$2,900,000 Car Accident
$1,000,000+ Wrongful Death
$1,000,000+ Workers Compensation
$1,000,000 Electrocution
$750,000 Sexual Assault
$750,000 Truck Accident
$700,000 Slip and Fall
$700,000 Car Accident
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Many people enjoy going on cruises, but unfortunately, not everyone who embarks on a cruise behaves appropriately. If a party suffers harm while on a cruise due to the negligent or intentional acts of another party, the cruise ship will typically not be deemed liable. There are exceptions, though, such as when the cruise ship is on notice that harm is likely to occur and fails to take the measures necessary to prevent it. Recently, a Florida court discussed what a plaintiff seeking compensation for harm caused by another cruise ship passenger must prove, in an opinion issued in a case in which the judge ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant. If you were injured on a cruise, it is smart to speak to a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff was a passenger on a cruise ship owned by the defendant. She was walking up the gangway when the ship was docked in the Bahamas when the man walking in front of her lunged and swung at another woman. The woman fell and hit the plaintiff, causing her to fall off of the gangway and hit her head on the pier. The plaintiff subsequently suffered a traumatic brain injury and concussion and developed chronic migraines.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing it had notice of the man’s dangerous propensities but negligently failed to prevent him from harming another individual. The case proceeded to a bench trial, after which the judge found that it failed to establish the defendant’s liability. Continue reading ›

People charged with DUI crimes and other offenses have the right to an impartial trial. As such, if the judge presiding over a criminal matter demonstrates undue bias against the defendant, such behavior may provide grounds for arguing that the judge should not be permitted to preside over the case. Recently, a Florida court discussed what a defendant seeking a writ of prohibition preventing a judge from handling a matter must prove in an opinion issued in a DUI case. If you are accused of committing a DUI offense, it is in prudent to meet with a Florida DUI defense lawyer to assess your rights.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was charged via information with several alcohol-related crimes, including DUI (driving under the influence) with serious bodily injury and damage to a person or property. He was released on bond but was subsequently arrested again and charged with committing numerous offenses, including vessel homicide and boating under the influence.

Allegedly, the trial court revoked his bond, and the State filed a motion for pretrial detention, citing a prior DUI conviction in another state. The court granted the motion after finding the State satisfied the criteria for demonstrating that pre-trial detention was warranted. The defendant was later acquitted, after which he filed a petition for a writ of prohibition to prevent the assigned trial judge from presiding over his criminal case any further. He also filed a petition seeking review of the pretrial detention order after his motion for reconsideration of the order was denied. Continue reading ›

Destination weddings are becoming more popular, and many couples choose to wed in resort towns and vacation spots. Similarly, many couples choose to protect their assets by entering into prenuptial agreements prior to the wedding. The question inevitably arises, then, as to what state’s laws apply when enforcing a prenuptial agreement that was signed in a place other than where the couple resides. A Florida court recently addressed this issue in a matter in which the wife sought enforcement of her prenuptial agreement. If you intend to wed, it is wise to speak to a capable Florida marital agreement attorney to discuss your options for safeguarding your assets.

The Subject Agreement

It is reported that the husband and wife lived together in the husband’s home for approximately five years before they were married. One year before their wedding, the husband stated that if they were ever to marry, he wanted a prenuptial agreement. Later that year, they got engaged and decided to marry the following month when they were on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

Allegedly, the husband did not mention prenuptial agreements again until the day of their wedding, when he awoke the wife and told her that she had to find a prenuptial agreement to complete and sign. She found one online, and they traveled to a notary republic to sign it, finishing shortly before the wedding. After the husband died, the wife sought to invalidate the prenuptial agreement and moved to determine which state’s laws applied. The court found that Florida law applied and denied the wife’s petition on other grounds. The wife appealed. Continue reading ›

Many people have retirement savings accounts that they contribute money to throughout their careers. While retirement plans can only be in one person’s name, income placed in a retirement account during a marriage is generally considered marital property and is subject to equitable distribution absent an agreement to the contrary. A party that waives the right to their former spouse’s retirement benefits via a marital settlement agreement is not then entitled to such benefits merely because of an oversight in the plan document, as discussed in a recent Florida opinion. If you or your spouse intend to seek a divorce, it is prudent to retain a seasoned Florida divorce lawyer to help you protect your assets.

Procedural Background

Reportedly, the parties married in 1988. Throughout the marriage, the husband contributed to a 401k that was governed by ERISA. He designated the wife as his primary beneficiary under the plan and his children as secondary beneficiaries. They divorced in 2017 and entered into a marital settlement agreement (MSA) that stated, in part, that each party would receive the benefits from any retirement plan in their name and waived the right to any interest or claims in the other party’s benefits.

It is alleged that the MSA was ratified via the final dissolution of marriage. The husband died two years after the divorce, and his daughter from a prior marriage was named as the personal representative of his estate. Prior to his death, however, he neglected to change the primary beneficiary on his 401k plan. The wife and the daughter both made claims for the plan proceeds, but the plan administrator distributed them to the wife. The daughter filed a motion to enforce the MSA. In response, the wife argued that she did not waive her right to death benefits under the MSA. Following a hearing, a magistrate found in favor of the wife. The estate filed an exception. The trial court sustained the exceptions and ordered the wife to turn over the 401k proceeds. The wife appealed. Continue reading ›

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury. Parties who sustain injuries in falls can seek damages from the owner of the property where the fall occurred. Proving liability can be challenging, though, depending on what triggered the fall. In a recent Florida opinion in which the court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the court discussed what evidence a plaintiff must produce to prove liability for a slip and fall accident that was caused by transient substances. If you were hurt in a fall in a store, you should contact a Florida premises liability attorney to assess your options for seeking compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

It is alleged that the plaintiff was walking through an aisle at the defendant store when she slipped and fell. After she got up, she observed an orange liquid on the floor. She sustained injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a premises liability lawsuit against the defendant. During her deposition, the plaintiff testified that she did not know how long the liquid had been on the floor or how it arrived there. Further, she stated it was free from any tracks other than those caused by her shoe, and she did not see any dirt marks.

In personal injury matters, the plaintiff may request a certain compensation award but the issue of what damages are appropriate rests squarely with the jury. Juries do not always issue awards that align with the evidence, however, and in some instances, the damages granted are woefully inadequate. Thankfully, in such instances, injured parties can move for additur, which is a modification of a damages award by the court. In a recent Florida opinion delivered in a personal injury case, a court discussed additur and when it is appropriate. If you suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence, you might be owed damages, and you should consult a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm and Subsequent Damages

Allegedly, the defendant homeowner embarked on a home improvement project without obtaining a necessary building permit or hiring a licensed contractor. Instead, he hired an unlicensed contractor and then let the country. The plaintiff was hired to work on the project as a day laborer to help install a support beam and was directed to remove an electrical conduit from the ceiling so the beam would fit.

Allegedly, although the plaintiff was advised the power was off, it was on, and he suffered an electric shock that caused him to fall off a ladder and onto the floor. He underwent a surgical repair of the fracture followed by three months of physical therapy. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a negligence claim. The jury ultimately deemed the plaintiff 55% negligent and the defendant 45% negligent and awarded the plaintiff compensation for the cost of his medical bills and $25,000 for pain and suffering. The plaintiff then filed a motion for additur. The court granted the motion and added $225,000 in damages for pain in suffering. The defendant filed a notice rejecting the additur, which entitled him to a new damages trial. He then filed an appeal. Continue reading ›

Florida, like many states, has a statute that imposes strict liability on dog owners for harm caused by their pets. Although it is commonly referred to as the “dog bite law,” it applies to all damages caused by dogs, not only those arising out of bites. Because it is a strict liability statute, the dog bite law does not require victims to prove the dog owner acted negligently, as discussed in a recent ruling issued by a Florida court. If you were hurt in a dog attack, it is wise to meet with a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your options for seeking damages.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendants’ dog escaped from their backyard and began roaming around the neighborhood. During his escapade, he ran into the plaintiff, who was walking her dog. The defendants’ dog ran towards the plaintiff’s dog, who tried to run and wrapped her leash around the plaintiff’s ankles. The plaintiff subsequently fell and broke two bones in her left leg.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants, arguing they were strictly liable for her harm under the dog bite law. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her one million dollars. The defendants appealed. Continue reading ›

In many accident cases, the defendant will try to avoid liability by arguing that the plaintiff caused the incident that led to their harm. Subsequently, the defendant will typically try to introduce evidence at trial that supports its position. A defendant may be barred from offering evidence that is highly prejudicial, though, even if the court deems it relevant. This was demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a Florida motorcycle accident case, in which the court precluded the defendant from discussing a wheelie the decedent reportedly performed prior to a collision. If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash, it is advisable to speak to a seasoned Florida motorcycle accident attorney to assess what evidence you must produce to recover compensation.

History of the Case

It is reported that the decedent was riding a motorcycle when he was struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant. The decedent suffered fatal injuries in the crash, and the plaintiff, the representative of the decedent’s estate, subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, alleging her negligence caused the collision. The parties exchanged discovery, during which an eyewitness testified that she saw the decedent perform a wheelie before the accident.

Large box stores service thousands of customers each day. While such stores have an obligation to take measures to prevent harm, hazards often arise that cause slip and fall accidents. While people hurt in falls in retail stores have the right to seek compensation from the party that owns the store, proving liability can be difficult. Recently, a Florida court discussed a plaintiff’s burden of proof in a case arising out of a slip and fall on a transient substance in a store. If you were hurt in a fall, it is smart to meet with a dedicated Florida premises liability attorney to assess what evidence you must produce to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff accompanied his wife on a shopping trip to a warehouse store owned by the defendant. During the visit, he went to the freezer aisle to search for tacos for his wife. He was pushing a shopping cart when he suddenly slipped and fell, injuring his lower back. When he stood up, he observed a puddle on the floor and water leaking from the ceiling above where he fell.

Allegedly, the plaintiff testified at his deposition that he did not know how long the water was present prior to his fall and stated he did not see it before he fell. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff had not shown that it knew or should have known of the existence of the puddle. The court ultimately denied the motion, ruling that the issue of whether the defendant violated the duty to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition should rest with the jury. Continue reading ›

While many people find riding motorcycles thrilling, collisions involving motorcycles often cause fatal injuries. If the estate of a person who died in a motorcycle crash seeks damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, it typically will have to rely on testimony from outside sources, like an accident reconstructionist, to demonstrate how the collision occurred. In a recent Florida ruling issued in a motorcycle crash case, a court discussed the admissibility of the opinion of an accident reconstruction expert. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, it is advisable to speak to a Florida motorcycle accident attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant’s vehicle collided with the decedent’s motorcycle, causing the decedent to suffer fatal harm. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he negligently operated his vehicle, thereby causing the collision. After the completion of discovery, the defendant asked the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a response in opposition.

It is alleged that the defendant argued the evidence undisputedly showed that he was making a lawful turn at the time of the crash while the decedent was performing a wheelie. The plaintiff relied on the testimony of the lead traffic homicide detective in refuting the defendant’s assertions regarding how the accident occurred, thereby demonstrating a material factual dispute. The defendant argued, however, that the detective’s testimony was inadmissible. Continue reading ›

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