Articles Tagged with wrongful death

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Caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits – set at $250,000 per incident under Gov. Jeb Bush – are unconstitutional. The Florida Supreme Court decided this soundly – first in the 2015 case of Estate of McCall v. U.S. (medical malpractice wrongful death cases) and again in 2017 with its ruling in North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan (medical malpractice personal injury cases).medical malpractice attorney

But hospitals in Florida have found a loophole to this in the form of arbitration agreements. This was recently underscored in a case decided by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal. In Plantation General Hospital v. Belzi, the appellate panel reversed a $4 million damage award and remanded to the lower court for a recalculation of damages – specifically to be in accordance with the provisions of F.S. 766.207, which still allows the $250,000 non-economic damage cap in cases handled by “voluntary arbitration.”

The Belzi case involved the death of a 24-year-old wife and mother who lost so much oxygen during childbirth, she was left in a vegetative state and died three months later. Her family filed a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital alleging their medical negligence resulted in the young woman’s death. Her child, delivered via emergency c-section, survived.  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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