Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer

Florida wrongful death lawsuits can help families obtain a measure of accountability from those whose wrongdoing took their loved ones from them. But beyond that, they can make the future safer by compelling changes that may prevent someone else from being harmed in the same way. Through all this, it is our hope as Broward wrongful death attorneys, that surviving family members find some measure of peace and closure. Florida wrongful death lawsuits Broward wrongful death attorney

An example of this was seen recently in the $8.2 million Florida wrongful death lawsuit against a bridge operation company facing allegations of negligence in the death of a 79-year-old West Palm Beach bicyclist who died after plummeting from a bridge that was abruptly raised while she was in the midst of crossing it. She’d been just 10 feet away from the edge of the bridge when she fell to her death in the gap. The bridge tender at the time of the incident has been arrested and faces a single count of manslaughter by culpable negligence. (She told investigators she had gone outside to visually check that the bridge was clear before raising it, but video evidence and other testimony have thus far contradicted this, according to local news sources.)

Meanwhile, the decedent’s family filed a Florida wrongful death lawsuit against the bridge tender’s employer, a company called Florida Drawbridges, Inc. Plaintiffs in this case not only sought monetary damages for their lawsuit, but also industry-accepted safety changes to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again to another Florida family. In their filing, the family specifically stated they wanted an outcome that resulted in “change to preclude this preventable tragedy from occurring in the future.”

Ultimately, that’s what they got in addition to the $8.2 million settlement. Among the procedural changes that the defendant drawbridge company agreed to undergo:

  • Subjecting all bridge tender applicants to successfully pass criminal background checks.
  • To schedule recertification training with all current bridge tenders.
  • To facilitate periodic audits of operations with out-of-area supervisors.
  • To require all bridge tenders to watch a 23-minute video on the decedent’s life, driving home the profound price one family paid because one of its bridgetenders allegedly failed to use due caution.

The family reportedly donated a significant portion of the settlement proceeds – including the creation of an annual $30,000 scholarship that will carry on for the next three decades. As the family’s wrongful death attorney was quoted as saying, the family wanted fundamental changes to be central to this settlement agreement. “At the end of the day, we got those changes. Hopefully at the end of the day, this never happens to another family.”

Damages in Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Proving wrongful death in Florida (as codified in F.S. 786.16 – 786.26) requires evidence that: Continue reading

Good Samaritans are often lauded when they intervene in potentially perilous situations to help others. But are there grounds to assert negligence for those who fail to intervene in such circumstances? gun

This is what is being alleged in a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio, where a woman and her two daughters were gunned down by her husband at a Cracker Barrel restaurant after a heated confrontation that ensued when she told him she was leaving him. The family had gone to the restaurant for a birthday dinner with their two 10-year-old girls when the events took a turn. The husband reportedly threatened to, “kill them all,” shouted an expletive while paying for the bill, accidentally dropped several shotgun shells from his pocket. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, filed by the woman’s brother, the girls’ uncle, the mother called a friend and the police and begged the manger to allow her and her daughters to hide in the restaurant’s walk-in cooler. The manager allegedly refused the request, telling her the restaurant doesn’t get involved in domestic disputes.

Her husband returned with a shotgun and killed her and her two daughters, who were hiding in the restroom. Police then shot and killed the gunman. An attorney for plaintiff alleges the woman and her daughters were left to take care of themselves in a dangerous situation. He cited the protocol that many chain restaurants and retail facilities have to deal with violent or active shooter situations, and argued that such incidents, while terrifying, are in fact foreseeable.  Continue reading

It was supposed to be one of those memorable nights you look back on fondly with friends years later. Instead, it was the last night of Mason Zisette’s life. The 16-year-old was killed while on a double-decker, open air tour bus in California in the summer of 2014. He was aboard celebrating the 16th birthday of a female friend. As the bus passed under a pedestrian bridge, Zisette stood up. His head struck the bridge. At first, it seemed only like a small bump on his head. But he lost conscious almost immediately. He never woke up. He suffered a traumatic brain injury from which he ultimately died. teen

Now, following a jury trial that named the girl’s parents, the tour bus company and the driver, his parents have been awarded $26 million in damages. It’s believed to be the largest amount ever awarded in California for the wrongful death of a minor. The bus company was assigned 70 percent of the blame. The girl’s parents shouldered 25 percent of the blame. Zisette, meanwhile, was just 5 percent negligent for his own death.

His parents say the money is not going to bring their son back. However, they intend to use it to help press for legislation that will help change the laws and improve bus safety, which the parents say his sorely lacking. They don’t want another child to suffer the same kind of wrongful death as their beloved son, whom they called “exuberant” and “full of joy.”  Continue reading

Traffic engineers have decided that despite a fatal crash in late September, a Delray Beach intersection won’t be getting a new traffic light after all. However, engineers did recommend moving forward with a number of improvements that were already planned. intersection

The Sun Sentinel reports the crossing at Federal Highway and Northeast First Street will be updated over the next several months to include:

  • A sign for motorists on Federal Highway, notifying them of the upcoming intersection;
  • A sign for motorists on Northeast First Street, to notify them cross traffic won’t stop;
  • Larger stop signs for those traveling both directions on Northeast First Street;
  • Relocation of a garbage can and bench that reportedly obstruct motorists’ views.

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Families of loved ones who suffer from disabilities face many difficult decisions regarding their care throughout their lives. If they are unable to live on their own unassisted and can’t be cared for by a relative, arrangements must be made for them to reside in a setting that can best fit their daily needs. In many cases, that is a group home. However, as our injury lawyers have seen in cases past, these centers may not be fully equipped or their staffers properly trained in providing the best care and services. wheelchair

Recently in Oklahoma, the operator of a group home was found mostly to blame for the wrongful death an adult resident who died of pneumonia in the spring of 2014, shortly after he was relocated to the home. The relocation occurred because the Oklahoma Department of Human Services voted to close his previous residence rather than investing in building repairs. That meant families were forced to find other suitable arrangements, and many worried there weren’t enough facilities in the area equipped to safely care for individuals with such needs. Attorneys for decedent’s estate argued soon after his arrival at defendant’s facility, he was not properly fed, medicated or supervised.

A lawsuit had been filed against the state, alleging 18 former patients of the first group home died suddenly after being forced to leave and find other sources of full-time care. A jury found the state wasn’t negligent. However, the same can’t be said of the administrators who ran the group home or even the doctors and nurses who provided his care.  Continue reading

If a worker is struck by an under-insured driver while on-the-job, it can result in a unique situation for compensation. As you probably know, most injuries that arise out of the course and scope of employment are going to be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. However, it can get a bit thorny if you settle with your workers’ compensation carrier based on the assumption you’ll still collect uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits. Forklift

Florida statute gives auto insurers the right to set off its obligation not just by what workers’ compensation actually paid, but by the full amount you were entitled to receive. This is spelled out in Fla. Stat. § 627.727. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale overseeing your case. You don’t want to undercut your rights with UM/UIM coverage by settling too soon.

There could be other considerations as well. Recently, the New Mexico Supreme Court was asked to resolve an issue from a federal district court concerning state law as it pertained to the UIM benefits a deceased worker’s family was entitled to collect after already receiving workers’ compensation death benefits. The case was Vasquez v. American Cas. Co. of Reading. Continue reading

It was one of the most horrific – and deadly – fires in Maine’s history. In 2014, a blaze broke out in a two-story rental unit, killing six people. Soon after, it was alleged the landlord reportedly kept the property in relatively shoddy condition with negligent repairs and poor maintenance – including lack of smoke detectors. fire2

Soon after, there was a rush to file wrongful death lawsuits (five in all) because, as is usually the case, the defendant only has a finite amount of insurance and assets that could cover such claims. But given the large number of deaths, there was a dispute over which family should be the first in line for the payout, if the landlord was indeed found liable for the deaths. (Meanwhile, the landlord faced criminal manslaughter charges.)

Recently, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court settled the issue in Estate of Summers v. Nisbet, closing a legal gap that had existed in the state up to that point.  Continue reading

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