A Polk County woman is suing a Disney theme park, alleging breach of duty and negligence led to her injuries.

The woman filed a complaint April 10 in Orange County Circuit Court against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc,. alleging failure to exercise reasonable care for the safety of the public.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 9, 2017, the woman visited the Magic Kingdom theme park with her family to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which included a fireworks show. She alleges that during the event there were employees who were walking at a very rapid pace and were zigzagging through the overcrowded venue in a negligent manner. The suit says the Disney employees ran into the woman, knocking her down.

She says she sustained bodily injury, resulting in pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement and expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment.

The suit alleges Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. failed to train and/or inadequately train its employees regarding safe maneuvering through the park when it is crowded and/or overcrowded so that employees do not make contact with guests and cause injury.

As an invitee of the park, you are considered a guest, which means you have a right to be reasonably protected against any safety risk while in the park under Florida’s premises liability law. Failure on the park’s part to protect you or anyone else may be considered negligence. An experienced Florida Amusement Park Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton can investigate the matter of negligence for you and help you understand what steps to follow to seek financial compensation for pain and suffering.

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A Pembroke Pines homeowner is suing an insurance company, alleging breach of contract.

The man filed a complaint March 23 in Broward Circuit Court against Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company, alleging failure to provide coverage after a hurricane.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 10, 2017, the man sustained damaged property and repair costs when his property was substantially damaged by Hurricane Irma while his insurance policy was in full force and effect. However, the suit says, despite the man’s efforts to perform all obligations to recover under the policy, Universal Property has refused to provide coverage for his claim.

The man claims that Universal Property and Casualty Insurance has refused to pay to replace and/or repair the full amount of damage to his dwelling, and forced him to retain and pay for an attorney’s services in bringing legal action.

Hurricane Irma was the largest storm to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. With mandatory evacuations and 185 mph winds, the aftermath of this storm left many homes and properties destroyed. Our Florida Hurricane Insurance Attorneys at Whittel & Melton know that even if you have homeowners insurance and did everything in your power to protect your home, insurance companies may still refuse to payout for damages. We can protect your interests when insurers refuse to pay valid claims.

Most homeowners insurance policies require that you give notice to the insurance carrier immediately after the damage occurs. If you wait too long to contact your insurance company, they could deny your claim because of your failure to act promptly.

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A canon lawyer has recently spoken out about a widespread cover-up of clergy sex misconduct in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. She is claiming that archbishops and their top staff are lying to the public and of ignoring the US bishops’ pledge to have no tolerance of priests who abuse.

Her claims go on to share that the church used a chaotic system of record-keeping that helped conceal the backgrounds of guilty priests who remained on assignment.

She said that when she started examining records in 2008 of clergy under restrictions over sex misconduct with adults and children she found “nearly 20” of the 48 men still in ministry. She said she repeatedly warned the church about the risk of these placements, but they took action only in one case. As a result of raising alarms, she said she was eventually shut out of meetings about priest misconduct. She resigned last year.

The archdiocese has for years pledged it was following the national bishops’ policy, known as the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which lays out a series of requirements — from conducting background checks to alerting parishioners about offender priests and barring guilty clergy from parish assignments.

However, this woman alleges she discovered in 2008 that the archdiocese hadn’t conducted background checks on most priests since the early 1990s. When she drew attention to the lapse, she said she was told to eliminate references to the date of background checks in a form pledging a priest is suitable for ministry.

The woman also claims she found important information scattered among storage locations throughout the archdiocese, such as priests’ records, including the history of allegations against them, their compliance with the monitoring program, and evidence of their misconduct that did not make its way into various priest’s personnel files.

She is the highest-level official from a US diocese to make claims of a cover-up. A canon lawyer educated at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, she served as a judge on church tribunals in Minnesota and was trained through the US bishops’ conference on child safety and monitoring guilty clergy.

The Catholic Church plays a significant role in the growing number of child sex abuse claims, especially with all the scandals and cover-ups. At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys stand ready to help those who have been subjected to inappropriate acts by clergy members. If you or a loved one have been abused by a member of the clergy, we are ready to advocate on your behalf and help you pursue the restitution you deserve.

We are well aware of the Catholic Church’s approach in these sexual abuse cases and the tactics they will employ to minimize the claims of victims. We firmly believe  that no authority, religious or otherwise, is excused from responsibility when sexual misconduct or any abuse occurs. We will fight aggressively to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions.

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A customer who was reportedly injured after she tripped over a shopping cart left in a Walmart aisle has filed now filed a negligence lawsuit.

The woman filed a complaint on April 3 in the Orange Circuit Court against Walmart Stores Inc., alleging the Orlando shopping center failed to use due care to maintain its premises in a safe condition.

According to the complaint, the woman claims that on Feb. 5, 2016, she visited the Orlando store and tripped and fell over a cart that was left in the walkway.

As a result, she sustained bodily injury, pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish, loss of earnings, and medical expenses.

She holds Walmart responsible because the store allegedly failed to adequately inspect and maintain the walkway, and failed to correct or warn visitors of the danger of carts in the walkway.

When you choose to visit a retail store, you expect that you will be provided with a reasonably safe shopping experience. In fact, retail businesses are legally obligated to keep their premises safe for customers. If you suffer an injury from a hazard on store premises, you could have a valid claim against the business.

While many retail injury claims are slip and fall or trip and fall claims, there are many other injuries that occur within a store, including:

  • Faulty staircases
  • Uneven floors
  • Broken or poorly maintained escalators and elevators
  • Falling merchandise
  • Insufficient lighting in parking lots
  • Shelving mishaps
  • Lack of security

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Miami Beach’s Catalina Hotel, the scene of the 2012 CW network reality series “The Catalina,” has been slapped with twin lawsuits brought by two female tourists who allege the resort’s manager escorted one of them to their room then sexually abused them both.

The incident, according to the lawsuits filed in Miami-Dade County circuit court, allegedly took place a year ago. The women are only identified in court files as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2.

With prices in the $200 range and an open bar nightly from 7 to 8 p.m., the Catalina has become popular with spring breakers.

The hotel manager is accused of escorting Jane Doe 2 back to her room after she and roommate Jane Doe 1 “consumed several alcoholic drinks” during the complimentary hour.

When they arrived to the room, Jane Doe 1 was asleep on her bed.

Once in the room, the manager is accused of forcing himself on Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, including forcibly performing oral sex on both while Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 were in a nearly unconscious state, according to the complaint.

The negligence lawsuit faults the hotel for offering free booze without enforcing safety rules.

Hotel property owners have a duty to provide a safe place for guests and patrons to visit. Unfortunately, sexual abuse and other crimes can happen on hotel property, and when an assault or act of violence occurs because of unsafe conditions, the property owner may face a hotel liability lawsuit.

Failure to maintain a hotel property in a safe condition that is free from dangers entitles the injured party or victim to file a premises liability claim for negligence against the hotel. A premises liability claim is a type of personal injury claim that allows the victim to seek financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and various other damages.

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A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging a 23-year-old Jacksonville man with aggravated sexual abuse by force. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment in federal prison, and a potential lifetime of supervision.

According to the indictment and court records, the man is charged with sexually abusing a passenger on February 27, 2018, while aboard a Carnival cruise ship based out of Jacksonville.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If you have been sexually assaulted or raped on a cruise ship, our Florida Cruise Negligence Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will fight for you to recover maximum damages, holding the cruise line responsible for not taking the adequate measures to protect you from harm.

We can pursue sexual assault and rape cases as a civil matter. The cruise ship has a responsibility to provide a safe and secure environment to all passengers aboard the cruise liner. This includes having appropriate security and hiring crew members who are trustworthy and thoroughly reviewed for any previous criminal history.

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All five passengers of a helicopter that crashed into a New York City river are confirmed dead on Monday morning.

After 7 p.m. on Sunday, several people watched as the chopper went down in the East River.

According to New York Police Department, the pilot was able to escape.

The New York Fire Department said firefighters and divers had to remove the five passengers from the helicopter.

While two passengers were found dead on arrival, the other three were taken to the hospital in critical condition. They were later pronounced dead.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it is investigating the crash.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a helicopter crash, or if you have lost someone close to you, you need experienced legal counsel to help you understand how to protect your best interests. Our team of Florida Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are composed of trial lawyers serious about helping injury victims. We help determine which laws apply to your case, as well as walk you through the process, step-by-step.

Due to the volatile nature of helicopter crashes, there are many different situations that can lead to a crash or an accident. The most common causes of an accident are:

  1. Operational Error: Helicopter accidents caused by some form of human error, which is usually due to pilot negligence.
  2. Mechanical Malfunction: Accidents that are caused by the failure of some component of the aircraft, such as design flaws or manufacturing problems.
  3. Electrical Malfunction: This refers to accidents caused by some malfunction in the electrical components of the aircraft, such as an electrical short, inadequate design, testing, or improper quality control.

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A passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship was in stable condition Wednesday after being rescued out of the water near the Bahamas, the cruise line said.

The passenger was reported overboard Tuesday night from the Norwegian Epic, which returned to its home port of Port Canaveral at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, an hour late.

The ship then slowed to a stop and maneuvered to allow the crew to search for the missing passenger.

As lifeboats searched for her, about eight to 10 passengers yelled out from their balconies to the woman to not give up and to keep calling out for help.

After she was rescued, she was taken to the ship’s medical facility, Norwegian Cruise Line said, and taken for additional medical attention on land once the ship arrived at Port Canaveral.

Falls from cruise ships can and do happen. They can occur many different ways including:

  • Inadequate or defective handrails
  • Intoxication from being over served alcohol in the ship’s bars and lounges
  • Failing to warn of rough seas
  • Violent actions of the ship’s crew members or other passengers

The cruise ship can be held liable for falls overboard that cause injury or distress to passengers. Our Florida Cruise Negligence Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are committed to helping victims obtain compensation from cruise lines who do not provide a safe environment for passengers. Most lawsuits relating to cruise ships departing from Florida must be filed in Florida, however, specific information about where you can file the lawsuit and the statute of limitations that applies can be found on the back of your cruise ship ticket. We can help you with your claim throughout the state of Florida.

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An Orlando property owner is suing an insurance company, alleging breach of contract.

The property owner filed a complaint Feb. 2 in the Orange County Circuit Court against Florida Specialty Insurance Company, alleging failure to pay for damage caused by a hurricane.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 11, 2017, while the Orlando property was insured under a homeowners insurance policy, it sustained a covered loss due to Hurricane Irma. However, the suit says Florida Specialty has refused to provide coverage.

The property owner alleges Florida Specialty Insurance has failed to fully pay for all of the insurance losses and forced the property owner to retain the services of an attorney.

Our Florida Hurricane Claims Lawyers at Whittel & Melton represent homeowners and businesses in hurricane damage claims in Orlando and the surrounding areas. We know how hard it can be to get your insurance company to cooperate following a hurricane or storm damage claim. We can help you recover what is rightfully owed to you, according to the terms of your policy agreement.

Insurance companies use tactics that are meant to protect the company’s interests and do not always act in good faith when it comes to paying out for valid claims. We are more than familiar with the unfair strategies insurance companies use, including:

  • Denial of a claim
  • Delayed payment of a claim
  • Underpayment of a claim

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A Pinellas County woman, who requires a scooter to move about, is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, alleging negligence caused her injuries.

The woman filed a complaint Feb. 1 in Orange County Circuit Court against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US Inc. and Disney Vacation Development Inc., alleging the park failed to provide a safe environment for its business invitees.

According to the complaint, on Dec. 7, 2017, the woman was at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, trying to move from her scooter to a DVD transport vehicle. The suit says the woman fell while trying to get into the vehicle.

The woman says she suffered bodily injury, resulting in pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, scarring, mental anguish and aggravation of previous existing condition. The suit claims Disney employees negligently failed to properly assist the handicapped plaintiff.

The woman says the park failed to provide a handicap accessible transport vehicle, failed to train its employees regarding transport protocol for handicapped guests and failed to render aid to her after the incident.

There are many ways someone can get suffer an injury. Sometimes, these injuries are no one’s fault. However, in some situations, injuries can be the direct result of the actions of another person or business entity. These injuries could be the result of an accident or an intentional act.

The law clearly states that an at-fault person or business entity who causes personal injury to another is civilly liable to pay for their financial damages. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you if you have been injured due to the acts of another.

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