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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida premises liability case brought by a woman who slipped and fell while in a Whole Foods grocery store. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss whether the plaintiff’s evidence was sufficient to survive a summary judgment challenge regarding the store’s knowledge of the hazard that caused the plaintiff’s fall.

Grocery Store AisleUltimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff did present sufficient evidence to give rise to a material issue of fact. Thus, the court held that summary judgment was not proper.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was shopping in a Whole Foods grocery store when she slipped and fell near the self-service food section. The plaintiff, through an interpreter, explained that she was not in a rush at the time and did not see the substance prior to her fall. She claimed that she stepped on a dirty, greasy area of the floor, which caused her to fall. The plaintiff also explained that it seemed as though other people had stepped in the substance. The plaintiff’s son testified as well, consistently with his mother.

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Last month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case involving the issue of whether the lower court was proper to grant a new trial on all of the damages categories after finding that the jury’s award for future medical expenses was excessive. The court ultimately determined that, under Florida Statutes section 768.043(1), only the category found to have been excessive should be subject to a retrial.

Crushed CarThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured in a car accident with an uninsured motorist. Since the other driver did not have insurance, the plaintiff was forced to file a claim with her own insurance company, under the uninsured motorist (UIM) clause. Generally speaking, when a UIM clause is included in an insurance contract, the insurance company agrees to stand in the place of the uninsured driver. Thus, if the claim cannot be settled, the insurance company may be named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit filed by the plaintiff.

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Earlier this month, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) opened up an investigation following a fatal Florida car accident involving a Tesla vehicle that killed two teenagers. According to a recent news article discussing the tragic accident and subsequent investigation, the vehicle was traveling southbound on Seabreeze Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale when it left the roadway and crashed into a concrete wall. The vehicle then immediately caught fire.

Tesla Charging StationThe driver and front-seat passenger were both pronounced dead in the accident. The rear-seat passenger was ejected from the vehicle and sustained major injuries but is expected to live. Police believe that speed may have been a factor in the fatal accident.

Following the accident, the NTSB opened an investigation, focusing not on the autopilot feature that has been a matter of recent concern but instead on the vehicle’s electric battery and the possibility that it was responsible for the fire.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida wrongful death case requiring the court to determine, among other things, if the plaintiff qualified as a “surviving spouse.” Ultimately, the court concluded that, although the plaintiff was not married to the accident victim at the time of his injury, the relevant inquiry was whether they were married at the time of death.

Crowded HighwayThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was driving with her fiancé when a car pulled out in front of them. The plaintiff’s fiancé swerved to avoid a collision, but in so doing lost control of the vehicle. The car rolled once or twice before coming to a rest in a roadside ditch.

The plaintiff was not injured in the accident. However, her fiancé was immediately rendered a quadriplegic. Her fiancé filed a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, as well as the pizza-delivery chain for which he was working at the time of the accident. A few months later, the plaintiff and her fiancé were married. Before the plaintiff’s fiancé’s case concluded, he died due to injuries related to those that he sustained in the accident.

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While the thought of fleeing the scene of an accident is completely foreign to most motorists, the fact remains that there are over 33,000 hit-and-run accidents across the country each year. In many Florida hit-and-run accidents, an accident victim’s injuries are worsened by the fact that they were not able to receive the medical treatment they need in a timely manner. The result is that many hit-and-run accident victims suffer serious injuries.

Fiery CrashAfter someone has been involved in a hit-and-run accident, they may be entitled to monetary compensation from a variety of sources. If police are able to locate the hit-and-run driver, the accident victim can pursue a Florida car accident lawsuit against the responsible driver. However, in some cases, the at-fault driver eludes authorities.

When police are unable to locate a hit-and-run driver, the accident victim may still be able to recover for their injuries through their own insurance policy. Under a policy’s underinsured/uninsured motorist provision, a hit-and-run accident victim can file a claim against his own insurance company as though it was the at-fault driver. Of course, the insurance company may reject the victim’s claim, in which case the victim can then file a personal injury lawsuit in hopes of getting a court to compel the insurance company to pay out on the victim’s claim.

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In Florida, lawmakers have determined that lawsuits bringing claims of medical malpractice must comply with additional requirements that are not necessary in Florida personal injury cases bringing claims under a traditional theory of negligence. In so doing, lawmakers put courts in the position of determining which cases should be classified as “medical malpractice cases” and thus be subject to the additional requirements.

Knee X-RayA recent decision issued by the Florida Supreme Court provides some much-needed guidance for how courts should sort out personal injury cases that lie on the line between traditional negligence and medical malpractice.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was the aunt of a student at a school for the deaf. The student was seriously injured when she was placed in a hold by staff and taken to the ground after staff determined that she was being non-compliant. As a result of her injuries, the student’s left leg was amputated below the knee.

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Earlier this month, a Florida auto accident between a car and a dump truck claimed the life of a mother and her eight-year-old daughter. According to a local news report, the accident occurred on John Young Parkway at around 3:50 in the morning.

Dump TruckEvidently, the mother was traveling northbound on the Parkway when she entered the right-turn lane. However, as she did so, she ran into the rear of a dump truck carrying a load of asphalt that had been parked on the road shoulder but was partially extending into the lane of traffic. No one was in the truck at the time, and it has not yet been determined why the vehicle was left partially obscuring a lane of traffic.

Tragically, the young mother was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The child was transported to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to save her life. The accident is still under investigation.

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Earlier this month, Florida authorities arrested a man suspected of causing a fatal accident in Broward County back in April 2016. According to a local news report, the accident occurred in the evening hours, when the victims’ vehicle was stopped at a red light at East Oakland Park Boulevard and North Federal Highway.

Car WreckEvidently, a driver came from behind the victims’ vehicle when it was stopped at the red light. The driver failed to stop in time and slammed into the rear of the vehicle, which was then pushed into several other nearby cars. Both the driver and the passenger in the stopped vehicle were pronounced dead shortly after the accident.

The at-fault driver exited his car and ran to a nearby business, where he took off his clothes. Patrons at a nearby bar later told authorities that they saw the half-naked man drinking other peoples’ drinks at the bar. Authorities later arrested the man and took him to the hospital for the treatment of the injuries he sustained in the accident. There was evidence suggesting that the man had smoked marijuana earlier in the day and may have been under the drug’s influence.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida dog bite case discussing the single defense to the state’s strict liability dog-bite statute. Ultimately, the court concluded that a warning sign posted outside the dog park where the plaintiff was injured did not bar her recovery against the defendant dog owner.

Snarling DogThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff had volunteered at a local dog park for three years. Prior to beginning as a volunteer, the plaintiff signed a waiver indicating that she was aware of the dangers involved in being in the dog park and that she accepted those risks. On the entrance gate into the dog park, there was a sign warning visitors of the potential dangers and explaining that all visitors enter at their own risk.

One day, the plaintiff was inside the dog park with the defendant and the defendant’s dog. The defendant’s dog was running around the park when it collided with the plaintiff, causing her to fall and break her leg. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that under the state’s strict liability dog-bite statute, the defendant was liable for her injuries.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida nursing home negligence case dealing with the validity of an arbitration agreement that was signed by the plaintiff on behalf of her deceased husband. The case required the court to determine whether the court or the arbitration panel named in the agreement should determine whether certain clauses contained in the arbitration agreement were severable from the rest of the contract. Ultimately, the court concluded that the severability of the clauses was properly before the court because the arbitration agreement contained no “delegation” clause.

signatureArbitration Agreements Generally

When someone is injured due to the alleged negligence of another person or business, the injured person has a right to file a personal injury case against the party they believe to be responsible for their injuries. The same is true for the loss of a loved one. However, the right to file a claim in a court of law can be waived through an agreement to submit the claim to arbitration.

Arbitration is an informal, although still legally binding, way of resolving disputes between parties. Normally, arbitration is requested by a company prior to providing services. Commonly, arbitration agreements arise in the context of nursing home pre-admission contracts, whereby the resident agrees to submit any claim for damages to arbitration, rather than filing a personal injury case in a court of law.

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