue reading →

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A tiny tick in a mountainous region of China set off a chain of events leading to a $40 million verdict against a Connecticut school – a verdict recently affirmed by the Connecticut Supreme Court.child injury lawyer

Although the court’s ruling doesn’t have a direct impact on case law in Florida, state high courts often look to their sister courts in considering rulings that may set precedent. The case was certified to the state supreme court from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which sought answers as to whether public policy supports imposing a duty on a school to warn about or protect against the risk of a serious insect-borne disease in organizing an abroad trip. The court was also asked whether damages in the amount of $41.5 million warranted a remittitur (reduction). The court answered yes to the first and no to the second.

The court’s ruling underscored that schools do have an affirmative duty to protect children in their care. The ruling doesn’t definitively settle the case, the outcome of which is expected to play a role in how – or whether – schools provide such travel opportunities in the future. Continue reading →

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A bar injury involving a mechanical bull resulted in an $81,000 settlement prior to trial, after a customer was thrown violently from the ride, suffering a broken ankle, torn ligament and other injuries. The same bar has paid at least $200,000 in damages to at least six other patrons who suffered similar injuries over a ten-year time frame.injury lawyer

Mechanical bulls are a staple at some Western-themed bars across the U.S., including in Florida. This particular case occurred in New York, but the same basic legal theory of premises liability applies.

Property owners and property managers have a responsibility to make sure their site is reasonably safe for paying customers (also known as “business invitees”). That means addressing conditions that are unreasonably dangerous, and warning customers about them if there are no immediate fixes. It’s unclear in this case whether there were any warnings or liability waivers signed by those who rode the bull, but defendants in these cases have been known to assert the defense that claimants assumed the risk when they chose to ride. Continue reading →

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State fairs are iconic Americana. The whir of cotton candy machines, the game jingles and, of course, the rides. personal injury lawyer

But the experience isn’t always as safe as patrons have come to expect. Recently in Ohio, a U.S. Marine recruit, just 18-years-old, was killed and seven others injured when the Fire Ball ride broke apart in mid-operation, just hours after it had passed its inspection. Video captured by a person nearby shows the ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum before it crashed and part of the ride went flying, dumping several passengers. Soon after the incident was reported other state and local fairs with similar rides shut them down, hoping to figure out what went wrong before re-opening them. The Dutch manufacturer of the ride, which reports there are 43 similar rides across the world, including 11 in the U.S., is conducting its own examination into what went wrong.

In the meantime, it’s caused many fair officials and regulators to take stock of the safety procedures currently in place, and whether patrons may face an unreasonable risk of personal injury or wrongful death just for seeking a few momentary thrills.  Continue reading →

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A jury awarded $11.2 million to the parents of a 27-year-old camera assistant who died in 2014 in the first day of shooting a film in Georgia. However, the $3.9 million ordered paid by CSX Transportation – the sole defendant at trial, as all others had previously settled – may not be paid if the company is successful with its planned appeal. Jurors had deemed the railroad company 35 percent liable. The director was deemed 28 percent liable, the corporation that owns the land where the tracks were located was deemed 18 percent liable, the assistant director 7 percent liable and the producer 5 percent liable.wrongful death lawyer

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the crew member was killed when a train crashed into a place where the film crew was setting up for a scene. It was reported the production crew lacked permission to film on the train trestle.

Her parents, plaintiffs in the wrongful death lawsuit, say their goal was to obtain answers about what happened to their daughter and to obtain accountability for the foolish and potentially criminal actions of defendants. The director on the set served a year in jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing charges.  Continue reading →

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We trust that the products we buy are going to be safe when used as advertised. This is true when it comes to everything from kitchen appliances to children’s toys to motor vehicles. Those who purchase certain items for medically-required uses may rely even more heavily on these devices, and need to know these devices are safe. injury lawyer

Unfortunately for a man with disabilities who used a wheelchair, the product he used for mobility was proven unsafe. Plaintiff reportedly suffered injury to his lower extremity when an inward facing bolt punctured his skin. A month later, that wound was aggravated when a screw seat and aluminum seat rail failed, causing the seat to collapse and plaintiff to be ejected out of the wheelchair. The aggravation of that original wound meant it did not heal for a full three years, and he now suffers a permanent nerve-related injury.

Plaintiff filed his product liability lawsuit, alleging the chair was defective in its design, manufacture, warnings and repair. He presented evidence in his California trial that the design of his wheelchair was dangerous, rending the chair defective, and that the instructions provided by the manufacturer were inadequate, and thus the maker was negligent. Plaintiff presented evidence at trial that his wound-related injuries and nerve injuries are going to require $5 million in care in the future, and might not ever totally be resolved.  Continue reading →

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