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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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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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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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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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Head injuries can be among the most serious types of personal injuries seen in the West Palm Beach area.  Not only can these accidents result in death, in cases where they do not prove fatal, they can leave a victim with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  A traumatic brain injury can result in the need for a plaintiff to undergo multiple surgical and non-surgical medical procedures, and will leave plaintiffs unable to do many of the things we take for granted like walking, eating, using fine or even gross motor skills, talking, and they may have trouble concentrating on simple tasks, memory issues, trouble returning to work, and in many cases, these victims will not make anything close to a full recovery.

slip and fall attorneyThis means the plaintiff will often have extensive medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and the need for full-time care.  In some cases, the plaintiff will no longer be able to live alone and may require moving to a full-time care facility. In other cases, plaintiffs will be fortunate enough to have family members who are retired or can afford to stop working, but even this will cause a tremendous financial burden to the members of plaintiff’s family and this is why we say that not only the plaintiff, but the plaintiff’s family members can also be devastated by a serious accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Continue reading →

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A business liability insurer will not need to provide coverage to a convenience store faced with claims of negligent supervision arising from a physical altercation between the store’s security guard and a customer.personal injury attorney

According to records from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the incident happened in 2009 at a convenience store when the customer visited the store to buy beer and that while he was inside the store, the security guard punched him in the face twice. Customer/ plaintiff left the store, called police to report an assault and was transported to the hospital where he received treatment for a broken jaw.

As our personal injury attorneys in Orlando can explain, actions for intentional tort can be difficult because many insurers will allege they do not cover intentional acts. However, there may be negligence claims that are applicable for which insurers are liable.

Plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the store owner, the security guard and the store’s insurer. He alleged the store had a duty to properly train and supervise employees, owing the highest degree of care for the safety of customers. The store’s liability insurer hired an attorney to represent him, but did so under “reservation of rights,” meaning that decision alone did not mean it would provide coverage for the end verdict. The insurer sought to bifurcate issues of coverage and liability and put the proceedings on the latter issue on hold until the issue of coverage could be decided, a motion the court granted. The store owner hired his own attorney to represent him on the issue of coverage. Continue reading →

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Unsafe sidewalk conditions such as uneven slabs and cracks can result in serious injuries from trip-and-fall, bicycle accidents and, it turns out, Segway accidents.sidewalk accident

Recently in California, the San Diego Tribune reported the city council had agreed to approve a $1.5 million settlement with a woman who suffered a Segway accident injury while riding on a sidewalk. Her husband was also awarded $200,000 for loss of consortium. Segways, which can be rented across the Orlando area as well, are those two-wheeled motorized vehicles that can carry a single person standing upright. Plaintiff was reportedly injured when she drove a Segway over a large area of damaged and broken sidewalk in the summer of 2015. She suffered a shattered pelvis requiring emergency surgery and permanent metal plates. She still requires intense physical therapy and currently relies predominantly on a wheelchair for mobility now. She sought damages for pain and suffering and lost wages, while her husband sought compensation for loss of companionship.

The city initially defended itself, arguing in responses that plaintiffs were negligent, careless and the damage to the pavement was open and obvious and could have been avoided had they been using reasonable care. The city also filed a cross-complaint against the Segway tour guide business from which plaintiff rented the vehicle. Ultimately, that company didn’t contribute to the payout because the company lacked liability insurance at the time of the accident and the company had limited assets. The city is now working on an ordinance that would require Segway tour operators to carry liability insurance, as well as adhere to other safety regulations.  Continue reading →

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Florida is renowned for its water parks and theme parks – from the obvious draws like Disney and Universal Studios in Orlando to Tampa’s Adventure Island, Destin’s Big Kahuna’s Waterpark and Winterhaven’s Legoland. Amusement parks are big business in the Sunshine State, drawing in many millions of visitors (Disney World’s Magic Kingdom alone has more than 20 million visitors annually) who collectively pay billions for the experience. amusement park injury

But with this benefit comes a huge responsibility: To keep visitors reasonably safe from foreseeable harms.

When businesses fail to do this and it results in a personal injury, it can be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. Examples might include the failure to clean up a spill resulting in a slip-and-fall or the failure to properly manage a busy parking lot, resulting in a vehicle-versus-pedestrian accident.  Continue reading →

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