Articles Posted in Personal Injury Attorney

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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A mother and daughter have filed a lawsuit in Palm Beach County Circuit Court alleging they were sexually abused by masseuses at the national chain’s Boca Raton storefront.

The May 2017 incident is just one of nearly a dozen separate assaults described in the lawsuit and describes how rampant sexual abuse is at the chain that grew into a national sensation by making massages affordable to regular working people.

The two unidentified women were among 11 who joined in the lawsuit that claims the Arizona-based company put profits ahead of customer safety at its franchises in West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and three locations on Florida’s Gulf coast.

When complaints of inappropriate touching, groping and even rape were brought to the company’s attention, the 163-page lawsuit claims the company concealed it.

Instead of alerting police or a state licensing board, the company’s policies allowed the abuse to continue, reports indicate.

A similar lawsuit against the company was filed this month in California. The suits grew from a November 2017 investigation by BuzzFeed that found 180 women across the country had been molested by Massage Envy therapists.

Each of the cases is unique. In two separate incidents, women said male masseuses fondled their genitals at the chain’s locations on Southern Boulevard in Royal Palm Beach and on Village Boulevard in West Palm Beach. Some of the women were receiving massages to cope with lifelong back pain or other injuries. In many cases, the women didn’t know the names of the massage therapists who assaulted them.

The exception was a woman in Largo who filed a complaint with the Florida Board of Massage Therapy. The board responded by revoking the license of the therapist. It is unclear whether any criminal charges were filed.

Massage Envy policies state that franchisees must conduct their own prompt, fair and thorough investigation of sexual assault. However, the main problem with this policy is that it does not provide much guidance on how to do so and there are very few employees who feel capable of doing their own investigations.

After a sexual assault occurs, filing criminal charges can be first step in bringing this person to justice. A criminal case will not provide financial compensation for what you have had to deal with as a result of the assault, which is where our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help. We can explore your legal options for obtaining compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages you have suffered.

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A diner is suing Tijuana Flats Inc., claiming she injured herself at the restaurant after tripping and falling on mats that were overlapping and caused a dangerous condition.


The woman filed a complaint on Aug. 15 in Orange County against Tijuana Flats Inc., alleging that the restaurant breached its duty to exercise reasonable care by allowing mats inside its store to overlap and create a trip hazard.

She claims she sustained injury resulting in pain, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care.

The lawsuit holds Tijuana Flats, Inc. responsible, because the restaurant allegedly failed to correct a dangerous condition and failed to install, maintain, and provide safe flooring surfaces on its premises.

When you slip and fall or trip and fall at a restaurant, it’s not only embarrassing, but you could suffer from injuries that affect your ability to work and that require extensive medical treatment. If a slip and fall or trip and fall accidents was the result of negligence by the restaurant, you could be entitled to financial compensation to cover the costs of your doctor and hospital bills, lost income, and any other costs related to the injury.

Restaurant slip and falls and trip and falls are actually quite common injuries that can cause serious harm. Victims may suffer broken bones, back injuries, fractures and head injuries. If you have suffered injuries in an Orlando restaurant, you should make sure you have someone representing your interests. At Whittel & Melton, we protect the rights of injury victims who have suffered due to someone else’s negligence. We take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning that if you do not recover damages, you do not owe us for any legal fees.

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A mother is suing duck boat operators, alleging negligence caused serious injuries to her child.

The woman filed a complaint July 30 in Orange County Circuit Court against Ripley Entertainment Inc., alleging the duck boat operator failed to provide for the safety of the its passengers.

According to the complaint, on July 19, 17 people were killed and several others were injured when the duck boat sank in a Missouri lake. The suit says the child sustained severe injuries that resulted in physical pain and suffering, disability, discomfort, mental anguish, distress and other medical problems.

The lawsuit alleges that the boat was taken out on the water despite knowing about impending rough weather and that Ripley Entertainment was further aware through prior inspections that the duck boat was not fit for voyages in such weather.

The mother alleges Ripley Entertainment, based in Orlando, failed to properly supervise their crew, failed to provide adequate safety equipment and failed to properly monitor the weather.

At least two other lawsuits have been filed on behalf of persons who died as a result of the mishap.

Failure of the boat operator to act using reasonable care is considered negligence when it comes to boating accidents. Negligence is often the result of piloting the boat recklessly or not taking necessary precautions.

Because the circumstances behind every boating accident are different, you need to seek legal help as soon as possible after the accident so that you can achieve the justice you deserve. Our Florida Boating Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can walk you through the process of filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

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A Pinellas County customer is suing a Gulfport bar/grill, alleging negligent supervision led to him being attacked.

The man filed a complaint Aug. 8 in Pinellas County Circuit Court against the bar/grill alleging the establishment failed its duty to implement reasonable security and provide a reasonably safe premise to protect customers and guests.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 4, 2016, the man was physically attacked, beaten and stabbed by assailants who were patrons on the premises.

As a result, the man suffered bodily injuries, the expense of medical and nursing care and treatment and the expense of hospitalization.

The man alleges that the establishment did not supervise and/or monitor the unreasonably dangerous situation on the premises and failed to provide employees with adequate means to avoid, prevent or deter criminal activity on the property.

If you have been attacked in a bar, or were injured in a bar fight, you might be wondering if you have a legal case to see damages. Making a claim against a bar or nightclub for your injuries from a bar fight is a personal injury lawsuit that revolves around negligence. To prevail in a lawsuit against a bar for your suffering, you must prove negligence on the part of the establishment, and show that because of that negligence you were injured.

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A 72-year-old priest who was affiliated with Ascension Catholic Church in Boca Raton is accused of molesting a 9-year-old boy and sexually abusing unidentified others in a report issued Tuesday by a Pennsylvania grand jury that conducted a sweeping investigation into clergy misconduct.

The man was among the scores of “predator priests” the grand jury mentioned by name in a 1,356-page report of its roughly two-year investigation, the most comprehensive in U.S. history. The man, according to the document, served at the church on North Federal Highway from 2007 to 2009 and still lives in Boca.

The man said the Vatican cleared him of any wrongdoing in 2014.

The grand jury report noted that police officials in Pennsylvania said their investigation determined the allegations of abuse by the priest were credible. By the time the allegations were presented to prosecutors, the statute of limitations had run out, the jury said.

Diocesan officials ignored several other abuse allegations against Benestad, the grand jury report states.

In its report, the grand jury urged lawmakers to change the law so sexual predators won’t escape prosecution if victims are reluctant to come forward for years. Further, they asked that changes be made so the church can’t hide behind confidentiality agreements. They also want to see laws requiring people to report sex abuse to be beefed up.

Sexual abuse can lead to serious, lifelong emotional and psychological injuries. Our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton know the scarring that can come along with abuse, which is why we retain highly skilled and experienced mental health professionals to help evaluate victims’ damages. If you or a loved one was molested by a priest, bishop, deacon, nun or any other employee of a Catholic Church, regardless of when it occurred, please contact us to help you determine what options are best for you.

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A new report has found that glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical that some health authorities link to cancer, is in a number of popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children.

The study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered trace amounts of the most widely used herbicide in the country in oats, granolas and snack bars. Thirty-one out of 45 tested products had levels higher than what some scientists consider safe for children.

Recently, some scientists, doctors and activists around the world have worked to keep glyphosate out of crops due to concerns that it is a dangerous carcinogen.

EWG used its own, more stringent standards to conclude that products with excessive levels of the herbicide included Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Cheerios, Quaker Dinosaur Egg Instant Oats, Great Value Instant Oats, and Back to Nature Classic Granola. Glyphosate was even found in a few organic products, though most had non-detectable levels.

The World Health Organization says glyphosate is a “probable carcinogen,” and California lists it as a chemical “known to the state to cause cancer.”

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the Monsanto weed-killer Roundup. Last week, a jury in California ordered Monsanto to pay one man $289 million in damages after a man claimed the company’s weed killers caused his cancer.

In a statement Quaker said: “We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products. Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any limits of the safety standards set by the EPA and the European Commission as safe for human consumption.”

General Mills said: “Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels. The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow.”

Glyphosate, also known by the brand name Roundup, is the most used agricultural chemical in the world, acting as a weed-killer. This new study also suggests that it is now a carcinogen.

With the rise in herbicide-resistance crops in recent years, the demand for Roundup has grown, resulting in more medical studies and health surveys concentrating on glyphosate exposure. Monsanto, the company that created and sells Roundup, denies any claims that the chemical is dangerous. They released a statement stating, “glyphosate does not cause cancer” and “has a more than 40-year history of safe use.” However, a number of lawsuits have recently come about, claiming that Monsanto knowingly hid evidence of Roundup’s toxicity because of the large profit they see in the monopolized market for herbicide. It is now being linked to the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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