Shaquille O’Neal has bought new furniture for the family of a 5-year-old Atlanta girl who survived a dog attack that left another child dead.

According to reports, the girl returned home this week after being hospitalized since the Jan. 17 attack. The two children were walking to a bus stop when they were attacked by two dogs. One died from his injuries. The dogs’ owner has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

O’Neal met the family at an Atlanta furniture store and picked up the tab for new items. The family said that the former NBA star and current TNT analyst has been involved with the family since the attack.

This may come as a surprise, but nearly 4.7 million Americans are attacked by dogs every year. These attacks result in 800,000 people requiring medical treatment for their injuries. Sadly, the dog attacks that result in fatalities usually involve innocent children.

It is true that most dogs go through their lives without delivering harm to anyone. However, most does not mean all and traumatic dog attacks do happen. If a victim survives a dog attack, they are usually left to deal with painful, permanent scarring to the face and body.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Manzana Products Co. Inc. is voluntarily recalling three different types of Trader Joe’s apple sauces because of the potential presence of glass pieces.

The three applesauces recalled are:

  1. Trader Joe’s All Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  2. Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  3. Trader Joe’s First Crush Gravenstein Unsweetened Apple Sauce

Each apple sauce is packaged in a 24-ounce glass jar, and customers can find the “best before” date stamped on the top of the lid.

The recall was initiated after the company received customer reports of glass found in some of these products.

The company said that all products have been removed from store shelves and destroyed.

Customers who have purchased the products listed above should not consume them. They may return them to Trader Joe’s for a full refund or throw them away.

Call Manzana Products Co. Inc. at 707-823-5313 with any questions.

Swallowing glass can pose serious health concerns. Sharp foreign objects, like glass, can cause laceration, puncture or other physical injury to someone’s teeth, jaw, tongue, perioral tissue, pharynx or esophagus. Once swallowed, glass or any foreign body can also cause injuries to the stomach, intestine or rectum while passing through the lower gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, the foreign matter cannot be passed and requires surgery.

Another concern of swallowing a foreign object, like glass, is the choking hazard. If a shard of glass is caught in a person’s throat, this can result in hypoxic brain injury or asphyxia related death.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

A preliminary settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit filed against Kane’s Furniture that accused the store of failing to honor lifetime warranties for defective “bonded leather” furniture that peeled, flaked and deteriorated.

Notices to about 15,000 customers who purchased the furniture were put in the mail starting Friday providing details and asking them to submit claims by April 11 for full or partial refunds or store credits, according to court records.

Kane’s admits no wrongdoing in the settlement. It has blamed the Mississippi manufacturer that sold the furniture to Kane’s for defects and the inconvenience caused to customers. Kane’s actually filed a suit against that manufacturer in a case that was later settled.

A Kane’s spokeswoman said they are happy to settle the suit and would have never purchased the product if they had known it was inferior or defective.

Anyone who complained to Kane’s about problems with the furniture within a year of purchase is eligible for a 100 percent refund of the purchase price or a store credit, documents show. Anyone who complained after a year — but no later than two years — is eligible for a 50 percent refund or a credit valued at 100 percent of the purchase price.

Additionally, Kane’s has agreed to pay up to $2.5 million to those customers who did not complain within two years and others who never complained, ranging from 5 percent to 100 percent of the purchase price, depending on when the furniture was purchased, the claims notice says. That will be paid out in the form of a 60 percent store credit and a 40 percent cash payout.

Any payment made to Kane’s for furniture repair counts toward the refund or credit, the settlement says. Customers who have already received an exchange, credit or refund are not eligible for additional payments or credits.

The settlement involves furniture sold from July 27, 2010, through Dec. 5, 2016. At issue was furniture manufactured by Southern Motion Inc. using bonded leather, a synthetic, processed leather like substance that contains less than 17 percent actual leather.

When a product does not live up to its promise or it causes injury due to a bad design or manufacturing defect, the manufacturer is responsible. Manufacturers have a duty to design their products and test them to industry standards. If they know of any hidden or potential dangers, they must warn consumers. They must also stand behind their product, so if they know of a design flaw, they must make sure consumers are aware. In most defective products cases, large numbers of consumers experience similar issues due to the same design flaw.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The most wonderful time of the year is also among the deadliest.

According to an analysis by the Associated Press and the USA Today Network, unintentional shootings spike in the U.S. during the holidays.

The analysis determined that 32 people were killed nationwide and 59 injured over the past two years from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day — which is the most likely day for accidental shootings each year.

The victims were mostly male and young, with a median age of 19. Nearly half the shootings were self-inflicted, and most occurred in their own homes.

The AP and USA Today Network looked at holiday shootings after an earlier investigation found that accidental shootings involving children happen far more often than federal government statistics show.

Based on incidents compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, they found that more than 320 minors were killed by unintentional shootings over a 2½ year period that ended June 30.

Several factors contribute to the increase:

  • Children and teenagers are out of school for the holidays and have access to unsecured guns at their homes and those of relatives and friends.
  • Adults are drinking alcohol and inattentive to gun safety or their children.
  • New guns are given and received as gifts in the tens of thousands.
  • It’s a popular time of year for hunting.

Continue reading

A man was arrested after a selfie with a handgun in the bathroom of an adult entertainment club went wrong on Friday.

St. Petersburg police said that the 34-year-old man went to the bathroom at Club Lust to take a selfie with the gun.

Somehow, the gun went off and the bullet went through to the women’s restroom next door.

Police said that the man tried to run. He was arrested and charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of Xanax and possession of marijuana less than two grams.

It is unknown if anyone in the women’s restroom was injured by the bullet.

Gun violence is a huge problem across the United States. In fact, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, someone in America is killed by gunfire every 15 minutes. While the Second Amendment allows people the right to bear arms, handling guns carelessly can result in real serious harm to innocent bystanders.

Guns should never be used or handled in a joking manner. Injured victims of gun accidents have the right to seek financial compensation for all damages. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you recover the full amount for all medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering related to a gun accident. If you lost a loved one in an accidental shooting, we can help you file a wrongful death claim.

Continue reading

A former Nease High School student was struck by a vehicle while riding a skateboard Monday afternoon on Ray Road near the high school, according to authorities.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said the young man was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.

No further information is available at this time.

Skateboarders, just like pedestrians, can suffer serious injuries when they are hit by cars. Because skateboarders are exposed, any impact from a vehicle can result in severe bodily harm. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident while skateboarding, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help.

Liability in these types of accidents can depend on various factors. Was the driver abiding by all traffic laws? Was the driver operating their vehicle at the appropriate rate of speed? Were they in the proper lane? In many of these cases, drivers are not operating their vehicle properly. A driver that failed to observe the  rules of the road will likely be found liable for all injuries they cause.

Continue reading

Contact Information