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Food poisoning is probably one of the most unpleasant illnesses one can have. Some may be only laid up for a few days feeling miserable, but then otherwise return to normal. In other cases, though, one may suffer serious consequences – up to and including death. This is especially true for young children, the elderly and those whose immunity is compromised.food poisoning attorney

When food poisoning is caused by the negligence of another person or entity (restaurant, grocery store, delivery truck company, food truck operator, nursing home, hospital, hotel, cruise ship, etc.), plaintiff may pursue a claim for damages. These cases can be challenging for the fact they are usually based largely on circumstantial evidence. That’s because the type of bacteria that typically causes food poisoning – salmonella, norovirus, Listeria and E. coli – can be be found on a range of different foods in a range of scenarios. There is often no way to know 100 percent for certain that an illness was caused by the food alleged.

Our Orlando food poisoning attorneys however can help build a case by producing evidence to meet the burden of proof, which in these cases is a “preponderance of the evidence.” In short, this means showing it was more likely than not that a particular fact or event occurred as alleged. That’s a lower standard than what we use in criminal cases, which is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” So if a juror thinks there is a 51 percent chance events occurred as you alleged, you have met your proof burden. Continue reading →

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Federal workplace regulator OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) announced they were suspending the requirement mandating companies submit employee injury logs. This was after the Center for Investigative Reporting showed the regulator failed to set up a website for the roughly 450,000 companies require to electronically submit data from their worker injury and illness logs. Even though the regulator was reportedly ready to launch a website with information for employers back in February, that site never posted. Instead, OSHA announced it wasn’t accepting electronic submissions of worker injury reports, and then later extended the deadline.workers compensation attorney

Critics worried at the time that even just a delay would potentially strip workers of key protections and allow companies to avoid accountability. A senior fellow at the National Employment Law Product was quoted by RevealNews.com as saying OSHA would not be able to focus its efforts on the most dangerous workplaces because it wouldn’t have data necessary to even identify those companies.

Now, in a lawsuit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA, three non-profit public interest and research groups (Public Citizen Health Research Group, American Public Health Association and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists) allege OSHA and U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta are in violation of the law by failing to follow proper procedures by extending the work injury reporting deadline without allowing the public to weigh in – and then announcing it wouldn’t even accept data from the 450,000 companies subject to the rule. Continue reading →

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Cruise ship vacations and travel are a top tourist draw in Florida, with ships commonly leaving from ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral. While many come home from these excursions with memories they’ll always cherish, others are left with a nightmare they’d forget if they could. cruise ship injury lawyer

Sexual assault on cruise ships is a major problem, as reported last year by NBC News, which noted victims are disproportionately under 18. In one instance reported by the outlet, the 16-year-old girl of a single mother was allegedly sexually assaulted by a trainer in the gym on board the cruise ship. The case was reported, and the ship did collect evidence and contact the FBI. However, no criminal charges were ever filed – something NBC reported was common in these cases. Of the 92 alleged on-board crimes that were reported by cruise lines in 2016, 62 of those were for sexual assaults and rapes – a Congressional report finding one-third of the victims were minors.

As our Fort Lauderdale cruise ship injury attorneys can explain, cruise lines can be held liable for sexual assaults and other criminal attaches that occur on ships and during excursions – particularly if they involve employees of the ship. In the event an employee was involved, cruise lines may be deemed strictly liable, meaning it’s not necessary to prove negligence. However, in cases where other passengers were involved, plaintiffs will need to prove negligence, which is failure to exercise a duty of reasonable care. Continue reading →

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A recent decision by a California appellate court has held that a golf course does owe a duty to use reasonable care to those playing golf to protect them from wasp nests on site. Such cases fall under the umbrella of premises liability, and pertain to the expectation that those who welcome guests onto their property have a responsibility to make sure they are reasonably safe, and that they are warned about dangerous conditions about which the owner/ manager knows or should know.Orlando golf course injury lawyer

As our Orlando injury lawyers have seen, golf course injuries usually tend to involve golf cart accidents, fast-flying rogue golf balls and trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall hazards. However, here in Florida, we also have amazing – but potentially very dangerous – wildlife patrons may encounter on golf courses. These include alligators (the most common large animal on Florida greens, as noted by The Guardian), pythons, bears, bobcats and of course stinging or biting insects like bees, wasps and red ants.

In terms of liability, Florida golf course owners have a responsibility to take measures to protect their guests by addressing these issues or posting adequate warning so guests can be alert and use appropriate caution. Continue reading →

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Responsibility for sidewalk maintenance depends on where the walkways is located and what the state and municipal ordinances say about who is responsible. Sometimes it can be private property owners located adjacent to the walk or homeowners associations or businesses on which the walkway exists. On public sidewalks, though, responsibility for maintenance usually rests with the county, city or town government. Orlando sidewalk injury lawyer

If you suffer injury in an Orlando sidewalk trip-and-fall, your claim is likely to be against the City of Orlando, which is responsible for sidewalk grinding of sections that have become lifted, cracked or uneven. Although old English common law established the idea of governmental “sovereign immunity” from torts, F.S. 768.28 outlines the state’s waiver of sovereign immunity in tort actions, allowing it to be treated just like any other negligent party or vicariously liable employer. However, there are a number of exceptions, which is why it’s so important to work with an Orlando injury attorney with a track record of success in cases against government agencies. Ask for specific examples when you’re deciding which attorney to hire.

One of the exceptions outlined in the statute involves something called discretionary function immunity (the opposite of which is ministerial function, for which governments can be held liable). These are technical and complex legal concepts, but the easiest explanation is that ministerial duty applies to a public employee’s official duty, without room for the worker to exercise any discretion. On the other hand, discretionary function is that which involves a function of one’s public employee job that requires the individual to exercise some degree of judgment in carrying out the task.  Continue reading →

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Florida slip-and-fall injury lawsuits are among the trickiest in which to prevail, thanks to a high proof burden standard in this (and many other states) requiring evidence the business had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition that caused the plaintiff to slip. Orlando slip and fall injury lawyer

This is not to say they aren’t worth pursuing. Many slip-and-fall claims in Florida are actionable, and it’s especially important in cases where serious injury resulted to at least explore the viability of a claim. That’s because these incidents can result in serious and lasting injuries, depending on the floor material, how hard the person fell, at what angle they fell and how fragile their body was to begin with. Some of the most common injuries we see in Orlando grocery store slip-and-fall cases include: Head injuries (including traumatic brain injuries), hip fractures, back and spinal cord injuries, shoulder injuries, sprains and fractures (particularly of wrists and ankles).

However, in contested claims (where the insurer refuses to make a payment), before a court can consider the severity of your injuries and what you might be owed, there first must be a decision about whether the defendant business owner/ manager is negligent. Having an experienced injury lawyer on your case as soon as possible is imperative because certain critical evidence – which you might not even realize is important – could be lost forever if it’s not promptly preserved. For example, if you don’t know what you slipped on or how long it was there, you will have a very tough time prevailing in a slip-and-fall case. But it’s possible certain evidence – such as security surveillance footage – may offer key information that can help answer these questions – and save your case. However, if your attorney doesn’t request that it be preserved, it might be deleted by the store (common practice for many businesses with such cameras).  Continue reading →

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An underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier has been deemed responsible to render policy limits for punitive damages an at-fault driver is unable to pay, even when those limits pertained to “property damage” losses plaintiff didn’t suffer. car accident attorney

The case is indicative of why you need a highly experienced Florida car accident attorney to help handle drunk driving and/ or wrongful death accident claims. The reality is, you are likely to have valid claims against numerous insurance companies and making certain you have received payment on all policies rightly owed is imperative. Further, drunk driving accident claims are among the only type of car accident case in Florida wherein one might expect to obtain punitive damages, as outlined in F.S. 768.82. Such damages are allowable in cases where there is clear and convincing evidence a defendant is guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence. They are intended to punish the defendant rather than “make whole” the plaintiff (the latter being the goal of most personal injury claims).

In the case in question (arising in South Carolina, but with issues that may pertain to Florida car accident claimants), plaintiff and his wife were riding in a vehicle owned by the wife’s mother. Without warning, a drunk driver crossed the center line and struck their vehicle. Both were seriously injured, with plaintiff’s wife dying several days later due to catastrophic injuries. The at-fault driver paid its policy limit. Then the vehicle owner’s (decedent’s mother) insurer paid on its  UIM limits for ($25,000 to husband individually and $25,000 to him as representative of his wife’s estate). Husband then sought recovery from his own insurer, which provided split limits UIM policy. This allowed for property damage coverage up to $50,000 and bodily injury coverage of up to $100,000 each. Continue reading →

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Amid reports that hundreds of people have been sickened in 10 states connected to two second cyclospora outbreaks (one of those resulting from eating McDonald’s salads), it’s important to point out that food poisoning illnesses can result in liability of these restaurants and grocery store chains.food poisoning injury

Recently one such case, Stachulski v. Apple New England, LLC, resulted with the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which affirmed a damage award of $750,000 in favor of a plaintiff who fell ill with salmonella after consuming a hamburger at defendant restaurant. Although ultimately ending in a favorable outcome to plaintiff, it highlights some of the challenges plaintiffs in food poisoning lawsuits may face.

According to court records, 29-year-old plaintiff, an HVAC technician, based his claim on a theory of strict products liability, explaining in his complaint he had dined at the restaurant with his wife and brother-in-law in February 2014, at which time he consumed a hamburger, which he alleged to be the source of his illness. He ordered the burger medium rare, and that was the start of the nightmare. (His brother-in-law too became ill, but recovered after a few days.) Plaintiff was hospitalized for a full week in intensive care when he first became sick. Even after he was released, he was unable to work for a full year due to uncontrollable bowel movements. He was embarrassingly on the toilet dozens of times daily, suffering kidney failure, shutdown of his liver and septic infection in his blood. Continue reading →

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South Florida trampoline park injuries among children have seen a stunning rise, with an NBC6 investigation reporting nearly 300 falls and injuries at trampoline parks resulting in 911 calls, about 70 of those requiring paramedics. Among those calls were a 4-year-old boy with a sprained ankle and a 6-year-old girl left bleeding after a larger child jumped on top of her and a boy who suffered a head injury. At one business alone, there were 60 calls to 911 in two years.trampoline injury

Larger studies suggest the problem is widespread and growing. For instance, a study published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that between 2010 and 2014, there were approximately 92,000 emergency department visits made during the study period. That alone is troubling, but particularly when you consider that trampoline park injuries spiked 10-fold during the study period. Five-to-six new trampoline parks open across the country every single month, with an estimated 450 open as of the end of last year. That’s compared to the 35 to 40 that were in existence in 2011 and 280 in 2014.

Sprains and fractures were among the most common trampoline injuries, with dislocated joints twice as commonly occurring at trampoline parks as at residential trampolines. Also more common at the businesses were fractures more likely to occur in younger children – accounting for roughly 50 percent of injuries among children younger than 6.  Continue reading →

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Living in an age of medical and scientific advancements, we have a tendency to think of our health care providers – and specialist doctors in particular – as being infallible. The truth of the mater is they are simply human who can cause harm even when they are trying to help. That’s the case with most birth injuries that give rise to medical malpractice claims.birth injury attorney

Recently, a jury in Ohio awarded $11.35 million to a boy, now 16, who reportedly suffers from intellectual and social disabilities after suffering a brain injury at birth. His parents say the OB/GYN and her practice were negligent in the delivery of the boy in April 2001. According to court records obtained by The Akron Beacon Journal, the child was born via vaginal delivery, wherein the doctor used a vacuum and forceps. This was despite the fact there were several indications the boy needed to be delivered via C-section. These factors included the fact that patient was a first-time mother, the baby was large and also his head was facing the wrong direction. Plaintiffs alleged the baby was traumatized as a result of the delivery, with evidence of contusions and bruising.

He was thereafter hospitalized in the facility’s neonatal intensive care unit, where doctors explained the child may suffer lasting injuries. Although he initially appeared to function normally, social and developmental delays became apparent as he got older. The couple was hopeful the child would “grow out of” these issues, but by the time he was between 9- and 10-years-old, they concluded that the reality was he would not. It was at that point the parents contacted a birth injury lawyer to help investigate their claim. Continue reading →

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