Articles Posted in Miami Dade County

A Roman Catholic priest in Florida is facing charges that he drugged a female parishioner and raped her.

The man was in a Miami-Dade County jail late Saturday charged with sexual battery on an incapacitated victim.

According to reports, in October, the 64-year-old priest invited the victim to his home at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead. The woman said she drank tea he gave her and passed out. She told investigators she woke up two hours later naked in the man’s bed, believing she was raped.

She did not notify police until two weeks ago after telling another priest. The Miami Archdiocese says she was told to contact authorities. Officers say the man confessed when confronted.

Priests are religious figures that you believe you can trust. However, when they violate that trust, the long-lasting effects on the victim can be devastating. They can range from depression and sleeping disorders to self-harm, suicide, and substance abuse.

If you are a survivor of clergy abuse, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. You may receive damages for medical and therapy bills and loss of income. You may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish the individuals and the institutions that allowed these acts of abuse to occur.

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Authorities say a Florida police officer is dead following an all-terrain vehicle crash.

Miami-Dade police say the officer was patrolling an area near a canal Wednesday afternoon when he hit a tree.

He was following up on nuisance and theft complaints by residents. Police say the officer had been called to an enforcement action just before the crash.

Police are still investigating the crash.

If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in an ATV accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering. ATV accidents can result in serious injuries, even death, as this case shows. Our South Florida ATV Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you receive the compensation that you deserve for ATV accident injuries and death.

ATV crashes can deliver serious injuries that may affect you for the rest of your life. Without the protection offered by cars, ATV drivers and passengers are more likely to suffer from life-threatening injuries. This is especially true because ATVs are highly prone to rollovers. We commonly see the following injuries from ATV accidents:

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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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Drivers should anticipate an increase in motorcycle traffic on Florida roads, as thousands of motorcyclists ride into Daytona for the 76th annual Daytona Bike Week March 10-19.

With that said, Florida has the most motorcycle crash fatalities in the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the most recent crash data, Florida saw a 30 percent increase in motorcycle deaths in 2015, the highest on record. Motorcyclists accounted for 20 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in the state, yet motorcycles account for only 3 percent of registered vehicles. In 2015, 606 people died and 9,045 were injured in motorcycle crashes on Florida roads.

The top counties for motorcycle fatalities are:

  1. Miami-Dade
  2. Hillsborough
  3. Broward
  4. Palm Beach
  5. Pinellas
  6. Lee
  7. Orange
  8. Duval
  9. Brevard
  10. Pasco
  11. Polk
  12. Volusia

Motorcyclists lack the protection offered to drivers of cars and trucks. Collisions that would cause minor injuries to a car or truck driver can be fatal to motorcyclists. That is why the fatality rate for motorcyclists in accidents is six times the fatality rate for passenger vehicle occupants.

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A cruise ship passenger alleges he was injured after he slipped and fell near the food court on the ship.

The man filed a suit on Feb. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Celebrity Cruises Inc. alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that on Nov. 9, 2015, while aboard the cruise ship, he slipped and fell while walking on a slippery area near the food court. As a result, he alleges he suffered pain, loss of earnings and incurred medical expenses.

The man holds Celebrity Cruises Inc. responsible because they failed to conduct routine inspections of the area, failed to warn passengers of wet or contaminated floor surface and failed to establish, implement and enforce policies and procedures regarding the proper maintenance of the area.

Cruise lines are responsible for warning passengers of known dangers, however they are not required to warn of open and obvious dangers. Open and obvious dangers are those that should be obvious to a passenger using common sense. When slapped with a slip and fall claim, cruise lines will often use this defense to claim the cruise ship had no duty to warn its passengers of the obvious danger.  The success of this defense depends on the unique circumstances of the case and the injuries involved.

Our Florida Cruise Ship Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know that slip, trip and falls suffered aboard a cruise ship can leave you in great pain and unable to go back to work to earn a living. These cases can be complex, which is why you need knowledgeable representation to go up against the cruise ship industry.

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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 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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A lawsuit has been filed by 18 passengers who were aboard an American Airlines aircraft that caught fire last month on the tarmac of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after an engine failed.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court and targets American aircraft manufacturer Boeing Inc. and engine manufacturer General Electric Aviation.

The lawsuit claims GE sold a faulty engine that Chicago-based Boeing used to assemble an unsafe aircraft. The passengers also claim American Airlines employees should have done a better job inspecting the plane. They allege employees failed to provide “assistance, supervision and instruction” during evacuation.

On Oct. 28, pilots aborted the takeoff of American Airlines Flight 383 to Miami. All 161 passengers and nine crew were safely evacuated, with 20 people suffering minor injuries.

Engine failure is one of the most potentially catastrophic aircraft defects that can happen. Once an engine stall after a flight has taken off, the results are usually tragic. Engine failure can arise from many things, including:

  • Congestion from loose air induction systems
  • Flaws in the design
  • Broken engine components
  • Excessive rubbing of engine blades

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Dozens of people have fallen ill after a carbon monoxide leak at a Miami office building.

According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, high levels of carbon monoxide were found on the second floor Monday afternoon.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman said several people were showing signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

At least 17 people were taken to hospitals, while dozens more were treated at the scene and released.

About 80 people were sent home because they felt sick. Approximately 400 people work at the building.

Officials say the source of the leak came from the drains in the first floor bathrooms.

Reports indicate that an environmental assessment company has been contacted to ensure necessary repairs are made.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas by-product that interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body. It is often referred to as the “silent killer.” This type of toxic exposure usually results in physical problems, neurological problems, and even death.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often confused with the flu or food poisoning. Depending on the amount inhaled, this gas can cause:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Chest Pain
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Death

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Less than a year after a University of Central Florida student drowned after her car crashed into a pond, a law is being passed in her name that would require roadside guardrails in front of bodies of water.

Chloe’s Law has passed both the House and the Senate and will go into effect this summer.

With the passing of Chloe’s law, any site of a drowning-related traffic accident over the past ten years will be outfitted with a guardrail.

According to Federal crash data, 49 people in Florida died inside submerged vehicles from 2008 to 2012. No other state comes close to these alarming numbers. Texas, ranks No. 2, with 18 deaths, followed by Indiana with 14, and Arizona and Louisiana, each with 10.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, counties with the highest concentration of motor vehicle drownings were:

  • Palm Beach
  • Broward
  • Miami-Dade

Orange, Duval, Lee and Collier Counties are tied for fourth place.

While it is true that guard rails won’t stop all accidents from occurring, strategically placed rails can reduce drowning fatalities from these types of collisions. In many cases, guard rails can turn what could be a fatal accident into a minor traffic incident.

If you or someone you love has been  involved in any type of auto accident that resulted in serious injuries or death, you might have a claim for financial compensation if someone else is responsible for the incident, including when another driver’s negligent actions caused your car to travel off the road and into a body of water.

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