Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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People who run 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons and marathon races know they have to build up their endurance – both muscular and cardio – in order to run the race safely. Marathon races especially can be grueling, and it’s understood that to some extent, when one chooses to participate, they are accepting an inherent risk of possible physical injury or illness. However, that does not absolve organizers of these races and communities where they are held from ensuring medical help is promptly available to anyone who may have suffered an unexpected health consequence in the course of participation. injury lawyer

Recently, an appellate court in California ruled a San Francisco family will be allowed to pursue legal action against the race organizer of a half marathon for failure to provide a medical doctor, ambulance or emergency medical equipment at the finish line.

According to court records, the 31-year-old participant suffered cardiac arrest after finishing the 13.1-mile park run. Numerous bystanders, including several fellow participants with medical training (three city firefighters) hurried to his aid while awaiting life-saving equipment, stored in a tent nearby. However, some 45 minutes after his collapsed, the runner died.  Continue reading →

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In Florida, there are laws in place requiring certain entities to be equipped with automated external defibrillators (AED). Commonly called “shock devices,” they are instruments used to electronically “restart” a person’s heart once they have gone into cardiac arrest. Here in Florida, F.S. 1006.165 requires every public school district that is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association to have an operational AED on school grounds, and schools must make sure all employees and volunteers who might reasonably be expected to use the device are appropriately trained to do so. F.S. 258.0165 encourages (but does not require) state parks to have a functioning one on site at all times. Other provisions of Florida’s Administrative Code require them in dentists’ offices, state-owned or leased facilities. wrongful death lawyer

Failure to abide these provisions could be grounds upon which to pursue a negligence claim if a facility or premises required to have an AED does not, resulting in a wrongful death that might otherwise have been prevented.

In a recent case out of California (where there are similar provisions), an appellate court ruled a landlord who leases  commercial space to the operator of a health facility (which are required by state law to carry AEDs) doesn’t owe a duty of care to ensure those devices are provided. Continue reading →

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The sovereign immunity doctrine in Florida bars lawsuits in state court against a state government, as well as its agencies and subdivision, absent governmental consent. Although proponents of this theory say it allows for governmental discretion by allowing officials to engage in flexible decision-making without risk of liability and protects public funds, opponents say it fails to discourage wrong-doing and leaves injured parties with no viable remedy. injury attorney

Florida’s waiver of sovereign immunity is outlined in F.S. 768.28, a lengthy and complex statute that allows for various stipulations on suing the government or government employees for negligence. Even if you win, your damage award will be capped at $200,000 a person and $300,000 total per claim (no matter how many claimants), unless the state legislature passes a bill that allows for a higher amount in any given case. This doesn’t mean it’s never worthwhile to pursue compensation from a government agency or worker if you’re injured owing to their negligence, but it’s important to understand there will be a number of challenges, which is why hiring an experienced Orlando injury attorney is so critical.

A recent case considered by the Georgia Supreme Court considered a wrongful death claim involving the tragic death of a student engaged in horseplay in an unsupervised classroom. His parents alleged it was the result of negligence in whole or in part of the teacher who left the room. However, the teacher was a governmental employee, and as such, the question of official immunity was raised.  Continue reading →

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Council members for the City of Fort Myers have agreed to pay $40,000 to avoid further litigation involving the family of a 20-year-old man who was fatally shot at a Halloween-themed event downtown two years ago. injury lawyer

The News-Press reports the city hoped to avoid the continuation of a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit, by settling with the young man’s personal representative. The city has already spent $55,000 thus far settling various lawsuits filed against it after the unsolved shooting at the event, a horror-themed tradition called Zombicon. The city cut ties with the event coordinator soon after the shooting. Two more personal injury lawsuits are still pending in state court, as well as a third involving a dispute with insurer in federal court. Previously, the city paid two other 20-year-olds who had been shot and injured $7,500 each.

Zombicon had been one of the most popular downtown celebrations, drawing some 20,000 people to the event every year. However, at the 2015 event, shortly before midnight, an unknown person started firing into the crowd. Decedent was killed and six others were seriously injured. After nine years of the event being held downtown, it is no longer. The event organizer is also facing litigation, alleging, among other things, inadequate security.  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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In any injury lawsuit against the government, there are a number of legal protections afforded those entities that can make these cases challenging.phone1

One of the strongest legal defenses for emergency responders is the public duty doctrine. It’s a principle of personal injury law that holds government owes its duty of care to the public at-large, not individuals. So individuals could only prevail in these injury cases if they could show some special relationship existed, and not simply that the agency had breached a duty to the general public (i.e., “a duty to all is a duty to no one”).

Florida has not recognized the public duty doctrine since 2001, following the passage of F.S. 768.28, which spells out the waiver of sovereign immunity in tort actions.  Now, Illinois joins the growing number of states to abolish the public duty doctrine, after a divided decision in Coleman v. E. Joliet Fire Prot. Dist. Continue reading →

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Many tourists come to Florida seeking adventure, and they find it in the form of deep sea fishing or personal water craft rides or parasailing or swamp boat rides. Those are just a few examples, and in virtually every case, participants are going to be asked to sign a liability waiver.raft

These waivers are intended to protect the interests of the business offering the service from legal action should one of the participants get injured. These waivers, also referred to as “exculpatory clauses,” won’t automatically shield a company from all claims, but there is a rebuttable presumption that the contracts are valid. That means the burden of proof is on plaintiff to prove why they aren’t.

Some reasons why a waiver might not be valid:

  • It goes against public policy;
  • It’s inherently unfair;
  • The language is ambiguous.

Continue reading →

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Florida’s prison system and jails are coming under fire amid a host of inmate injuries and deaths that are alleged to have been caused by abuse and neglect. The Miami Herald reports there were nearly 350 inmates who died in Florida prisons last year. While not all of those are attributed to wrongdoing, it is a record high, despite the fact the number of inmates as a whole has remained largely unchanged.prison2

One of those cases, involving a man who died after suffering severe burns after being locked by guards in a scalding hot shower, has resulted in a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. The 50-year-old inmate at the Dade Correctional Institution in Miami suffered from schizophrenia and was allegedly being punished for refusing to clean feces off the floor of his cell.

An investigation by the Miami Herald, which involved spending more than a year interviewing dozens of witnesses, pouring over hundreds of records and analyzing a number of claims, the paper found alleged abuses included:

  • Sexual assaults by officers against inmates;
  • Racially motivated beatings;
  • Withholding food from inmates in a mental health ward;
  • Refusing to secure medical treatment for inmates in dire need.

Continue reading →

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The parents of an infant who died tragically in a hot car that was parked outside a Florida daycare facility for seven hours in the summer will not be able to collect any compensation from the driver’s personal insurance policy. cars

That’s according to a new ruling by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal in Bryant v. Windhaven Insurance Co., which is part of a larger case in which the parents are seeking justice from the van driver personally, as well as the day care center (his employer) and the landlord of the property where the incident occurred.

This ruling will only affect the case insofar as it relates to the van driver’s personal liability. He may yet still be found personally liable and obligated to pay, but he will not have his personal insurance company to be responsible for that payment if that happens. Continue reading →

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An unforeseen household accident ended tragically when a Florida man was electrocuted while installing a new dishwasher. According to reports, the 33-year-old victim was killed when his wedding ring came in contact with a live wire. Police in South Daytona said that the man was at his in-laws home helping to install a new dishwasher. The family was preparing to eat when the saw the victim kneeling at the appliance with his left arm extended behind the dishwasher. They noticed that he was turning red and unresponsive. They immediately pulled him away and began CPR before calling 911.

mllkODKParamedics responded to the scene and transported the victim to Halifax Health Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. According to the family, the victim had previously installed and repaired household appliances. Investigators at the scene believe that his wedding ring came in contact with a copper wire. Though the family had turned off most of the power in the room for the installation, it was left on while he reached behind the dishwasher to check on a strange sounds that were coming from behind the new appliance.

Electrocution during home maintenance and repair is not uncommon. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, there are more than 100,000 people treated for electrical shock every year in the United States. Death from electrical currents passing through the body can result from fatal effects on the heart, severe burns, and other organ damage. Household wiring was responsible for 11% of electrocution deaths in the United States.

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