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A patient’s representative is suing an assisted living facility operator for alleged negligence and reckless conduct.

The woman, who holds power of attorney for the resident, filed a complaint in Cabell Circuit Court against The Village of Riverview alleging that it violated the residents’ rights to be free from abuse, neglect and mistreatment.

According to the complaint, the resident was admitted to the facility on May 12, 2017 for rehabilitation and assistance. As a result of the facility’s negligence, the resident suffered a displaced femoral neck fracture, a periprosthetic right femur fracture and facial/scalp laceration, and a scalp hematoma.

The patient’s representative holds The Village of Riverview responsible because it allegedly failed to provide an environment free of accident hazards and failed to provide adequate supervision and assistance to prevent accidents.

Assisted living facilities provide care to hundreds of thousands of senior citizens and elderly individuals throughout the nation. Sadly, the level of care these individuals receive does not always live up to the standard of care that the assisted living facilities are required to provide. As a result, those left in the facility’s care are often abused or neglected.

If your loved one suffered serious injuries or died in an assisted living facility as a result of negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the facility. However, there are time constraints for taking legal action in the state of Florida against assisted living facilities, so it is important to take action early to protect your rights.

When a loved one is injured or killed as a result of negligence in an assisted living facility, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. Our Florida Assisted Living Facility Abuse & Neglect Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help guide you through the legal process.

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A Florida jury has awarded nearly $500 million to the family of a woman fatally shot during an argument in a car in 2011.

The family of the 20-year-old Jacksonville woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man who shot her and two other men who helped dump her body.

The man who shot her was sentenced to 45 years for second-degree murder in 2017. The other men pleaded guilty to accessory charges.

On Tuesday, a Duval County jury awarded the family over $495 million for emotional distress and punitive damages.

Deciding whether to file a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one is a personal matter. While no one else can make this decision for you and your family, our experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can provide you with useful information about the benefits of filing a lawsuit so that you can make the best decision.

There are two main reasons people choose to file wrongful death suits:

  1. Hold the person responsible for the death accountable for their actions. A wrongful death lawsuit holds the at-fault party legally accountable for a wrongful death.
  2. Obtain and protect your financial recovery. The only way to recover monetary compensation after the wrongful death of a loved one is to file a wrongful death claim. This can provide you with money that you need to pay any outstanding medical bills and funeral costs caused by the other person’s negligence. It can provide you with compensation for the lost income your family has suffered, and will continue to suffer, and it can also compensate your family for other damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish.

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A woman and baby were killed and a man and another infant were seriously injured in a crash at a Florida intersection Sunday afternoon.

Florida Highway Patrol says a man lost control of his pickup truck and crashed into the victims’ car, as well as other vehicles. Officials say a 19-year-old and a 1-year-old were pronounced dead at the scene. The car’s driver, a 22-year-old man, was taken to a Fort Myers hospital with serious injuries, and a 1-year-old was airlifted to a Tampa hospital with critical injuries.

Several occupants of other vehicles suffered minor injuries.

The crash remains under investigation. No citations were immediately reported.

Highway intersections bring multiple roads and opposite lanes of traffic together. It’s no wonder that they are the site of so many car accidents. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 40 percent of car crashes in the U.S. happen at intersections.

The at-fault driver of an intersection accident that causes serious injuries or death may be legally liable if it was caused by their carelessness or recklessness. Those who have been injured or suffered a serious loss have a right to seek financial compensation when this happens.

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A Lifetime documentary series covering distressing allegations against R. Kelly has reportedly prompted a criminal investigation in Georgia, while prosecutors in Chicago are urging any victims to come forward.

Investigators from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Atlanta have tried to touch base with some of the women featured in the six-part series, according to reports.

Kelly, who’s faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, which he’s denied, is accused of manipulating women and controlling their lives.

Authorities involved in the probe have contacted a former girlfriend of Kelly who has spoken out multiple times about the alleged abuse she endured, according to reports.

Cook County (Chicago) State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, held a press conference Tuesday encouraging any victims to come forward, calling the allegations against Kelly covered in the Lifetime series “deeply, deeply disturbing.”

Foxx said she’s been in touch with people who claim to have information regarding allegations in Cook County, and said her office has received calls from relatives of people who have been in contact with Kelly in recent years. She said that includes family members who are looking for a loved one.

Foxx noted that she has not been in touch with Fulton County officials or with Kelly himself.

The accusations against Kelly have generated renewed attention since Thursday, when Lifetime began airing its series “Surviving R. Kelly.” The investigation reportedly began after a wave of calls to officials after the series debuted.

Kelly, 52, has been accused of inappropriate behavior with multiple underage girls in the past, which he has denied. He allegedly married the late singer Aaliyah in 1994, when she was 15.

Kelly was acquitted in a highly publicized child pornography case in 2008 after being accused of appearing in a sex tape with an underage girl years earlier.

Kelly has been accused of sexually abusing minors for decades. There have been civil lawsuits and an indictment, but he’s never actually been convicted of committing any crime. There are even alleged videos and evidence that Kelly possessed child pornography floating around. He settled many civil lawsuits out of court, and throughout the years of accusations, charges, an indictment, settlements, and along with Lifetime’s latest documentary series, a new hashtag has erupted: #MuteRKelly.

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Six elderly Florida residents are alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in their lawsuit against the state over the length of time it takes them to get in-home Medicaid care.

Approximately 50,000 state residents remain on a waiting list for in-home Medicaid services which can take over three years to access, driving some to enter nursing facilities to get the care they need, according to reports.

National statistics show that there are more older adults and adults with disabilities on the waitlist for community-based services in Florida than any other state.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida contends that patients face hardships without proper in-home services, placing them at risk during a long wait to get the service. Thousands of elderly residents have died while they were on the waiting list, and in addition to their suffering, it places a strain on families trying to provide the care their elders need.

Florida has a capped system of long-term in-home care through Medicaid with a limited amount of space, and people are kept waiting to be accepted.

According to the suit, the present system is forcing elderly residents to enter nursing homes seeking the care they need which is an alleged violation of the Olmstead provision of the ADA, which dictates that people with disabilities and older people have the right to acquire care services in a setting appropriate to their needs.

The majority of people on the waiting list are over 60, with more than half over 74.

About 22 percent of Florida’s Medicaid spending for long-term care goes to home-based services, making it among the worst in the nation. The average among states is 45 percent.

The lawsuit asks that in-home care services be increased to handle greater capacity and speed up the waiting period to provide personal care such as bathing, dressing, or assistance using the bathroom.

In the state of Florida, there are different levels of Medicaid care. The Medicaid Waiver Program provides benefits for in-home and assisted living care. The requirements are that the patient is Medicaid-eligible and needs a nursing home level of care. Sadly, as this case shows, the program is underfunded and there is a long wait list.

Depending on the level of need and existing support, individuals may wait up to three and a half years before getting care at home. Between July 1, 2016, and March 8, 2018, more than 1,400 people on the waitlist had to move to nursing facilities. In this same time period, more than 8,600 people died while on the waitlist.

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A sex abuse investigation is underway in Phoenix after a woman in a vegetative state in a healthcare facility for 10 years gave birth.

Staff at the facility had been giving round the clock care to the female patient, according to AZ Family.

She gave birth on December 29 after apparently being raped at the facility some months earlier.  

A source added that: ‘None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth.’

Reports indicated that confused staff heard the woman moaning before she gave birth to the child.

Her vegetative state is a result of an incident in which she nearly drowned ten years ago.

As a result of the incident, male staff members wanting to enter the room of a female patient must be accompanied by a female staff member.

The facility issued a statement to AZ Family and said it has been in business in the valley for over 50 years and ‘has an outstanding reputation providing high quality specialized care for our patients’.

We trust that health care providers will look after not only our own welfare, but that of our children and loved ones. We expect them to be places of care, rather than abuse. Sadly, sexual predators are everywhere and prey on vulnerable people seeking medical attention.

Our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton routinely represent victims that are sexually abused in nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other health care facilities. Health care facilities are rampant with sexual abuse. It is the facilities’ job to prevent sexual assault and abuse from happening. State law also dictates how these facilities are supposed to supervise patients, such as regular bed checks. As this case shows, these guidelines are often violated.

If you or someone you know has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a healthcare provider, please let us help you file a claim against the at-fault party. We can help you obtain a sense of justice, and most importantly, ensure that those at fault pay for their crimes.

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Florida has revoked the license of a nursing home where 12 elderly patients died in the heat after it lost power during a 2017 hurricane.

The Agency for Health Care Administration issued its order Friday, saying an administrative law judge correctly concluded the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills “created an unsafe environment” in September 2017 after Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning.

Patients began dying three days after the storm passed. Investigators believe the center did not evacuate patients as temperatures inside rose, even though a fully functional hospital was across the street. The home’s license was suspended days after the storm and it closed.

Police have been investigating the deaths, but no charges have been filed.

Nursing homes have a legal obligation to make sure their patients are properly cared for, even in the midst of a hurricane. When the facility and staff are not prepared, residents can suffer serious personal injuries and even wrongful death. For those who suffer injuries in a nursing home, or families who have lost loved ones in a nursing home, our Florida Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can investigate if the nursing home is liable for any wrongful actions.

We proudly help injured nursing home residents, and surviving family members, recover financial compensation to cover medical expenses, therapy, rehabilitative care, as well as wrongful death expenses. We start with looking into nursing home policies and practices to determine if negligence caused a resident to suffer harm. From there, we can help your pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

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A head-on collision killed a woman and seriously injured a man on South U.S. 301 in Summerfield Thursday night.

According to a witness, a 2011 BMW 5 series driven by a 34-year-old was in the wrong lane on U.S. 301 at Southeast 132nd Street Road and collided with a 47-year-old driving a 2003 Honda Civic.

Marion County Fire Rescue and arrived at the scene at 10:30 p.m. The driver of the Honda Civic was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m., according to reports.

The BMW driver was taken by ambulance to Ocala Regional Medical Center.

According to FHP, the BMW was stopped in the outside northbound lane of U.S 301 facing south. The Honda was just south of the intersection, traveling north in the inside lane.

Troopers said the BMW proceeded south in the northbound lanes and the Honda took evasive action by swerving to the left into the outside left turn lane, but the two cars collided head-on.

There are no updates at this time if alcohol was a factor and if charges will be filed.

Wrong-way driving occurs when a motorist drives against the direction of traffic. The most common result of this error is a serious head-on collision. Wrong-way driving accidents can happen at any speed on any street, highway, or road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 350 people are killed every year nationwide in wrong-way highway accidents.

Serious injuries can result from wrong-way accidents, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, lacerations, and even death. These injuries can be costly to treat, which is why Florida law allows you to recover financial damages through a personal injury or wrongful death claim. These damages may include medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, costs of future medical care, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and all other losses resulting from the accident.

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Officials say at least six passengers fell ill on a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Tampa.

According to reports, the passengers who traveled on Tampa-bound Frontier Airlines Flight 1397 on Tuesday fell ill after leaving Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The passengers are being held for observation. The sick passengers on board the flight to Tampa International Airport were not traveling together.

The passengers were said to be vomiting by the time the plane landed, according to reports.

Several water fountains were shut down at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport after the passengers became sick, according to reports. Airport officials could not confirm that was the cause of the sicknesses.

The remaining passengers were kept on the plane for about an hour after it landed.

Not all airplane injuries involve crashes. There are many incidents that can lead to passengers being harmed, including:

  • Airline food poisoning
  • Slip-and-fall accidents and trip-and-fall accidents
  • Overhead bin discharge injuries
  • Service cart collision injuries
  • Coffee spill and hot liquid spill injuries
  • Food allergy injuries
  • Broken seat injuries
  • Turbulence injuries
  • Hard landing injuries
  • Assault and sexual assault
  • Delayed medical treatment

Food poisoning and/or water contamination are types of injuries that are often misunderstood. Many people assume that the only result from such an incident is temporary gastrointestinal illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea. However, that’s not always true. You can get very sick from eating tainted food or drinking contaminated water, and you could end up kidney failure, septic blood poisoning, brain damage, and in some cases even death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 128,000 people are hospitalized with food poisoning every year, and 3,000 more will actually die of foodborne diseases.

If you or a loved one has suffered from food poisoning or water contamination on an airplane, your first step should be to seek medical attention. Following that, you should speak to a Florida Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton. We know how to obtain full and fair financial compensation for victims of food poisoning, including medical expenses and lost wages.

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A 2-year-old girl has been injured after falling into the rhinoceros exhibit at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne.

Brevard County Fire Rescue officials said the girl was taken to an Orlando hospital for treatment Tuesday afternoon. Her mother was also taken to a hospital for treatment.

The zoo’s executive director said they don’t believe the rhino’s horn touched the child. The extent of the child’s injuries is not clear.

She fell through the steel poles that separate guests from rhinos during a hands-on experience.

The zoo has offered the hands-on experience daily since 2009 without any incidents prior to Tuesday.

Zoos go to great lengths to protect both animals and visitors by making sure exhibits are enclosed properly and cages are adequately maintained. Our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton strongly urge parents and caretakers to closely observe children during every aspect of a zoo visit as defects can occur at any time, which can result in an animal or child coming into contact with one another and a serious injury occurring.

In Florida, premises liability laws allow injury victims to hold a property owner responsible for injuries that occur due to defects on the property. If the owners of the zoo knew, or reasonably should have known, about a hazard on the property, such as a cracked sidewalk, dangerous zoo ride, or unsafe animal enclosure, but did not take the necessary steps to repair it, the zoo could be liable for visitor injuries.

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