Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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.

A birthday celebration recently turned deadly when a Hialeah carbon monoxide poisoning incident claimed the lives of five teenagers. The deceased include Miami residents Juchen C. Marctial, 19, Evans Charles, also, 19, Jean Pierre Ferdinand, 16, and Jonas Antenor and Peterson Nazon, both 17.

The teens had reportedly gotten together on Sunday night to for Marctial’s birthday. The following afternoon, a maid found their bodies inside a room at the Hotel Presidente. All of them were in their street clothes.

Fire tests show that there was a high concentration of carbon monoxide in the room, which is above a private garage where the victims had left a car running. The door going from the garage to the room was left slightly ajar. According to friends of the teens, the vehicle had a troublesome starter.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the garage or motel room had operating carbon monoxide detectors. Since 2007, Florida has required that motel and hotel boiler rooms have gas detectors and that all apartments and residences constructed after July 1, 2008 that include an attached garage, a fireplace, or a heater have an alarm within 10 feet of bedrooms.

Carbon Monoxide Facts
This deadly gas, called the silent killer, is odorless, colorless, and invisible. Symptoms can include confusion, chest pain, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, weakness, and nausea.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that over 400 people die in the US each year from CO poisoning. This type of injury lands over 20,000 people in the ER annually and over 4,000 are hospitalized.

Premise owners and the manufacturers of products that malfunction can be held liable for Miami personal injury or wrongful death if a hazard on the property and/or a product that malfunctions causes CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide poisoning suspected in 5 teens’ deaths, Miami Herald, December 27, 2010
Carbon Monoxide May Be Greater Threat in Winter, US News, December 27, 2010
5 found dead in Florida motel room, CNN, December 28, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Environmental Protection Agency Continue reading

The parents of 13-year-old Joshua Poole have filed a West Palm Beach Florida injuries to a minor lawsuit against the Palm Beach County school district. Poole, a Jeaga Middle School student, says he was beaten during math class last month. A classmate recorded the fight on a cell phone.

In the cell phone footage, Poole’s classmate is shown approaching him at his desk. Thompson then proceeds to punch him for several seconds. The boys fall to the floor. The footage doesn’t show a teacher coming to intervene.

Poole says the attack lasted about 15 minutes and that he was beaten for about 7 minutes. His father, Clarence Poole, says that his son has been the target of bullying for some time now and that they had gone to the school three times to complain.

An accident at the Pensacola Interstate Fair injured four people when a piece of metal from a ride. The accident occurred around 2:30pm, and the Tidal Wave was shut down. It was the last day of the fair, which began on October 22.

Despite the accident, many fair-goers continued waiting in line for rides and enjoying the last day of the festivities.

The scope of their injuries and the identities of those injured at the fair were not disclosed, but the accident will be investigated thoroughly. The Bureau of Fair Rides, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture, holds the responsibility of inspecting fair rides throughout the state of Florida.

Four hurt on fair ride, PNJ.com, November 1, 2009 Continue reading

The Florida parents of Pateesha Clinch, a 12-year-old girl who died while roughhousing with friends at Westview Middle School in September 2007, is suing the Miami-Dade school district for her wrongful death. According to students at the school, the 6th grader struck her head on the side of classroom wall when she fell.

Fire-rescue units that arrived at the scene found Clinch unconscious. She was pronounced dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital North. The medical examiner’s office says that Pateesha’s body showed no observable trauma. Autopsy results indicate that because of a rare, undetected heart condition, she may have gone into sudden cardiac death.

Pateesha’s parents, Daryl and Meka, are accusing the school district of negligence. The couple say that the fall contributed to her death, regardless of whether she had a preexisting heart condition. The couple’s personal injury lawyer said that teachers and security monitors at the school knew that the students liked to roughhouse in between classes and should have been properly supervising them.