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A man using chemical paint remover was seriously injured when the substance ignited and burned him. He and his wife filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of that chemical, alleging the warning labels were inadequate and the product was defectively designed. paintcan

A federal district court in Illinois granted summary judgment to defendant in Suarez v. W.M. Barr & Co. on both of these counts. Recently, though, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed in part. Specifically, the court ruled that while the label on the product did accurately describe the primary risks for consumers, there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the product was defectively design based on theories of strict liability and negligence.

Strict product liability is a legal rule that holds sellers, distributors and/ or manufacturers of defective products liable to the person injured by that product, regardless of whether defendant was negligent. In a claim alleging negligence, a defendant’s standard of conduct is central to proving liability. That is, defendant acted in a way that fell below the standard of reasonable conduct. In strict liability cases, however, the idea is that it doesn’t matter how defendant acted. Instead, what must be shown is that the product was in unreasonably dangerous condition, the seller expected/ intended the product would reach the consumer without changes and plaintiff was injured by defective product.  Continue reading →

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Cruises are a popular vacation option for those who want to relax, not worry too much about organizing the details. However, what many people don’t understand is that when they are on a cruise, they are in muddy legal territory in which they may have limited protections to pursue compensation if they suffer personal injury or loss of life.cruise ship

Most cruise lines are shielded from certain claims of liability based on the waiver printed on the back of each passenger’s ticket. Boarding of the ship with that ticket is viewed as acceptance of the terms.

While cruise ship injury lawsuits can prove more challenging, these companies aren’t immune. There are a number of instances in which cruise lines can be held liable. A number of injury and wrongful death lawsuits recently filed in Florida are illustrative of the fact that it can still be worth it to pursue litigation. Continue reading →

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There is a lot of anxiety that comes along with being a new parent. One of those sources of anxiety shouldn’t be the doctors and nurses trusted to take care of your baby.pregnant

Unfortunately, severe birth injuries and infant deaths caused by medical malpractice are more common than some people think. The Florida Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics reports that between 7 and 8 of every 1,000 births in Florida results in fetal death. In the U.S., 27 out of every 1,000 births results in a birth injury. That means three babies born every hour suffer a birth injury, which amounts to 2,000 a month nationally.

Recently, the parents of one of those children have filed a lawsuit against a hospital, a doctor, two medical service providers and a nurse – all of whom they allege are liable for injuries to their newborn son, who was delivered 10 weeks early in 2015. This was the couple’s third child, and the mother developed a medical condition that resulted in her being forced to have the baby boy delivered by emergency Cesarean. Being premature, the boy suffered from digestive issues. According to WYFF NBC-4, the baby was transferred to a hospital in Greenville. Doctors recommended he be transferred to another location in Charlotte, but the family wanted him to be treated in Greenville because it would allow them be closer to their other two children until the boy was strong enough to go home. Continue reading →

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Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal has joined the 4th DCA in its finding that damage caps in medical malpractice injury lawsuits are unconstitutional. These damage caps, enacted by a 2003 overhaul of state law by then-Gov. Jeb Bush, limit the amount of money injury plaintiffs can receive for pain and suffering when medical malpractice results in a serious personal injury. doctor

The Florida Supreme Court is still reviewing the 4th DCA’s finding in a similar case, North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan, in which the hospital is appealing the court’s finding that damage caps shouldn’t apply to injury lawsuits stemming from the breach of care acceptable care standards by doctors, nurses and other health care workers.

This conflict between the appeals court rulings and the law come after the Florida Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in McCall v. U.S., in which justices ruled non-economic damages in medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits are not constitutional. So the sticking point in the current cases is whether that also extends to injury cases, where plaintiff did not die. Continue reading →

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The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled in the Orlando negligent security lawsuit of Anderson v. Hilton Hotel that plaintiff is entitled to have his attorney’s fees covered, per F.S. 768.79 and Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.442.parking lot

Plaintiff’s victory comes after he won $1.7 million in damages from four different defendants, though three of those were characterized as a single entity during trial. It was this issue that complicated the matter of whether plaintiff was entitled to attorney fees.

Normally, personal injury plaintiffs do not pay attorney fees upfront. Instead, lawyers offer services on a contingency fee basis, which means clients pay nothing upfront and agree to sign over a portion of their damage awards if they win (usually somewhere around 30 percent, though it varies depending on the facts/ complexity of the case). This type of agreement allows more meritorious civil actions to make their way into court, rather than creating an impossible bar for persons with limited means. However, there are situations in which the other side can be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees to the winner. For a plaintiff, this occurs when a reasonable settlement offer is made, not accepted within 30 days and then plaintiff wins the case, being awarded in excess of 25 percent of that original offer.  Continue reading →

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Jurors in Georgia awarded $5 million to a woman who suffered a paratransit van fall that caused her to lose her left arm and rendered her right arm useless. wheelchair

Deliberations lasted about 7 hours before finding the company that operated the non-emergency transport van was partially responsible for the 2012 accident that prompted the lawsuit, Smith v. Logisticare.

At the time of the incident, plaintiff was a left leg amputee and she was traveling in defendant’s van to get to a dialysis appointment. She reportedly was not properly secured into the van, and fell out of her wheelchair when the van hit a pot hole. Because she was not properly belted into position. Crush fractures suffered to her arms necessitated her left arm be removed and her right arm no longer functional.  Continue reading →

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Waivers of liability can be difficult to overcome in personal injury cases. Often, proof of simple, ordinary negligence will not be enough. Instead, what must be shown is proof of gross negligence.shower2

Gross negligence occurs when there is some kind of blatant violation of or clear indifference to a legal duty toward the rights and protection of others. It’s a kind of flagrant and conscious disregard for the use of reasonable care. It doesn’t mean showing the accident/ injury was intentional, but rather showing an extreme lack of care that is likely to cause foreseeable, serious harm to someone else. In some cases, an assertion of gross negligence will support a recovery of punitive damages too, though there usually needs to be evidence of willful, wanton misconduct.

In the case of Anderson v. Fitness International LLC, the question was whether plaintiff had sufficiently proven gross negligence to overcome the protection that his signed waiver of liability had afforded the defense. A California appeals court ruled: No. Continue reading →

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Jurors in California have awarded $19.7 million in damages to the parents of a young boy who shot himself in the head with a loaded gun that was left out near a toy box by his great-grandfather. firearm

Although the boy survived the gunshot between the eyes, he suffered severe and permanent brain damage. Now 8-years-old, he needs 24-7 medical care and assistance with daily activities.

As the personal injury lawyer representing the boy’s parents explained the damage amount was reached via careful consideration of not just the pain and suffering of the actual shooting, but a meticulously-crafted life care plan that takes into account his medical bills, the cost of previous surgeries, the kind of care he will need in the future, the lost wages he has suffered, the lost wages his parents have incurred and the loss of life events, like having a relationship with his parents or ever starting a family of his own. The damages will be placed in a special trust that will be drawn from throughout the boy’s life to help cover his expenses. He is expected to incur $10 million in medical expenses over the course of his life. Continue reading →

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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.
Continue reading →

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