A Boynton Beach, Florida man has filed a wrongful death suit against a cruise line after his wife died in a hospital in France.

The man filed a complaint on May 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Princess Cruise Lines LTD alleging wrongful death and negligence.

According to the complaint, the man claims that on April 2016, his wife fell in her cabin on the ship and was seen by the ship’s doctor. The suit states the woman also had a fever and the ship’s doctor ordered the pair off of the ship for treatment at a hospital in France. The suit states the woman died five weeks later while still in France.

The man holds Princess Cruise Lines LTD responsible because the they allegedly negligently forced them to disembark the vessel and failed to hire qualified ship’s doctors and nurses.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensatory damages of more than $75,000, all damages, interest, all legal fees and any other relief as the court deems just.

Sadly, people can fall ill or die while on vacation. Passengers can suffer terrible tragedies while onboard an ocean cruise. Typically, cruise lines specify a limited time and a particular place for you to file a civil lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. Regardless of where you took your cruise, certain cruise lines require you to file suit in a specific location. Our Florida Cruise Ship Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how to further research your cruise contract in order to determine when and where you can file a claim for damages.

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The Florida Supreme Court came to a decision this week that overturned the state law limiting pain and suffering, and other non-economic, monetary awards in medical malpractice cases.

Previously, a person that suffered an injury due to medical malpractice could only be awarded $500,000 for pain and suffering by the court regardless of what a jury decided. If a person was catastrophically injured, the limit capped out at an even million. However, these limits do not include monetary damages for lost wages, medical care, or any other losses – they strictly cover pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.

The Supreme Court based its decision on a 2007 case where a woman was undergoing surgery for her carpal tunnel syndrome. After the surgery, her throat was injured when removing a breathing tube, and this injury led to a six week coma and other serious injuries. When her case finally came to trial, a jury awarded her $4 million, however, the court reduced the award by half due to the state law limiting medical malpractice damages.

In 2014, the woman’s appeal verdict was found in her favor, striking down the cap. The court ruled that the limit violated the equal protection clause due to the arbitrary basis for reducing damages in the law. The court basically found that the law did not make sense, and now the Supreme Court has weighed in. They agreed with the appellate court and upheld the decision.

It is unclear if the caps on medical malpractice claims in other states will be challenged now. The Florida Supreme Court only impacts Florida law.

Medical malpractice is classified as any negligence of a health care provider that causes an injury. When a doctor, nurse or healthcare facility fails to provide a patient with quality medical care, they can be held liable for their carelessness.

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A motorcyclist was killed Sunday after traveling the wrong way on an entrance ramp to Florida’s Turnpike and smashing into a Toyota Corolla.

The 42-year-old Orlando man was ejected from the motorcycle and died, according to a crash report.

The Toyota was driven by a 37-year-old Kissimmee man who was traveling southeast approaching a toll plaza on the ramp.

It’s unclear at this time as to why the biker was driving the wrong direction.

The Toyota driver, who was driving in the correct direction, couldn’t avoid the motorcycle, and the front left of his car struck the motorcycle.

Troopers are still investigating the crash.

Wrong way crashes occur when a car drives the wrong way in a lane, against the flow of traffic. This usually requires a driver who enters a highway or interstate entrance or exit ramp the wrong way. These tend to end pretty badly, with two cars colliding head-on at high speeds.

Wrong way collisions are almost always fatal. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, wrong way crashes have a fatality rate of up to 27 percent compared to .3 percent for all other highway collisions.

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A school bus accident in Williston sent 13 students to Regional General Hospital with minor injuries Wednesday.  

According to reports, Levy County school bus 0409 was stopped at a railroad crossing in the 800 block of East Noble Avenue shortly after 7:30 a.m. when the driver of a 2006 Dodge truck struck the bus from behind.

The driver of the Dodge truck was cited for following too closely, according to reports. The students on the bus attend Joyce Bullock Elementary and Williston Elementary schools.

As a parent, there is nothing scarier than finding out your child has been injured while getting to and/or from school on a school bus. When you send your children on a school bus, you trust that they will arrive at their intended destination safely. Even though school buses are widely considered to be the safest form of transportation for school children, the reality is that injuries on school buses can and do happen. If your child suffers an injury on a school bus, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any medical bills or other damages endured. After an accident like this, you should always contact a Levy County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible to discuss a potential legal claim.

There are many complicated issues surrounding school bus accident cases and it is important to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your child’s losses. Losses/damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disabilities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

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A woman is suing Wal-Mart Stores for negligence in a store accident that resulted in a stack of tables falling on her arm.

The woman filed a complaint on March 20 in the Orange County Circuit Court against Wal-Mart alleging that its store failed to provide a reasonably safe environment for its patrons.

According to the complaint, the woman says that on May 21, 2016, she suffered bodily injury, disability, medical expenses, loss of earnings and aggravation of a previously existing condition resulting from the negligent action of an employee as he allowed a stack of tables to fall on her arm.

She holds Wal-Mart responsible because the store failed to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance, inspection, customer service or mode of operation of the premises.

The woman is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $15,000 together with interest and costs.

When you set foot inside a retail store you expect you will be provided with a reasonably safe shopping experience. In fact, retail stores are legally obligated to maintain safe premises. If you slip, trip, fall or suffer another type of injury in a retail store you may have a valid legal claim against the store for financial compensation.

Many retail store injuries can leave you emotionally traumatized and physically unable to work. When you are unable to work, your finances can wind up in complete disarray. If you have suffered due to the negligence of a retail store employer or owner, let our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton help you obtain the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

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Hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June 1, but President Donald Trump has proclaimed this week ‘National Hurricane Preparedness Week.’

The time to prepare is now, before any storms make it to Florida. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard- this could be a deadly mistake.

Many people facing tropical storms and hurricanes last year in Florida, wish they had been more prepared, and for good reason. This is why President Trump hopes people get prepared right now during Hurricane Preparedness Week.

Your to do list should include:

  • Coming up with an evacuation plan
  • Getting your disaster supplies together
  • Calling your insurance company for a checkup to make sure you have the right coverage
  • Checking your home to make sure it’s in good condition and can withstand a storm
  • Checking in with your neighbors on their storm plans
  • Writing down your hurricane plan so your whole family is in the know

Our Florida Hurricane & Storm Damage Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to recap the 2016 hurricane season. We started with a rare January hurricane, Alex, and ended with Hurricane Otto which made landfall in Nicaragua on November 24. This year was an above-average season. There were 15 named storms and 7 hurricanes. There were 3 major hurricanes: Gaston, Matthew and Nicole. Category 5 Matthew was the strongest one.

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Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday celebrated today- the 5th of May! The date is observed to recognize the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is heavily celebrated. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to help you celebrate safely. Here’s how to have an unforgettable and safe Cinco de Mayo:

Plan Ahead

All-terrain vehicle-related injuries are a huge problem across the United States, and we see more children affected than adults. According to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the major risk factors for young riders also are entirely preventable.

Their studies show that the injuries children sustain from ATV-related accidents are frequently more severe than injuries received from motor vehicle crashes.

Researchers reviewed data from 16 published studies conducted from 2000 to 2010 on the epidemiology and risk factors among ATV-related injuries in American children.

Data from 2013, the most recent reporting year from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, showed that there were an estimated 99,600 ATV-related injuries in the United States that required at least emergency department treatment. Of those, approximately 25 percent were in children under 16.

The factors that appear related to the relatively high rates of death and injury for children are more powerful machines, younger drivers and lack of safety equipment and risky driving behavior. The most common causes for ATV injuries among young riders are vehicle rollover, collision with a stationary object and ejection from the vehicle.

One of the biggest dangers is when children are given free rein to use an adult-sized machine, like an ATV. The truth is that ATVs are often driven by children too young for a driver’s license, and allowing them access to these machines that are prone to flipping over and rolling is just not a good idea. It is very easy for kids to lose control of these machines, as ATVs can reach speeds above 50 MPH. Most parents would not allow their child to drive a car at that speed, and cars are outfitted with airbags and seat belts, where ATVs are not.

ATV accident victims can suffer severe injuries and even wrongful death. Traumatic brain injuries are common for ATV accident victims, and these injuries usually require long-term medical care.

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Nearly two dozen visitors to Six Flags America in Bowie, Maryland, were stuck on a roller coaster when it stalled Thursday.

A spokesman for Prince George’s County Fire Department said firefighters rescued all riders on board the Joker’s Jinx coaster four hours after crews arrived to rescue them.

Six Flags issued a statement about the incident:

Joker’s Jinx did not complete its regular ride cycle causing it to stop at a safe location on the track. The Prince George’s County Fire Department is onsite to assist in getting the riders safely off the ride. The safety of our guests is our highest priority and the ride will be closed for a thorough inspection before re-opening.

The ride has had this problem before when it became stuck in 2014. The rescue took hours.

Roller coasters, while thrilling, are the most dangerous rides at amusement and theme parks. Each year, roller coaster and theme park injuries account for 9,000 emergency room visits.

If an amusement park’s negligence results in an accident, whether it be a roller coaster stalling or a slip and fall accident, injury victims may be entitled to financial compensation from the amusement park owners for their suffering.

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Former Kissimmee mayor, state lawmaker and Osceola County commission chairman Frank Attkisson was struck and killed while riding his bicycle Thursday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Attkisson, 61, was riding his bike on Kissimmee Park Road near Lake Tohopekaliga Road about 7 p.m. Thursday, when he was struck from behind by a Hyundai Elantra.

Attkisson was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The Hyundai’s driver was not injured.

The crash is under investigation.

After serving on the Kissimmee Planning Advisory Board, Attkisson was appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Commission in 1990 and elected mayor in 1996. He was credited with enhancing the municipal airport, creating a reading program for students and pioneering a community-sponsored charter school.

Attkisson was elected to the state House in 2000 and re-elected three times, prior to returning to local government when he won a seat on the Osceola County Commission in 2010. He was elected to chair the commission in 2012, but was one of two incumbents ousted by challengers in 2014.

Bicycling has always been a popular form of recreation for Florida residents. Because of the mostly warm year-round climate, many Florida residents turn to bikes as an alternative form of transportation outside of passenger vehicles. However, due to the design of Florida’s roadways, bicyclists are extremely vulnerable to cars and other vehicles. It is not uncommon for bicyclists to be involved in automotive collisions.

A bike is no match for a passenger vehicle, SUV or truck. If someone you care for was killed in a bicycle accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. A Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you explore your legal options.

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