Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Spills are common in warehouse stores that sell a variety of goods, including food. Unfortunately, in many instances, spills lead to slip and fall accidents. In some cases, a person hurt in a fall may be able to recover damages from the store owner for the harm suffered. Generally, however, a plaintiff must prove that a defendant property owner had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition to demonstrate liability. A plaintiff’s burden of proof in a slip and fall case was the topic of a recent Florida opinion, in a matter in which the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims was granted. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, it is in your best interest to speak to a dedicated Florida premises liability lawyer to determine your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was shopping in the defendant’s store when she slipped and fell on water that was near a bay of freezers. She admitted that she did not see the water prior to the fall and did not know how long it had been on the floor. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging it was negligent for allowing the dangerous condition that led to her fall to exist. After discovery was completed, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff could not prove that it knew or should have known that the water was on the floor prior to her fall. Upon review, the court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Proving Fault for a Slip and Fall Accident

Under Florida law, a plaintiff asserting a negligence claim must prove that the defendant had a legal duty to protect the plaintiff from certain harm, the defendant breached the duty, and the plaintiff suffered injuries that were actually and proximately caused by the breach. Further, a plaintiff alleging negligence based on a transitory substance in a business must also demonstrate that the defendant had constructive or actual knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken measures to remedy it. Continue reading ›

The majority of cruise ships employ doctors to provide medical care to passengers who become ill while on board. Cruise ship doctors, like other medical professionals, can be held accountable if they commit malpractice, but they are not always held to the same standards as other physicians. In a recent Florida opinion, a court discussed the burden of proof imposed on a plaintiff alleging harm caused by a cruise ship doctor’s malpractice. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a health care provider, you could be owed damages, and it is advisable to speak to a skillful Florida personal injury lawyer about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was aboard a cruise ship owned by the defendant when he became ill. He visited the ship’s doctor, who determined the plaintiff suffered a heart attack. He was admitted to the ship’s intensive care unit, but it was determined that it was better for him to remain on board rather than seek treatment at a port. The doctor contemplated treating the plaintiff with medication but determined that the risks outweighed the benefits.

Allegedly, when they returned to Florida two days later, the plaintiff was taken to the hospital, where he underwent heart surgery. He eventually had a pacemaker installed and had permanent medical issues due to the damage to his heart. The plaintiff sued the defendant, alleging its negligent care caused his harm. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and both parties appealed. The defendant argued, in part, that the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury as to the standard of care. Continue reading ›

Nurses are often tasked with providing patients with thorough and competent care. When nurses carelessly fail to abide by their duties, however, it can cause their patients to suffer undue harm, and many people injured by nursing negligence can recover damages. However, as in other personal injury matters, a person injured by the reckless acts of a health care provider must prove causation to recover damages. What constitutes sufficient evidence of causation was discussed in a recent Florida opinion. If you or a loved one sustained damages due to the negligence of a medical professional, you could be owed damages, and you should consult a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Decedent’s Care

Allegedly, the decedent was being driven in a medical transport van from the defendant dialysis center where he recently received treatment back to the nursing home where he lived. The driver of the van suddenly applied the brakes, causing the decedent to fall out of his wheelchair. He suffered numerous wounds in the fall, including head lacerations and a fractured leg, and ultimately passed away due to complications arising out of his injuries.

The plaintiff, the decedent’s daughter, filed a lawsuit against the defendant dialysis center, alleging it negligently permitted the decedent to leave the facility in a wheelchair when his critical medical issues made it unsafe for him to travel in any manner other than on a stretcher. The defendant filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe conditions, and if they breach that duty, they can be held liable for any harm that ensues. In addition to proving that an unsafe condition existed on a property, however, the injured party must also demonstrate that the property owner knew or should have known that the condition was present. In a recent Florida ruling, a court discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence of constructive notice in a case in which the plaintiff was injured in a slip and fall accident in a department store.  If you were hurt because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to a trusted Florida premises liability attorney to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Injury

Allegedly, the plaintiff was shopping at the defendant department store when she slipped and fell in a puddle of milk. She suffered significant injuries and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserted a negligence claim, and arguing that the puddle had been present for such a length of time that the defendant should have been aware of its presence. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the claims against it should be dismissed. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Constructive Notice of a Dangerous Condition

Under Florida law, a business owner has an obligation to take reasonable and ordinary care to maintain its premises in a condition that is reasonably safe for invitees and to warn people entering the property of any dangers that the owner knows of and that invitees are unlikely to discover. Under this standard, if an individual slips and falls in a business on a transitory and foreign substance on the floor, the person who fell must prove that the business owner either knew that the substance was on the floor or had constructive knowledge of the condition. Continue reading ›

In personal injury matters, it is not uncommon for a defendant to try to preclude any evidence that it deems inadmissible in order to present a more favorable case to the jury. For example, a defendant may argue that certain medical records are irrelevant or that a plaintiff’s medical provider is not qualified to offer expert testimony. Recently, a Florida court issued an opinion explaining the grounds for precluding expert testimony in a case in which the plaintiff alleged she suffered injuries due to the defendant’s negligence. If you were hurt by the careless acts of a third party, you could be owed damages, and you should speak to a Florida personal injury attorney to evaluate your options.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered unspecified injuries while aboard a cruise ship owned by the defendant. She filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for her injuries via negligence claims. Prior to trial, the defendant filed multiple motions in limine, seeking to bar the plaintiff from introducing certain evidence at trial, including the testimony of her treating physician. Specifically, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s doctor was not qualified to testify as an expert on the issue of causation. The court ultimately agreed and granted the defendant’s motion in limine on that issue.

Admissibility of Testimony from Treating Physicians

The defendant argued in its motion that the plaintiff failed to produce an expert report as required under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and therefore, her treating doctors could not testify on the issue of causation. The plaintiff countered that she did not need to provide an expert report, as she did not retain her physicians as experts, and the defendant did not object that a formal report was necessary to establish treatment and causation. Continue reading ›

Pedestrians injured in car accidents will often seek damages in a civil lawsuit from the driver of the vehicle that caused the collision. Generally, this will require the pedestrian to prove the negligence of the driver caused the harm alleged. In a recent ruling issued out of Florida, the court discussed the elements of negligence a plaintiff must prove to establish liability and the potential defenses a defendant could assert to refute the plaintiff’s claims. If you were hurt by a reckless driver while you were walking, you should speak to an experienced Florida pedestrian accident attorney to assess what you must prove to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Accident

Allegedly, the plaintiff was standing outside of his parent’s house with his nephew, who was three years old. The nephew wanted to cross the street, and as the plaintiff did not want him to go alone, he decided to accompany him. Prior to attempting to cross the street, the plaintiff observed a mail truck stopped on the side of the road three doors down.

It is reported that the plaintiff began quickly crossing the street with his nephew when the mail truck began moving. The mail truck driver was exceeding the speed limit and looking at his phone and did not notice the plaintiff and his nephew. The plaintiff pushed his nephew out of the way but was struck by the mail truck and suffered injuries to his head and back. He filed a negligence claim against the driver’s employer, seeking compensation for his damages. Following discovery, the defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment, arguing he had not proved negligence.

Continue reading ›

In Florida, there are rules that dictate when parties must produce evidence in support of their claims and defenses and when witnesses, including experts, must be disclosed. Such rules are designed to ensure a fair trial and to prevent one party from ambushing the other with previously unforeseen information on the eve of trial. If a party fails to comply with deadlines regarding discovery and disclosure, it may have an adverse impact, as demonstrated in a recent car accident case in Florida in which the plaintiff’s late-produced expert was prohibited from testifying. If you suffered injuries in an accident, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney regarding what you must prove to recover damages.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was operating a power chair, was struck by a car when she attempted to cross a Florida highway in a construction zone. She filed a lawsuit against the driver and the construction company, setting forth negligence claims alleging, in part, that she suffered psychological trauma due to the accident. During discovery, both the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s expert psychiatrists testified that the plaintiff was not suffering from PTSD and issued reports reflecting that testimony.

It is reported that days before trial, however, the plaintiff produced a second report from her expert wherein the expert stated the plaintiff suffered from PTSD and that it was caused by the accident. The defendants filed a motion in limine, asking the court to preclude the newly produced evidence, and the motion was granted. The jury found that plaintiff did not suffer any harm in the accident and ruled in favor of the defendants, after which the plaintiff appealed, arguing the trial court erred in precluding her second expert report.

Continue reading ›

Many people assume that when one driver rear-ends another, there is no dispute as to who is at fault for the accident. In many lawsuits arising out of rear-end collisions, however, the defendant driver will argue that the plaintiff’s actions contributed to the accident in some way, and therefore liability is not clear based upon the sheer fact that the defendant rear-ended the plaintiff. The evidence needed to overcome the presumption of a defendant’s liability in a case arising out of a rear-end crash was recently discussed by a Florida court. If you were hurt in a rear-end accident, you might be owed damages from the driver that hit you, and it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was driving an SUV on a highway in Florida when he was struck from the rear by a commercial truck that was driven by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant company. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries due to the accident, including injuries to his right arm that required surgical repair. As such, he filed a lawsuit alleging negligence claims against the defendants. Following the close of discovery, the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on his claims. The defendants opposed the motion, alleging that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to bringing about the accident, and therefore, the issue of liability was disputed.

The Presumption of Liability in Florida Rear-End Accidents

In Florida, there is a presumption that the rear driver in a rear-end collision is negligent. The presumption is rebuttable, however. Specifically, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that as tort recovery in Florida is guided by the principles of comparative negligence, the presumption that a driver’s negligence was the sole cause of a rear-end collision can be rebutted, and its strength weakened if the defendant produces evidence that is sufficient to show that the front-driver acted negligently in the operation of his or her vehicle.

Continue reading ›

Generally, a plaintiff has the right to choose where to file a personal injury case. Even if a court has jurisdiction over a matter, however, a plaintiff’s chosen forum may be overturned if it is determined that another venue is more appropriate. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida personal injury case in which the court determined that the action should have been brought in Georgia and ultimately transferred the case. If you were hurt due to the careless acts of another party, it is prudent to speak to a diligent Florida personal injury attorney regarding your rights and what you must demonstrate to recover damages.

Facts and Procedural History

It is reported that while the plaintiff was staying at a hotel in Georgia, she slipped and fell on a wet bathroom floor, which caused her to suffer a cut lip and shoulder injuries. She subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants, which were the company that owned the hotel, and the parent corporation and franchisor of the hotel chain. The defendants are both Delaware corporations. The defendants then filed motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint for lack of jurisdiction, or in the alternative, to transfer venue to the district court in Georgia in the jurisdiction where the defendant hotel was located.

Grounds for Transferring Venue

Upon review, the court noted that while the plaintiff alleged in her complaint that the venue was proper because she resided in Florida, a plaintiff’s domicile is not a basis for venue. The court went on to explain that, in the interest of justice and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a), the action should be transferred to a Georgia court.

Continue reading ›

It is not uncommon for a defendant in a personal injury case to assert what are known as affirmative defenses, which attempt to shift harm for a plaintiff’s injuries onto the plaintiff. While affirmative defenses are generally permitted, there are some instances in which a plaintiff may have grounds to ask the court to strike certain defenses. What defenses a defendant can assert was recently discussed in a Florida case in which the plaintiff sought damages from a cruise ship line. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence of an entity that owns cruise ships, it is wise to confer with a skillful Florida personal injury attorney to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your potential claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs, a husband and wife, entrusted their eighteen-month-old daughter to the care of her grandfather while they were on a cruise operated by the defendant. Tragically, the grandfather lifted the toddler up to a window, and she fell 150 feet to her death. The plaintiffs then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that its negligence led to their daughter’s untimely passing. The defendant filed an answer to the plaintiff’s complaint and asserted numerous affirmative defenses, many of which attributed liability to the grandfather. The plaintiffs moved to strike these defenses, arguing they attempted to assign fault to a person that was not a party to the case.

Affirmative Defenses Permissible Under Maritime Law

Under the relevant rules of procedure, a court may strike any matter from a pleading that is scandalous, impertinent, immaterial, or that constitutes an insufficient defense. While granting a motion to strike is a drastic remedy, it will be granted in cases in which it is clear that the matter which will be stricken has no bearing on the subject of the litigation, such as when the recovery sought is unavailable as a matter of law.

Continue reading ›

Contact Information