Articles Posted in Florida

A Florida sheriff’s deputy who was involved in a recent crash that killed a pickup truck driver has been involved in yet another collision.

The 29-year-old Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy was cited for improper lane change on Tuesday.

Th deputy swerved into another car while trying to avoid traffic near Orlando, causing a three-vehicle crash. No one was injured in the crash.

On Oct. 5, the deputy didn’t stop at a red light and crashed into a pickup truck that then hit two other vehicles. The crash killed a 34-year-old man.

The deputy was placed on administrative during an investigation into that crash.

Car accidents can happen to anyone, even police officers. However, It is the duty of any operator of a motor vehicle to be alert and aware of all the motorists on the roadway. A safe lane change is one that is executed carefully, using turn signals, and checking side-view and the rear-view windows, always remaining aware of blind spots. If a driver fails to perform a lane change safely or engages in reckless driving and causes a collision, all injured parties are entitled to make a claim for damages against the at-fault driver.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle crash or lost a loved one because of a negligent automobile driver, contact our Florida Auto Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton soon as possible following the accident to protect your right to a recovery. Florida has a relatively short statute of limitations, which is the time you are legally allotted to file a lawsuit to recover compensation, so it is important to act fast.

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A Pasco County mom had a big fright last weekend when her son almost flew off a ride at The Arnold Midway set up in the Wiregrass mall parking lot.

Her son was on the Orbiter when she noticed something was not right. She noticed her child slipping and about to fly out of the ride. She ran over to the operator who stopped the ride before the child was harmed.

The ride remained open after he got off. A sticker on the side shows it passed it’s October 24 inspection by the Department of Agriculture aside from placing cart #10 out of service because of a cracked lap bar.

There have been reports in the past on people flying off of this specific ride.

If you suspect an issue with a fair ride, you can report it to the Department of Agriculture at 1-800-HELP-FLA or FloridaConsumerHelp.com.

Carnival and amusement park rides can and do happen. The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows the following stats:

  • In 2004, carnival rides sent 2,500 people to hospital emergency rooms.
  • In 2006 approximately 8,800 people were injured on amusement park rides.
  • From 1987 to 2000, 51 people were killed on amusement park rides. Roller coasters accounted for 16 deaths and whirling rides accounted for 11 deaths.
  • Children represent about one half of those injured by amusement park rides.
  • Kids between 10 and 14 years old sustain the most injuries of any age group.
  • Children are victims in 75% of accidents involving rider falls or forceful ejection from the ride.

Amusement parks and carnivals can be so much fun for young children. Families flock to these amusement parks for adventure, excitement and fun. However, not all rides are truly safe and not all ride operators are trained properly or paying careful attention. Amusement park ride safety is especially important for children, who represent half of those injured or killed in amusement park ride accidents.

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A 3-year-old is in critical condition after being shot in the head during a road rage incident.

Port St. Lucie police say the toddler is a victim of a shooting incited by road rage. The child was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in critical condition.

Police say the incident happened at 1000 Southeast Bywood Drive around 2 a.m on Sunday.

Most car, truck and motorcycle accidents are just that – accidents. However, sometimes deliberate acts of drivers cause collisions. Drivers in the Orlando area should be familiar with the term road rage, as it is to blame for numerous unnecessary and avoidable crashes.

There are multiple signs of road rage, including:

  • Tailgating another driver
  • Deliberate acceleration or deceleration too close to another vehicle
  • Cutting-off of another vehicle
  • Slamming on brakes in front of another car
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Constant honking of horn
  • Displaying inappropriate hand signals or yelling at another driver

Road rage and aggressive driving contribute to hundreds of accidents every year. Sadly, innocent victims can get in the way of a driver’s road rage, as this case shows. If you find yourself caught in the midst of a road rage incident, the best thing you can do is allow the other driver as much space as possible in order to avoid an unnecessary collision. If at all possible, get out of the way of aggressive driver so that you can protect yourself and your passengers.

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A Jacksonville man convicted of aggravated sexual abuse on an 18-year-old woman while aboard a cruise ship was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

The 23-year-old was convicted in March after 90 minutes of deliberation. He did not testify.

During the cruise aboard the Carnival Elation, the man was in a hot tub with a number of people, including a young woman with the mental capacity of a 12-year-old. He touched the woman over her bathing suit and groped her under the water.

The victim left the Jacuzzi and immediately reported what happened to her grandmother, who reported it to ship security.

When the man is released from prison, he will be a registered sex offender.

The sad truth is that sexual assault is the number one crime aboard cruise ships. They are also the most underreported to the public, so when cruisers book their vacation at sea, being sexually assaulted or raped rarely crosses their mind. This only makes innocent vacationers more vulnerable to perpetrators who commit these crimes on the high seas.

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The Diocese of St. Petersburg has launched a new website in response to the latest Catholic church’s sexual abuse scandal.

The site boasts the biblical words: “Each of us shall give an account to God.”

The local diocese established the site last month, following the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report about the molestation of more than 1,000 children by at least 300 Catholic priests and the cover-up by church officials.

On the new site, Bishop Gregory Parkes addresses the crisis in a two-minute video that seeks to assure his flock of almost half-million Catholics in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties that the diocese has established a firewall of safeguards.

Parkes said the new “accountability” site was set up to provide “resources and information on how we are accountable to you, the people of God.”

The website, which links to a list of “credibly accused” priests and lay persons, states how much has been paid out to victims — $6.3 million since the diocese was founded in 1968. The site also has a link encouraging prayers, in keeping with Parkes’ request that parishioners pray for all who “have been wounded by crimes of abuse” and for “the priests and bishops who have justly served with compassion and kindness.”

It also addresses safeguards such as mandatory background screening and fingerprinting for those who work with minors and vulnerable adults.

Earlier this month, Parkes posted a letter to the new site following State Attorney General Pam Bondi’s announcement that she was launching an investigation into how Florida’s Catholic dioceses have handled allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The bishop said his diocese has been transparent and pointed to the list of accused priests on full display on its website. The list names nine priests and five employees.

It is the church’s responsibility to supervise all of its clergy, priest and religious leaders. When they fail to do so, this negligent supervision can result in a child being sexually assaulted. When children are not protected from sexual predators in a church setting, this can result in a legal claim against the religious institution.

If you know of or suspect any type of sexual abuse happening in your church, school, or workplace, please report it to the proper authorities. You can also contact our Florida Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys at Whittel & Melton for free guidance on what steps to take next. We are experienced at handling sexual abuse cases against various religious institutions, including the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Episcopal Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and Judaism.

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A barback/bartender has filed a class action lawsuit against a hotel, alleging breach of an employment contract for unpaid wages.

The man, on his own behalf and on behalf of those similarly situated, filed a complaint Sept. 20 in Orange County Circuit Court against Rosen Hotels and Resorts Inc., alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, between June 2015 and April 2018, the man worked for Rosen and was paid by an hourly rate. He alleges he and his class of employees were full-time employees and typically worked 40 to 50 hours per week.

However, the suit says, the man and his class were paid incorrectly as they were not compensated at a rate of one and one half full minimum wage for all hours worked beyond 40 per week, less the tip credit. He alleges Rosen Hotels and Resorts failed to compensate employees properly for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek as required by the FLSA.

There are many regulations for wages and hours specified in both federal laws and Florida state laws. If you believe you are not being paid the overtime you deserve, consult with our knowledgeable Orlando Unpaid Wage & Overtime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton about your rights. You may find that there are many more employees at your company who are experiencing the same overtime wage deficits. If so, we can file a class action lawsuit to help you get justice.

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A limo carrying several couples to a birthday party failed to stop at an intersection in upstate New York and struck a parked vehicle, killing 20 people in the deadliest transportation accident in the United States in nearly a decade.

The 2001 Ford Excursion limo was traveling southwest on State Route 30 when it blew past a stop sign at the intersection with State Route 30 A and collided with an SUV in a parking lot shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday in Schoharie, New York.

All 18 people in the limo, including the driver, were killed. Two pedestrians near the unoccupied, parked 2015 Toyota Highlander were also killed.

It is not yet clear whether the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine had any mechanical issues that may have contributed to the limo accident. It is important for investigators to gather as much evidence as possible to assist the families of the victims with pursuing wrongful death claims. A wrongful death claim holds those responsible for the accident accountable, and awards financial compensation for the loss of a loved one.

Wrongful death claims also seek to make impactful changes when it come to safety procedures. Whether it’s adding seat belts, mandating their use, or improved training of limousine drivers, a wrongful death claim can make a difference. The goal is to make sure that accidents like this one are avoided in the future.

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A Walmart shopper alleges she was injured when an employee lost her footing while stocking shelves and caused the shelves to fall.

The woman filed a complaint on Sept. 7 in the Harris County District Court against Walmart Inc. alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, the woman alleges that on Sept. 7, 2016, she was shopping at a Walmart store in Houston when a Walmart employee lost her footing on a ladder while stocking and grabbed the shelf, causing the shelves to fall directly upon the woman’s head, back and hip. She alleges she sustained significant injuries resulting in pain and suffering, emotional distress and medical expenses as a result.

She holds Walmart Inc. responsible because the store failed to consider the safety of consumers present in the aisle by placing a ladder and climbing on it when it was not safe to do so and by failing to provide a spotter to steady the ladder while in use.

She seeks damages of at least $75,000, with interest, costs, attorney’s fees and such other and further relief to which she may show herself justly entitled.

Shelf collapses can often result in serious injuries. If shelves are solid or have heavier or dangerous merchandise such as electronics, appliances, or utensils, any customers in the vicinity can suffer devastating injuries, such as:

Store owners have a duty to keep their premises in reasonably safe conditions, which means identifying and eliminating hazards in a timely manner to keep customers free from harm. They are responsible for regularly inspecting the grounds for any potential dangers. If shelves are not properly installed, secured to the walls, inspected, or maintained, and a shelf collapses and causes injuries, the store owner should be held responsible. Injury victims can bring a premises liability claim against the negligent store owner to recover for losses including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages.

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A season pass holder is suing a Walt Disney water taxi operator, alleging negligence led to injuries.

The woman filed a complaint Sept. 6 in Orange County Circuit Court against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc., alleging a water taxi operator failed to exercise the highest degree of care in order to prevent injuries to its passengers.

According to the complaint, on May 21, 2017, the woman was a guest at Walt Disney World Theme Park. A guest operating an electric scooter negligently attempted to park in the back of a water taxi as instructed by employees and struck the woman in the leg.

She said she sustained bodily injury, resulting in pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, the expenses of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment, plus the loss of earnings. Her suit alleges Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S.’s employees negligently maintained or controlled the boarding procedure of the electric scooter.

Accidents resulting in injury can be frightening and overwhelming experiences. If you or a family member has suffered an injury or been harmed due to someone else’s negligence at a theme park like Walt Disney World, consulting with a Florida Theme Park Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton should be one of your top priorities.

The goal of your personal injury claim is to recover a large enough financial award to cover all of your losses and offset the economic impact of the accident. We will fight to recover full compensation for your present and future medical expenses, lost income, and even damages for your pain and suffering.

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On Nov. 30, 2016, an elderly woman in her 80s was brought to Mariners Hospital after she had a seizure and her heart stopped.

Her physical condition was appalling as she was bleeding, covered in urine and feces, and had severe bed sores indicating abject neglect, according to court documents.

Doctors and nurses transported her to Homestead Hospital where she died the next day of septic pneumonia.

The woman’s death led investigators with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families to discover two unlicensed elderly care facilities: one in Plantation Key and the other, a trailer in Key Largo. Six patients, all over 80, lived at the two homes.

All the patients were in wheelchairs, had mental disorders and were prescribed either antipsychotic or anti-anxiety medications. They were all incontinent and required extra skin care and to be frequently turned over so their skin would not blister from exposure to their own waste.

None of the patients received anywhere near the proper care they needed for their conditions, which require 24-hour attention. Some were not being treated at all, according to court documents.

The facilities were operated by a 67-year-old doctor who was arrested at his Miami Beach home last June on two counts of aggravated neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult.

A 49-year-old woman, who was running the facilities on site despite having no medical training, was charged with the same crimes.

Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are out of jail awaiting trial. Their next court appearance, a status update, is scheduled for Oct. 30 at the Plantation Key courthouse.

Investigators also said the doctor was billing Medicare and being paid for services he was not providing.

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities occur every day across the country. Nursing home and assisted living facility negligence includes failing to protect residents from health and safety hazards. Negligence can result in injuries such as broken bones, bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, and other medical conditions which cause harm and even wrongful death.

Our Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you and your loved ones fight to recover everything you deserve. We are experienced in nursing home negligence matters, and will thoroughly and carefully assess each individual case. We prepare each case for trial in order to obtain maximum compensation for injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We want to help victims and their families hold these facilities accountable.

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