A 10-year-old boy suffered a serious brain injury, punctured lung and broken ribs after falling off a zipline attraction at a Florida trampoline park. The Tampa Bay Times reported at least three park employees failed to check the child’s harness before the start of the ride. When the boy lost his grip on the front ropes, he plummeted some 25 feet onto a concrete surface. He had to be airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, spending five days undergoing numerous surgeries.Florida liability waiver

Now, the boy’s mother is suing the trampoline park and the former employees who were responsible for overseeing the ride from which her son fell. The boy’s mother said she had an expectation her son would be reasonably safe because employees would do their jobs.

This trampoline park, like many hundreds of others that exist throughout the state, requires patrons (or parents of minor patrons) to sign a waiver of liability agreeing not to sue the business if they are hurt. Furthermore, safety warnings are posted on the company’s website, with one notice in bold lettering indicating that “Trampolining is an action/extreme sport and is an inherently dangerous risk. Jump at your own risk and within your own ability.”

Will this be enough to protect the company from liability in a case like this? Continue reading

Vaping has been advertised by manufacturers as a safe alternative to smoking. But there is growing evidence that the devices (also known as e-cigarettes) are not so safe after all. Vaporizers have been linked to a spate of deadly acute respiratory failure illnesses as well as serious burn injuries from explosions. Some 34 lung injury deaths and 1,600 illnesses – from Florida to California – this year are being blamed on vape usage, and more than 2,000 vape pen explosions from 2015 to 2017 resulting in burn injuries. Florida vape injury lawyer

Those injured and survivors of those have died have begun filing the first of what promises to be a flood of Florida product liability lawsuits against vape pen manufacturers over these incidents.

Our West Palm Beach product liability lawyers have read through a number of these accounts – and they are harrowing.

Vape Injuries Likened to Those of Industrial Accidents, Chemical Weapons and High-Speed Car Accidents

In one case out of Florida, a mother-of-three and CBD oil vape user suffered multiple organ failure and was forced to undergo a double leg amputation as a result of medical complications from respiratory failure. Others said they quickly became powerfully addicted to vaporizer products – only to come down with severe cases of pneumonia that landed them in the hospital for days or weeks. Continue reading

A state appellate court has urged the Florida Supreme Court to revisit whether a largely-debunked medical malpractice insurance “crisis” still justifies limiting damages in certain medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits. The request, posed as a question of great public importance, stems from the Fla. 2nd DCA’s reluctant dismissal of a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit filed by the adult children of a woman who died after a missed diagnosis of lung cancer. Naples medical malpractice lawyer

The case raises constitutional equal protection concerns because the practical effect is that negligent doctors and healthcare providers cannot be held to account if their patient dies with no minor children or surviving spouse. Adult children (over age 25) of medical malpractice victims who die are not entitled to collect non-economic damages. (Non-economic damages are monetary compensation for intangible losses like as pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, loss of consortium, etc.)

This all started some 30 years ago, when Florida lawmakers, heavily courted by insurance industry lobbyists, enacted Florida State Statute 768.21 as a means of remedying “skyrocketing insurance costs” that were reportedly causing doctors to decline performing high-risk procedures and flee the state and the profession, forcing the closure of emergency rooms and other healthcare facilities.  In 2000, the Florida Supreme Court cited this law – and the purported “crisis” legislators had used to rationalize it – to prevent the surviving adult children plaintiffs in Mizrahi v. North Miami Medical Center from recovering non-economic damages for their parent’s medical malpractice death. Continue reading

What was supposed to have been a day of fun, splashing and sun took a tragic turn recently when a 3-year-old girl drowned and a 4-year-old nearly died at a pool party at an apartment complex in Tampa.child drowning death

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a release that the children’s flotation devices slipped off of their arms and the two went underwater. Minutes passed before anyone noticed they were at the bottom of the pool, where 10 children were being monitored by three adults.

Several people rushed to help, giving CPR to both girls. The younger of the two was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other is said to be alert and awake and is expected to make a full recovery. Continue reading

In a Florida restaurant injury lawsuit recently filed in the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court, a 45-year-old woman alleges a waiter at a restaurant inside the Don Cesar Hotel poured liquid nitrogen into her water. The incident occurred last year, and according to the lawsuit, wherein plaintiff says she nearly died.restaurant injury lawsuit

Although this isn’t your typical restaurant injury lawsuit, it does underscore the duty of care that restaurants and other business establishments have to their patrons.

Restaurant establishments have a responsibility to keep their properties safe for their customers, and to warn them if any aspect is not safe. That can include the the temperature – or contents – of food and drink if there is a potential danger. It can also include injuries that occur in dining areas, restrooms, walkways and even the parking lot.

Most commonly, a restaurant injury lawsuit will stem from a slip-and-fall, due to spilled food or drinks or a claim of negligent security in the event of a preventable criminal attack on site. Restaurants can also be held liable for food poisoning or sickness caused by contamination or allergens not disclosed or obvious in a certain dish.

Chemicals in one’s food or drink can also certainly be cause for a claim, especially when it results in serious illness or long-term injury. Continue reading

Your Florida injury lawsuit is over. The judge has made a final ruling. Whether you won or lost, there is still something that needs to be resolved: Taxation of costs.injury lawyer West Palm Beach

But what are costs in a tort case? What costs are taxable? Which are considered non-taxable costs?

It’s important to point out that “taxes” in this case aren’t referring to a cut owed to the Internal Revenue Service. The question is whether the losing party can be “taxed” for certain costs associated with the litigation process incurred by the prevailing party.

For example, expert witness fees – paid to an expert witness for their services before or during trial – can be either a taxable or non-taxable cost (depending on a host of factors). These have to be paid whether you win or lose. If you win and the court decides that cost is taxable, the defendant pays.

Despite some clear lines drawn in both case law and statute, the question of taxable/non-taxable costs – and whether a person should have them covered – can still be a matter of sharp dispute.

Recently, the Alaska Supreme Court in King v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co. was asked to settle an argument over whether a plaintiff who won her drunk driving injury lawsuit was entitled to certain taxable costs. The court ruled some couldn’t be collected because plaintiff didn’t timely file the request, but the lower court had erred in denying her others. Continue reading

The widow of a man shot and killed by a stranger over a parking spot in front of her eyes in Clearwater recently told a local news agency that in addition to showing up to every criminal court appearance of the alleged gunman, she planned to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her – and the child she is expecting. Miami wrongful death attorney

The right to claim wrongful death damages following the death of a parent due to negligence or intentional misconduct is well-established – both in a 1988 Florida law, F.S. 768.0415, as well as the 1990 Florida 5th District Court of Appeal ruling in Ellis v. Humana of Fla., Inc..

There was already precedent prior to that in the 1942 Florida Supreme Court decision of C.F. Wheeler Co. v. Pullins., which stated a child could collect workers’ compensation death benefits for a parent killed prior to the baby’s birth – the primary caveat being  whether  the child was born. Continue reading

Lifting patients is a common – and extremely dangerous – duty of nurses in all different settings. Those in hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care and surgery centers are typically required to follow certain protocol when they do lift to reduce the chances of. Unfortunately sometimes due to short-staffing and lack of training, those safe-lifting protocols aren’t followed.

The question recently before Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal was whether a lawsuit centering on injury resulting when a nurse dropped a patient she was lifting could be categorized as ordinary negligence or if it fell under the umbrella of medical malpractice. medical malpractice lawyer

Why would this matter? Because Florida medical malpractice lawsuits are a whole lot tougher. Per Florida statute section 766.106., plaintiffs must meet a higher proof burden (deviation from the applicable standard of care – proven only with expert witness testimony – versus the mere absence of reasonable care where one had a duty, as is the case for ordinary negligence).

Because of the additional requirements for medical malpractice cases, it’s generally in the plaintiff’s best interest to file a claim as one of ordinary negligence if that is a possibility. And the truth is, not all injuries that occur in a hospital are medical malpractice, but the lines aren’t always obvious. Continue reading

Florida civil lawsuits don’t die just because a defendant does.

This question has been raised repeatedly in recent days following the death of billionaire Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein, suspected of being the central figure in a longtime child sex trafficking ring. He was convicted of solicitation several years ago, received (by all accounts) a “sweetheart deal” from a federal prosecutor who went on to become U.S. Labor Secretary (since resigned) and was facing new criminal charges in New York. He died several weeks ago of an apparent suicide while in custody awaiting trial on the newest charges.injury lawyer

The 66-year-old’s death means that the criminal case against him personally has been dismissed. It does not, however, mean the end of sexual abuse civil lawsuits pending against him by his alleged victims. Most were minors at the time they were allegedly lured into a human trafficking operation that involved the extremely wealthy and powerful.

Now, Epstein’s $580 million estate and its executors have been named defendants in a growing number of civil cases filed by his accusers. Those cases are not closed just because Epstein is dead. Continue reading

Although both municipal and school buses are relatively safe forms of travel, school bus injuries often spike at the beginning of each school year. It’s important for parents to understand the unique challenges of filing these cases, how fault is determined and what to expect. school bus accident lawyer

Recently, a teen driver was cited in a Lehigh Acres school bus accident when he struck a bus on the very first day of school, resulting in injuries to a second grader. According to the Associated Press, the teen allegedly ran a stop sign, slamming the bus and pushing it into a ditch. An 8-year-old was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and the bus driver was hurt as well. Five students were on board at the time of the accident, with four of those wearing a seat belt.

Although every accident is different, there are some unique factors that more frequently play into causation of bus accidents and exacerbation of injuries to occupants and pedestrians. These include:
  • Frequent stops;
  • Bus drivers who are fatigued;
  • Improperly-maintained buses;
  • Frequent stops;
  • Child pedestrians interacting with traffic;
  • Lack of child occupant restraints (seat belts) on many buses;
  • Higher-than-average rollover risk.

Continue reading