A Kentucky woman claims a slippery deck near a hot tub on a Miami-based cruise ship caused her to fall.

The woman filed a complaint on Feb. 13 against Carnival Corp., doing business as Carnival Cruise Lines Inc., alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, the woman claims that on Feb. 26, 2016, she suffered serious physical injuries when she slipped and fell while exiting the Jacuzzi onboard the Carnival Fascination. She holds Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. responsible because they failed to warn the her regarding the slippery surface while exiting the Jacuzzi.

If you were injured in a cruise ship accident, you are not alone. Countless cruise ship passengers are injured every year, usually do to the negligence of a cruise line or its employees. Sadly, most of these injuries are 100 percent preventable. Slip, trip and fall accidents make up the majority of these incidents, resulting in a plethora of injuries including head injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. In most cruise ship slip, trip and fall cases, financial compensation can be sought by filing a personal injury claim.

While there are numerous ways a slip, trip and fall accident can occur, negligence is usually a contributing factor. The key to gaining a successful outcome for your claim, is proving negligence and showing that the negligence caused injuries to the victim.

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A preliminary settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit filed against Kane’s Furniture that accused the store of failing to honor lifetime warranties for defective “bonded leather” furniture that peeled, flaked and deteriorated.

Notices to about 15,000 customers who purchased the furniture were put in the mail starting Friday providing details and asking them to submit claims by April 11 for full or partial refunds or store credits, according to court records.

Kane’s admits no wrongdoing in the settlement. It has blamed the Mississippi manufacturer that sold the furniture to Kane’s for defects and the inconvenience caused to customers. Kane’s actually filed a suit against that manufacturer in a case that was later settled.

A Kane’s spokeswoman said they are happy to settle the suit and would have never purchased the product if they had known it was inferior or defective.

Anyone who complained to Kane’s about problems with the furniture within a year of purchase is eligible for a 100 percent refund of the purchase price or a store credit, documents show. Anyone who complained after a year — but no later than two years — is eligible for a 50 percent refund or a credit valued at 100 percent of the purchase price.

Additionally, Kane’s has agreed to pay up to $2.5 million to those customers who did not complain within two years and others who never complained, ranging from 5 percent to 100 percent of the purchase price, depending on when the furniture was purchased, the claims notice says. That will be paid out in the form of a 60 percent store credit and a 40 percent cash payout.

Any payment made to Kane’s for furniture repair counts toward the refund or credit, the settlement says. Customers who have already received an exchange, credit or refund are not eligible for additional payments or credits.

The settlement involves furniture sold from July 27, 2010, through Dec. 5, 2016. At issue was furniture manufactured by Southern Motion Inc. using bonded leather, a synthetic, processed leather like substance that contains less than 17 percent actual leather.

When a product does not live up to its promise or it causes injury due to a bad design or manufacturing defect, the manufacturer is responsible. Manufacturers have a duty to design their products and test them to industry standards. If they know of any hidden or potential dangers, they must warn consumers. They must also stand behind their product, so if they know of a design flaw, they must make sure consumers are aware. In most defective products cases, large numbers of consumers experience similar issues due to the same design flaw.

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A Carnival passenger alleges he was injured because he slipped on a deck that was wet with rain.

The man filed a complaint on Jan. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Carnival Corp. alleging negligence.

According to the lawsuit, the man alleges that he sustained physical injuries when he accidentally slipped and fell due to a deck wet because of rain. The man holds Carnival Corp. responsible because they failed to warn the man of the hazardous condition of the lido deck.

All areas on a cruise ship that see a high volume of foot traffic must be must be free of dangers, and that includes any wet or slick surfaces that could result in slip, trip or fall injuries. Cruise line companies could be responsible for slip, trip and fall accidents that occur because of hazards employees create. Dangerous or hazardous conditions include slick or slippery surfaces and a failure to warn passengers of the wet area or failing to undertake reasonable safety precautions.

If a cruise line creates a dangerous condition or does not work to remedy the situation in a reasonable amount of time, they could be liable for all injuries they have caused. This negligence on the cruise ship’s part could mean you are entitled to recover financial compensation for your injuries.

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The most wonderful time of the year is also among the deadliest.

According to an analysis by the Associated Press and the USA Today Network, unintentional shootings spike in the U.S. during the holidays.

The analysis determined that 32 people were killed nationwide and 59 injured over the past two years from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day — which is the most likely day for accidental shootings each year.

The victims were mostly male and young, with a median age of 19. Nearly half the shootings were self-inflicted, and most occurred in their own homes.

The AP and USA Today Network looked at holiday shootings after an earlier investigation found that accidental shootings involving children happen far more often than federal government statistics show.

Based on incidents compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, they found that more than 320 minors were killed by unintentional shootings over a 2½ year period that ended June 30.

Several factors contribute to the increase:

  • Children and teenagers are out of school for the holidays and have access to unsecured guns at their homes and those of relatives and friends.
  • Adults are drinking alcohol and inattentive to gun safety or their children.
  • New guns are given and received as gifts in the tens of thousands.
  • It’s a popular time of year for hunting.

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A man was arrested after a selfie with a handgun in the bathroom of an adult entertainment club went wrong on Friday.

St. Petersburg police said that the 34-year-old man went to the bathroom at Club Lust to take a selfie with the gun.

Somehow, the gun went off and the bullet went through to the women’s restroom next door.

Police said that the man tried to run. He was arrested and charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of Xanax and possession of marijuana less than two grams.

It is unknown if anyone in the women’s restroom was injured by the bullet.

Gun violence is a huge problem across the United States. In fact, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, someone in America is killed by gunfire every 15 minutes. While the Second Amendment allows people the right to bear arms, handling guns carelessly can result in real serious harm to innocent bystanders.

Guns should never be used or handled in a joking manner. Injured victims of gun accidents have the right to seek financial compensation for all damages. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you recover the full amount for all medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering related to a gun accident. If you lost a loved one in an accidental shooting, we can help you file a wrongful death claim.

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A former Nease High School student was struck by a vehicle while riding a skateboard Monday afternoon on Ray Road near the high school, according to authorities.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said the young man was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.

No further information is available at this time.

Skateboarders, just like pedestrians, can suffer serious injuries when they are hit by cars. Because skateboarders are exposed, any impact from a vehicle can result in severe bodily harm. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident while skateboarding, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help.

Liability in these types of accidents can depend on various factors. Was the driver abiding by all traffic laws? Was the driver operating their vehicle at the appropriate rate of speed? Were they in the proper lane? In many of these cases, drivers are not operating their vehicle properly. A driver that failed to observe the  rules of the road will likely be found liable for all injuries they cause.

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Emergency crews rushed two people to a hospital because of a gas leak at an Orlando strip mall Wednesday.

Two patients were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for dizziness but are in stable condition, according to reports.

The shopping plaza at Orange Blossom Trail and Holden Avenue was evacuated.

According to reports, a manager of a food store was chiseling away ice from a freezer containing fish when he hit a Freon line.

Hazmat crews responded to contain it. The Health Department and state fire marshal were called in.

No one ever wants to be involved in a gas leak situation. However, the truth is that these accidents happen, so it is best to be prepared. The following safety steps can be of help should a gas leak arise:  

  • Alert everyone in the near vicinity and immediately get away from the gas odor.
  • Do not use any sources that may act as an ignition to a gas leak such as matches, vehicles, cell phones and flash lights until you move to a reasonable and safe distance away from the area.
  • Get to a safe place and then call 911.

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Two workers have been seriously injured while assisting the move of a 150-ton power plant transformer from Riverview to Lakeland Electric’s McIntosh Power Plant, according to reports.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 24-year-old man was walking alongside the 300-foot trailer Saturday when he tripped on a raised concrete line marker and fell into the path of a wheel.

Then, a 27-year-old man tried to help the other man and was also struck by the trailer, which was traveling at about 2 miles per hour. The incident occurred near the end of the trip.

The report says both men were taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital in serious condition.

Our Florida Worker’s Compensation Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are ready to help you if you have been injured while on the job. We can help with the following types of cases:

  • Construction Accidents
  • Back or Neck Injuries
  • On The Job Wrongful Death Claims
  • Disfigurement & Scarring Injuries
  • OSHA violations
  • Product Liability Cases

If you or someone you love has been injured in a work accident, we can help with your claims. We strongly urge you to focus on your recovery, and leave the legal matters to us.

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A Frontier Airlines flight from Chicago to Florida was diverted to Indianapolis after an issue was reported with its fuel system.

No injuries have been reported.

A Frontier spokesman said flight 1334 left Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Sunday for Palm Beach with 205 passengers and seven crew members aboard and landed late Sunday in Indianapolis out of “an abundance of caution.”

The pilot for the Denver-based airline made the decision to divert the plane, according to reports.

Passengers were put on another plane to get to their destination. According to reports, they arrived in Palm Beach on Monday morning.

The Transportation Security Administration screens over 1.8 million passengers every single day, and each traveler knows that flying has built-in risks and trusts that they will get to their final destination safe and sound. The reality is that planes are machines, and machines can malfunction. Although airlines take as many precautions as possible, when dealing with such high speeds and altitudes, flight mistakes can have serious ramifications.

Airplane accidents can be caused by many different things. The following are some of the common causes of airplane accidents:

  • Instrument failure
  • Pilot error
  • Fuel mismanagement
  • Mechanical failure
  • Tire failure
  • Defective landing gear
  • Inadequate training
  • Inclement weather
  • Metallurgical failures
  • Improper maintenance
  • Mid-air collisions
  • Improper inspections
  • Poor fuel
  • Design defects
  • Inadequate security
  • Improper flight training

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Today is the last day of hurricane season, so we thought we would recap this year’s stats.

The 2016 season 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.

Tampa Bay was impacted by Tropical Storm Colin in the first week of June. While it stayed out in the Gulf of Mexico, the area saw rough surf, some coastal flooding and strong winds. Clearwater Beach reported a wind gust to 49 mph.

Hurricane Hermine made landfall just east of St. Marks, Florida in the early morning hours of September 2nd with winds of 80 mph. Hurricane Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

It brought a storm surge of 3 to 5 feet to parts of the coast from Manatee County to Citrus County. The storm surge was 7.5 feet at Cedar Key. There was heavy rainfall (6 inches to more than 20 inches of rain in some spots) and strong wind gusts in Tampa Bay. Indian Shores had a wind gust of 78 mph. St. Petersburg reported a wind gust of 63 mph and Tampa had a wind gust of 46 mph.

Tropical Storm Julia formed near Jacksonville on September 13, and was an unusual storm since it formed over land, not over water.  

Then there was Hurricane Matthew. As it moved toward the east coast of Florida, close to 2 million people in were ordered to evacuate. Although the center of Matthew stayed just offshore, there was a wind gust of 107 mph on the tip of Cape Canaveral on the morning of October 7. Fernandina Beach in Nassau County reported a peak water level of 6.91 feet. This ranks as the third highest water level recorded there, above Hurricanes Dora and Jeanne. There was also more than 8 inches of rain in some areas.

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