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MARION COUNTY, FL  – A driver was injured in a collision with a school bus in Marion County Tuesday morning, state troopers said.

The accident happened in the vicinity of SW 20th Avenue Road and SW 154th Street Road at about 8 a.m., according to WGFL.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 78-year-old woman was driving a Jeep north on SW 20th Avenue Road when she drove off the roadway onto a grass shoulder.  When she tried to get back on the road, the Jeep was hit by a northbound school bus and the impact sent both vehicles onto the grass.

CITRUS COUNTY, FL – The driver charged in a car accident that killed three people in Citrus County has pleaded no contest in the case, according to a report by the Citrus County Chronicle.

56-year-old Phillip Sawhill of Land O’Lakes will be sentenced Oct. 4 on three counts of second-degree vehicular homicide.

The crash took place Dec. 24, 2019 near the intersection of South Pleasant Grove Road and East Amy Lane near Inverness.  Authorities said Sawhill was driving a Toyota Highlander and trying to pass five other northbound vehicles in a no-passing zone on South Pleasant Grove Road.  His vehicle collided with a Kia Optima that was headed south.  Three people in the Kia, ages 86, 85 and 62, were pronounced dead at the scene.

BREVARD COUNTY, FL – A collision in Mims involving a fire truck and a pickup truck left four people injured Sunday night, reports WOGX.

The crash happened at the intersection of U.S. Highway 1 and Burkholm Road.  According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a Brevard County fire truck was returning from a call at about 10:30 p.m.  The fire truck was going east on Burkholm Road when it collided with a Ford pickup truck headed south on U.S. 1.

Three firefighters were injured in the wreck, including a 39-year-old who was reported in critical condition.  A 25-year-old male firefighter was listed in serious condition, while the other firefighter sustained minor injuries.

CRYSTAL RIVER, FL – A man is facing charges following a road rage crash in Crystal River that left a motorcyclist critically injured.

WFTS reports 25-year-old Kristopher Alan Hite is charged with attempted vehicular homicide and child neglect.  The incident took place July 28, when investigators said Hite got into an argument with the motorcyclist at a stoplight on North Suncoast Boulevard.

The sheriff’s office said both drivers were speeding when Hite saw the motorcycle rider approaching from behind, then swerved into the right lane and intentionally hit the victim.  The impact caused the motorcycle and the rider to flip into the air.  The motorcyclist is now on life support due to the injuries suffered.

Decades ago, specifically from the 1950s-1980s, tests completed revealed that water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina was toxic and numerous water wells were shut down.

The Marine Corps did not respond to the problem right away, leaving service members, employees, and their loved ones residing and/or working on base drinking, cooking, and bathing with water that was tainted with chemicals that have been linked to illnesses, like breast cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, ALS, infertility, miscarriages, still births, Parkinson’s disease, and more.

All affected individuals (this includes families of deceased victims) are one step closer to obtaining justice through financial compensation as President Joe Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 into law Wednesday. It is now possible for victims, as well as family members of the deceased, to take legal action through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Memorial-Day-Poster-225x300Who Can Join the Lawsuit?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act outlines everyone who will be granted the opportunity to take legal action. The first group who qualifies is anyone who lived on base at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days from any time frame between August 1953-December 1987. This applies for service members as well as their families.

The next group eligible to file is anyone who worked on base at Camp Lejeune between August 1953-December 1987. Not all employees during this time period were active service members, some were civilian contractors, etc. In order to be eligible for compensation, they must have worked on the military base for at least 30 days.

The last group includes anyone who encountered dangerous chemicals from the water contamination on base at Camp Lejeune. This group includes those that were exposed to toxic water while in utero.

What Conditions will be Compensated?

Once you meet the above eligibility requirements, then of course, you must have developed an injury, disease, or illness as a result.

Anyone who was exposed to TCE, PCE, and benzene at Camp Lejeune may have developed various cancers, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Bladder cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Esophageal cancer

In addition to cancer, there are other diseases that have been linked to TCE and PCE exposure, including:

  • Aplastic anemia (and other myelodysplastic syndromes)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Infertility / miscarriage
  • Still births
  • Birth defects, like spina bifida
  • Cardiac defects
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Neurobehavioral conditions
  • Scleroderma
  • Hepatic Steatosis
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Tooth Loss
  • Tooth Decay
  • Reoccurring rash
  • Fear of injury (when others in family have been sick)

If you meet the above criteria, then you will be able to begin your pursuit of justice through a lawsuit. Our Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you proceed with the entire process from start to finish.

How Do I File a Claim or Lawsuit?

Right now, you can contact us and tell us your story and we can begin helping you proceed with a claim and make sure it is filed correctly and on time. As claims begin moving forward, they will likely be grouped together in a class action suit in North Carolina for all victims, regardless of where they currently live now.

If you think that contaminated water at camp Lejeune has caused your condition or resulted in a condition that led to the death of a loved one, then your time to hold the U.S. government accountable for their failure to take necessary action is now. You need a lawyer who can establish liability and prove that your medical condition is from the toxic water at Camp Lejeune and not a pre-existing condition. The government could try and argue that you or your loved one’s medical condition is due to something else in your medical history and not the chemicals in the water on base. We can help you prove that toxic water caused your condition. A lawsuit against the government is different from a lawsuit against an individual person, so you need to enlist the help of a lawyer who can handle this type of legal work for you. Call our Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Attorneys at Whittel & Melton now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.

What If Your Loved One Had a Claim But is Deceased?

Due to the Pact Act 2022, immediate family members of those who died prematurely because of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune will be able to move forward with wrongful death lawsuits against the U.S. government. These lawsuits can be filed even if the person died decades ago if there is proof the person worked or lived on base during the contamination period and developed a health condition from the toxic water that ultimately resulted in their death. Camp Lejeune wrongful death claims can be filed even if the person died decades ago.

What If I Was on Base, But not a Service Member, merely a Spouse or Child?

Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, all family members, including spouses and children (even those in utero) that lived on base for at least 30 days during the contamination period and have developed a health condition that can be traced back to the toxic exposure resulting from Camp Lejeune contaminated water are eligible to file claims.

Our Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can review your potential claim for free and help you understand what steps to take next. Continue reading

SUMTER COUNTY, FL – State troopers said a pickup truck accident in Sumter County Tuesday morning left a driver seriously injured, according to a report by the Villages-News.

The incident took place on State Road 44 east of County Road 247 near Rutland at about 6:42 a.m.  The Florida Highway Patrol said a woman was driving a pickup truck west on State Road 44 when she lost control of the vehicle and it rotated to the center median.

The pickup then overturned and ended up in the eastbound lanes of the roadway.  The driver, a 64-year-old woman from Lake Panasoffkee, was wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash.

LEESBURG, FL – Authorities said a driver was rushed to the hospital following a high-speed collision in Leesburg on Monday night.

According to the Daily Commercial, a young man was driving a Jaguar at a speed estimated at over 100 miles an hour when the incident occurred at about 6:25 p.m. in the area of Martin Luther King Drive and U.S. Highway 441/27.  The Jaguar collided with a Cadillac Escalade at the intersection and then struck the side of the Northgate Animal Clinic, where it came to rest.  Car parts were scattered throughout the area.

The Jaguar driver, reported to be 18 years old, was extricated from the wreck and flown to Ocala Regional Medical Center.  No details were available on his condition.  A witness said two people in the Cadillac, a man and a woman, did not appear to have been injured.

BROOKSVILLE,FL – The Florida Highway Patrol released details of a fatal pickup truck crash that occurred on Sunday afternoon.

The Suncoast News reports the accident happened on Preston Road at about 3:37 p.m.  According to state troopers, a 54-year-old man was driving south in a Ford F-350 pickup when he lost control of the vehicle near Outback Way.   The pickup went onto the shoulder of the roadway, then collided with  a wooden pole, a mailbox and a utility pole before rolling over.

The driver, a Brooksville resident, was pronounced dead after being taken to an area hospital.

An orthopedic surgeon in Florida is accused of causing hundreds of horrific injuries while the hospital where he operated apparently ignored complaints from patients who say he showed signs of a progressive neurological disorder.

Court documents from 350 lawsuits share stories of patients from 2016-2020 who allege the doctor started slurring his words and showed signs that he had difficulty with his balance, trouble concentrating, and made erratic, angry outbursts, among other things.

There are at least 100 more lawsuits expected to be filed by the end of 2022.

The lawsuits go on to allege that these behaviors resulted in serious errors during his surgeries, including severed nerves, bone fractures, and ruptured tendons.

The complications that stemmed from these surgical errors required patients to get corrective surgeries and at least one patient lost her life, according to the civil suits.

The lawsuits name the doctor, his clinic, and Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.

The doctor is mostly known for performing hip and knee replacements, two operations that usually do not have a high rate of complications for patients post-op.

medical-Instagram-Story-169x300According to the lawsuits, a 70-year-old woman who had a hip replacement done by the doctor died in September 2018 after the procedure took longer than expected because the doctor fractured her femur, or thigh bone, during the surgery.

The civil suit alleges that the doctor tried to repair the fracture, but the woman’s vital signs started to diminish. Her death certificate shows her cause of death reads complications of a femur fracture.

Other victims claim that the doctor left them with a leg that is shorter than the other due to selecting the wrong size femoral component for a hip replacement. Other patients have complained of serious nerve damage that has led to permanent “drop foot,” which is defined as difficulty lifting the front part of the foot off the ground.

Court documents show that the doctor had progressive supranuclear palsy, which the Mayo Clinic states is an uncommon brain disorder that results in issues with walking, balance, eye movements and swallowing that worsen over time.

It is unknown whether or not hospital officials were aware of the doctor’s condition. However, court documents do show that several physicians and nurses expressed concerns about the doctor’s ability to practice.

The doctor retired of his own volition in 2020, according to reports.

The first trial for six plaintiffs is slated for August 2023.

Surgery is usually performed to treat a medical condition, but these procedures can be dangerous and result in further complications that can threaten a patient’s health. While there is some level of risk accepted for any surgery, patients trust that their doctor, surgeon, and other members of their medical team will behave competently and provide the correct and necessary standard of care. When a surgeon, physician’s assistant, or nurse makes an error or acts negligently in the operating room, this can cause serious injuries that result in medical malpractice. Victims of medical malpractice have the right to pursue financial compensation for all of their suffering and damages related to the botched procedure.

Our Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand the effects that surgical mistakes can have on a patient and their family. We are dedicated to holding negligent surgeons, hospitals, and other medical staff accountable for any harm that they cause. Our number one goal is to achieve justice for injured patients by making sure that they receive full and fair compensation for all of their injuries.

Surgeons, doctors, and all medical staff are held to a high standard of care in the operating room. When they fail to live up to this standard, a great deal of harm can be done to a patient. Mistakes that arise from lack of training, carelessness, distractions, or not following proper procedures are all forms of negligence. When negligence results in injury, victims have the right to seek compensation for the harm they have suffered through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Whittel & Melton work with injured patients to see to it that they are compensated fairly and that the at-fault medical provider is held accountable so that future mistakes of the same caliber do not affect other patients. Continue reading

BROOKSVILLE, FL – The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said a deadly car accident caused a power outage on Sunday.

The sheriff’s office posted on Facebook that the incident shut down Preston Road between Mondon Hill Road and Richbarn Road.  WFLA reported that a driver was killed after crashing into an electrical pole in Brooksville.

The accident reportedly left over 50 people without power in the area.  Utility crews arrived at the scene to repair the damage and restore power to those affected.  Drivers were advised to seek alternate routes.

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