Articles Posted in Premises Liability

The family of Juan Carlos Rivera has settled their Coral Gables wrongful death lawsuit with the Miami-Dade School Board. A fellow student fatally stabbed Rivera in 2009.

Rivera and another student, Andy Rodriguez, reportedly bumped elbows and that was when the two Coral Gables Senior High students got into a fistfight. Rodriguez then stabbed Rivera numerous times, including one jab to the heart. According to prosecutors, the brawl was over a girl.

Rivera’s family had accused the high school of negligence, including poor supervision, inadequate security, and failing to properly determine which students were troubled. Meantime, Rodriguez has been found guilty of second-degree murder with a weapon. He will be sentenced later this month.

A woman who says she was injured in a Hollywood, Florida slip and fall accident at a local gas station is suing RaceTrac for Broward County personal injury. Isaura Velez is seeking damages for injuries she sustained last year. Velez says she was entering the RaceTrac store at S. Pine Island Road when she slipped and fell because no one told her that the floor was wet.

RaceTrac is a petroleum conglomerate. This is at least the second South Florida injury lawsuit filed against RaceTrac in the last few months.

Susan and Richard Gold filed their Pompano Beach slip and fall lawsuit over his injuries that they contend he sustained when he slipped on gas that overflowed from their motor vehicle’s gas tank. The Golds believe that the pump was defective, which is why it kept pouring gas even though the tank was already full.

Richard and Susan Gold are suing a RaceTrac filling station for Pompano Beach personal injury. They claim that a faulty pump at the station maimed Richard in March 2009.

In their Broward County slip and fall complaint, the couple contends that because the gas pump was defective, it didn’t stop the gas from flowing after their vehicle’s tank was full. Instead, the gas began “spewing” into the air, onto the ground, and around his vehicle. Richard, who was the one pumping gas, says that he tried to regain control of the nozzle right away because he was afraid of the fire hazard the gasoline posed to him and those around him. The Golds say that this is when his Pompano Beach slip and fall accident happened.

Richard believes that if the pump hadn’t malfunctioned, he wouldn’t have slipped and fallen. He also says that the Pompano Beach fall accident caused him to sustain injuries to his neck, head, back, arms, and legs, and he likely has other injuries that have yet to be diagnosed.

A Florida jury has awarded a $1.8 million Miami-Dade premises liability verdict to Francisca Vente, the woman who was assaulted by suspected killer Michael Davis in her apartment. Vente claimed the inadequate security at Bay Winds apartment, a Cornerstone complex, made it possible for Davis to get on the grounds and enter her unit.

At the time of the 2009, Davis was fleeing from police who wanted him for questioning in the strangulation death of an 18-year-old man. When he knocked on her door, Vente let him in thinking that he was the air conditioner repairman. Davis came in and choked her until she lost consciousness. When Vente came to, she escaped him by jumping out the window of her third floor unit. Police later shot Davis on the complex grounds.

Vente, who broker her spine, pelvis, and wrists during the fall, spent three months in the hospital and a month in rehab. The former condo cleaning woman cannot bend down or walk for extended periods of time and is on disability. In addition to her physical injuries, Vente says she suffered emotional injuries from what happened and still has nightmares about it.

The ex-husband of a woman who suffered a fatal fall from Roxy’s Pub in filed a West Palm Beach wrongful death complaint alleging Florida premises liability. Jessica Harris, 39, died last December after she fell two stories.

While some witnesses have said that the Lantana woman jumped after an argument with a man at the downtown tavern, others said she stepped over the security rail and said something to the effect of “look what I can do.” Brian Harris is contending that if the railing had been adequate, Harris wouldn’t have been able to fall. He is filing his Palm Beach County wrongful death complaint on behalf of her children, ages 7 and 10.

Roof Falls

The family of John Van Hoy Jr. has filed a Miami-Dade wrongful death complaint against Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. Van Hoy died after getting caught in a Jacuzzi suction drain at the Bahamian resort on December 28, 2010. Other plaintiffs include Sandal Resort International, Unique, Hayward Industries, and other companies involved with the manufacture of the hot tub and its parts.

Several resort guests, including Van Hoy’s fiancé Nicole Cleaveland, reportedly tried to help free him, but by the time they were able to pull the 33-year-old away from the drain it may have been too late. The whirlpool reportedly lacked an emergency shut-off button.

In their Miami-Dade drowning accident complaint, the plaintiffs accuse hotel staff of ignoring Van Hoy and either being unwilling or lacking the training to perform CPR during the 45 minutes it took for the ambulance to arrive. The workers at the resort then allegedly tried to prevent Cleaveland from communicating with family, friends, or others and subjected her to an “interrogation” while suggesting that she or Van Hoy were “somehow at fault for the death.”

14-year-old Katie Ewing was injured lat week when she fell nearly three stories down a freight-elevator shaft at the Millennium Mall on Hollywood Boulevard. The Broward County elevator fall accident happened last Monday while Ewing and several friends were playing tag at the mall, which has been closed for a number of years.

Following the Hollywood, Florida injury accident, Ewing was admitted to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital as a trauma alert patient. In the SunSentinel, Hollywood Fire Rescue Division Chief Mark Steele is quoted as saying that Ewing fell 30 feet during the accident, but that she is out of the ICU and appears to be recovering nicely.

According to police, the teenagers scaled a wall to enter the mall through an open door. The mall owner has complied with city codes so that trespassers stay out.

Elevator Falls
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that around 10,000 people are involved in elevator accidents each year. Common causes of elevator accidents:

• Falls through exposed elevator shafts
• Elevator malfunction
• Improper leveling, which prevents an elevator from lining up with the floor
• Electrocution from faulty wiring
• Getting stuck between the side wall and the elevator
• Asphyxiation from being trapped in an elevator for too long

Premise owners or service companies responsible for maintaining an elevator are among the parties that could be held liable for injuries from a South Florida elevator accident.

Teen survives fall down elevator shaft at shuttered mall in Hollywood, SunSentinel, April 5, 2011
Teen girl injured at shuttered mall, Miami Herald, April 5, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Elevator Accidents, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Proving Fault in Accidents on Dangerous or Defective Property, Nolo

More Blog Posts:
Inadequate Security Alleged in Broward County Injury Lawsuit of Teen Left with Brain Damage After Beating at Deerfield School, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 27, 2011
$500K West Palm Beach Slip and Fall Verdict Awarded in Lawsuit Against Lake Worth Lawsuit Against CVS, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 24, 2011
Miami-Dade County Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Accident in Hialeah Hotel Room Kills 5 Teenagers, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 28, 2010 Continue reading

Richard Weinstein is suing his employer, the city of Delray Beach, for the Palm Beach County wrongful death of his son Jason Weinstein. The 26-year-old drowned on September 5, 2008 while surfing at Atlantic Dunes Park.

Now, Richard and his family are contending that Jason, who was the victim of a rip current, might not have died that day were it not for the city’s negligence, including the:

• Failure of its lifeguards to warn of rip currents.

The mother of Josie Lou Ratley, 16, wants the Broward School District to pay her daughter Florida personal injury compensation for the brain damage and permanent injuries she sustained during a severe beating at Deerfield Beach Middle School last year. Ratley was attacked at a campus bus stop last March by 16-year-old Wayne Treacy. He is charged with the adult crime of first-degree attempted murder. Also charged in the attack on Ratley is 14-year-old Kayla Manson with attempted murder, who allegedly pointed Ratley to Treacy when he arrived at the middle school.

Per the Broward County personal injury complaint, the plaintiff is accusing the school district of providing inadequate security and not properly supervising the bus pickup area. The lawsuit also claims that Treacy, a high school student, was allowed to “openly walk” onto the middle school grounds even though he wasn’t supposed to be there.

Treacy attacked Ratley several hours after exchanging text messages with her. He reportedly thought she was making fun of his brother’s death by suicide. He is accused of pushing Ratley’s head into the concrete and using his steel-toed boots to kick her “in the head, soccer style,” per the words used by Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti last year when describing to ABC News what happened. The assault finally stopped when a teacher pulled Treacy off Ratley.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured in slip and fall injuries-a type of accident that might sound harmless enough but can result in painfully and debilitating injuries that can take months to recover from. Surgery, rehabilitation, and time off work can take a physical, emotional, and financial toll. Fortunately, Florida law allows victims and their families to seek personal injury recovery from the liable parties.

Recently, a jury awarded Todd Flemke $500,000 for his West Palm Beach slip and fall injuries that he sustained at a CVS Pharmacy. Flemke contends that he slipped and fell over a plug in a CVS store.

In his Lake Worth, Florida personal injury complaint, Flemke claims that the pharmacy failed to put up warning signs to let them know that cleaning was taking place in the aisle where the slip and fall accident occurred even though underwritten policy calls for caution signs. Flemke had to undergo back surgery after he developed herniated discs from the West Palm Beach fall accident.