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Family Awarded $12 Million in Boat Accident Settlement

Posted on: 06/17/2015

A Delaware family has been awarded $12 million dollars after settling a civil lawsuit, filed by the family of a father and son, who suffered severe head injuries when they were struck by a dive boat’s propellers. According to court documents, Calvin Adkins, then 11, and his father, Jared C. Adkins, then 39, both of Harrington, Delaware, were struck by a 46-foot Big Dipper boat’s propellers while scuba diving in Conch Reef, just south of Key Largo, Florida in August 2011. In April 2014, the family filed a lawsuit in federal court against the owners of the Big Dipper dive boat, an Upper Keys charter boat business, and the Florida Keys Dive Center in Tavernier, Florida. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports of the incident, the Adkins were taking part in a "drift dive" with about 15 other people, which means divers move with the current instead of staying in one area. The divers also were "live boating," which means the boat was not anchored, but moving. The lawsuit states that the Captain, John Brady, left the engines running while t [...] read more

Woman’s death prompts Fort Lauderdale boat ramp warnings

Posted on: 05/11/2015

Fort Lauderdale City officials are prompting to install warnings at all-night boat ramps, after the death of a woman who drove into the New River, late one January night. The warnings are a way of keeping the boat ramps from becoming death traps for lost or unsuspecting motorists. The body of Lisa Hayden-Gordon, of Wilton Manors, was found on February 27, in her submerged car, near Cooley’s Landing boat ramp. The 51-year-old piano instructor known as “Miss Noodles,” disappeared on January 24, after attending a nighttime concert at Revolution Live. Last Thursday, a friend of the victim, Laura Sue Wilansky, told members of the city’s Marine Advisory Board that she was shocked by how easy it was to drive from the ramp where Southwest Seventh Avenue into the sharp curve over the New River. "Just a few seconds from a major street, there are literally no barriers — no gate, caution signs, speed bumps, chain, reflectors — nothing to keep anyone from driving right into the water," Wilansky said. The City’s Marine Facilities man [...] read more

Fatal Explosion at Tarpon Springs gas facility

Posted on: 04/21/2015

A fatal fuel plant explosion in Tarpon Springs, F.L claims the life of one man and serious injures another. According to Tarpon Springs police, the explosion happened at 1:56 p.m. at MagneGas, an alternative energy company at 150 Rainville Road, just north of the Sponge Docks district. Officers and firefighters responding to the scene, found one worker dead, and another was flown to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries. Their names have not been released due to pending notification of the family members. A third person was hurt in the blast and sustained minor injuries, but was treated on scene. Firefighters evacuated about 20 to 25 employees while they searched for hazardous materials. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the incident.  MagneGas consultant Shepard Doniger stated, "Right now we're still trying to get answers. It's a very close-knit family up there, and we're trying to get to the bottom of this." The company released a statement, offering sympathy to the family of the killed [...] read more

Overview of Florida’s “Strict Liability” Dog Bite Law

Posted on: 10/24/2013

According to Florida Code § 767.04, "the owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place…is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten." Since this statute imposes strict liability upon dog owners, the victim of an attack would not need to prove that the dog had a tendency to act out violently and/or that the owner had knowledge of their dog's viciousness—as is required in states that do not impose "strict liability." Rather, it must only be proven that a) the defendant is responsible for the dog, b) the plaintiff was attacked or bitten by the dog and c) the plaintiff's injuries were sustained in the attack. While there are few exceptions to statutory liability in dog bite cases, the plaintiff may be barred from seeking compensation if one or more of the following is true: The victim heavily provoked the dog The victim was trespassing on private property [...] read more

How Important is Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage?

Posted on: 05/20/2013

According to the Insurance Research Council, nearly 14% of all car accidents in the United States are caused by an uninsured motorist—which may have something to do with the fact that 16.1% of all drivers in the country are uninsured. This does not even account for the countless other drivers who are underinsured, so the West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, P.A. encourages you to learn more about the importance of acquiring an adequate level of uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. In the past month alone, our firm has represented two clients who were catastrophically injured by uninsured drivers. Neither had UM or UIM coverage, which can make it particularly difficult to recover compensation. Although Florida law does not require drivers to purchase this form of insurance, you must keep in mind that there is an extremely high number of uninsured motorists in the state. UM and UIM coverage was designed to protect you from significant financ [...] read more