Articles Tagged with injury lawyer

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

Whether we’re talking about a tractor-trailer or merely the junk in your trunk, failure to properly secure loads to your vehicle is a crime in Florida. That means it has to withstand the wind, railroad tracks, a pothole-pocked roadway – all the common things can loosen those items and turn it into road debris if it isn’t properly strapped down.unsafe trucks

Falling or shifting cargo such as ladders, furniture, tools, tarps and building materials can cause serious South Florida crashes resulting in catastrophic injuries and even death.

AAA reported that over a recent four-year stretch, more than 200,000 crashes were caused by unsecured debris on U.S. roads. These resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths during that time frame.

Of those incidents:

  • 37 percent of all deaths were caused by drivers swerving to avoid the object, typically overcorrecting and causing the driver to lose control.
  • One-third occurred between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – when many are hauling/moving heavy items like construction equipment or furniture.
  • Most occurred on Interstate highways, which makes sense given that driving at increased speeds heightens the risk for vehicle parts to become detached.

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A product liability mass tort litigation is rapidly snowballing, alleging a government contractor distributed defective earplugs to active duty combat soldiers and those in training, resulting in profound and lasting hearing loss.

Our South Florida product liability attorneys have learned hundreds of veterans from across the U.S. (nearly 650 in all thusfar), are suing 3M Co., asserting they suffered substantial degrees of damage to their functional hearing because the earplugs didn’t provide the protection the company promised.
product liability attorney

The products in question were touted as combat-grade earplugs, but failed to protect their  inner ear organs from permanent damage.

Veterans with pending claims have suffered either partial or total hearing loss, many also with something called tinnitus, which is the perception of constant or near-constant “ringing” or “buzzing” in one’s ears. (Tinnitus isn’t a condition in and of itself, but it’s usually associated with hearing loss. Continue reading

Distracted driving leading to South Florida car accidents has long been a serious problem, especially since smartphones have become so ubiquitous. But while government data puts the number of distracted drivers at roughly 660,000 a day, a recent analysis by Zendrive says it’s 100 times worse. The revelation isn’t exactly stunning to our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys, but it’s nonetheless concerning.West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney

In a study of 2 million drivers traversing some 4.5 billion miles of road over the course of the three months, Zendrive (a motorist behavior analytics firm) concluded that:

  • 60 percent of drivers use their phone at least once daily while operating a vehicle.
  • 40 percent of drivers do so every hour.
  • 69 million drivers use their phones every day.

What’s more the number of drivers distracted by smartphones has increased 10 percent in the last year. Most drivers – nearly 9 in 10 – agree distracted driving is a serious issue, but only half admit to engaging in this behavior. In fact, 90 percent consider themselves safe drivers. Analysts determined those considered “heavy phone users” – those who spend three times more than the average – engaged in phone use while driving – spent nearly one-third of their time ignoring the road. Continue reading

West Palm Beach injury lawyers have been watching closely the progression of HB17, a bill that would limit the amount of damages for losses like pain and suffering that can’t be easily quantified. The $1 million damage cap would affect non-economic damages in personal injury cases. Proponents claim it’s necessary to improve insurer and large corporation stability, “balance out” their legal risk resulting from high litigation costs and lower what we all pay for insurance and other products/services. West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

The Florida House Civil Justice Committee approved the cuts, and the bill is advancing.

Here’s the reality about legislative actions like this (also known as “tort reform“): It’s a “get-out-of-jail” free card for insurers and big business. Where they have been successful, it is found companies are better-shielded from litigation risks and their profits are higher. It very often does not result in savings for the public/consumers. Furthermore, it’s been proven that the people most affected by a policy like this are the individuals hurt most severely. Finally, it’s likely no coincidence the most ardent advocates of this measure receive an awful lot of campaign contributions from lobbyists for these industries.

The Case of McCall v. State Showed Damage Caps Don’t Work

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A circuit court judge in Miami-Dade has ruled damage caps in a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit are unconstitutional and can’t be applied even when plaintiff previously rejected a defendant’s offer to voluntarily arbitrate the matter. medical malpractice attorney

It should be pointed out that in two previous Florida cases – N. Broward Hosp. Dist.c v. Kalitan in 2017 and Estate of McCall v. U.S. in 2014 – that damage caps in medical malpractice lawsuits are unconstitutional, based largely on the unfounded assertion that costs of medical malpractice insurance were out-of-control and needed to be curbed to avoid doctors fleeing the state to work elsewhere. The issue in this case, Defranko v. Poole, was whether that was still applicable despite plaintiff’s rejection of the defense offer to arbitrate, as outlined in 766.207(7)(k) and 766.209(4)(a). The laws stipulate that when a plaintiff is successful at trial but refuses a defendant’s initial offer to voluntarily arbitrate, claims for non-economic damages are capped at $350,000.

Plaintiff in this case had taken the medical malpractice claim to trial and jurors awarded $500,000. The defendants sought to have that award reduced by $150,000, a motion plaintiffs opposed on the grounds it was a violation of the Florida Constitution’s equal protection clause (as was determined in the Katilan and McCall).

The judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court declined to impose the cap (first implemented 30 years ago), finding it to be outdated and also agreeing with plaintiffs’ assertion that it is in violation of Florida’s Constitution by allowing a damage award to be lowered with no regard as to the severity of one’s injury. Continue reading