Florida medical malpractice claims require extensive work and resources. In a recent medical malpractice case before a federal appeals court, the court had to consider whether a $7 million dollar verdict could stand against a doctor after a baby suffered permanent brain damage after her birth.

Evidently, the baby was born with severe respiratory issues and developed permanent brain damage. The baby was born at a hospital that did not have a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and did not have all of the equipment found in a NICU. Babies that needed specialized care were often transported to a nearby hospital with a NICU. This baby showed signs of respiratory distress immediately after she was born. She was provided with supplemental oxygen, and the doctor left for a few hours. The baby was not improving, and the doctor first decided to transfer the baby to the nearby NICU. However, a new neonatologist specialist at the hospital said that a transfer was not necessary, and agreed to take the baby on as a patient.

The baby’s condition continued to deteriorate, and she was eventually transferred the next day to the NICU, and stayed for almost a month. The baby’s mother filed a lawsuit alleging that the first doctor and others were at fault for the baby’s permanent brain damage. The mother claimed that the doctor should have transferred the baby from the hospital where she was born to a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit that could have provided the baby with the care she needed. The other defendants settled the suit with the mother, but the case against the doctor went to trial, and the court awarded the mother over $7 million in damages.

Last month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida truck accident case seeking clarification from the state’s high court. The Fifth District Court of Appeal released the opinion, asking the Florida Supreme Court whether there should be a different summary judgment standard involving video evidence.

Summary judgment is a stage in which either party can ask the judge to enter judgment in their favor based on the other side’s inability to succeed at trial. When reviewing a party’s motion for summary judgment, the court considers all the evidence that is not in dispute and applies the applicable law to those facts. If the court determines that the law favors the moving party, it will grant that party’s motion for summary judgment, avoiding the need for a trial. Of course, if there is conflicting evidence relating to a material issue in the case, summary judgment is not appropriate, and the case must be submitted to a jury. The jury will then resolve the factual issues, and the court will instruct the jury how it should rule based on how the jury decides the issues.

This case presented an issue that arises with increasing frequency; how courts should handle conflicting evidence in the summary judgment stage when one party presents video evidence. The facts of the case are explained in the court’s opinion as follows: A man was driving on the highway when he rear-ended a semi-truck. The man died, and his estate filed a Florida wrongful death case against the truck driver.

Not surprisingly, slip-and-fall accidents are most common in areas that receive a high volume of foot traffic. Thus, shopping malls, grocery stores, sidewalks, and parking lots are the most common places Florida slip-and-fall accidents occur. Each of these locations presents unique dangers and may implicate multiple defendants. A recent state appellate opinion in a premises liability case illustrates the type of analysis courts engage in when reviewing slip-and-fall claims.

According to the court’s recitation of the facts, the plaintiff was shopping at the defendant grocery store. Evidently, the plaintiff finished shopping and was returning her car to the corral in the parking lot that holds the carts until an employee can retrieve them. The plaintiff wheeled the cart into the corral without any issue. However, after depositing the cart into the corral, the plaintiff tripped as she exited the corral.

Apparently, the flat, metal crossbar that connected the two sides of the corral that was supposed to lie flat against the ground was slightly raised. According to the defendant, a delivery driver bumped into the corral a few months earlier, causing the frame of the corral to shift, slightly lifting the crossbar off the ground. The defendant grocery store indicated that it knew about the damaged corral, and had called to inquire about getting it fixed, but the repair was not made.

In July, 2019, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case discussing whether the defendant, the City of Coral Gables, was immune from liability based on governmental immunity. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s evidence gave rise to a material fact that needed to be resolved by a jury. Thus, the court reversed the lower court’s decision granting summary judgment to the City.

According to the court’s recitation of the facts, the plaintiff was driving north on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, approaching the intersection with Navarre Avenue. As the plaintiff, who was riding a motorcycle, approached the intersection, he noticed another driver slowly approaching the intersection in the opposite direction.

The other driver initiated a left turn without yielding the right of way, leaving the plaintiff with no time to react. The plaintiff crashed his motorcycle into the right front fender of the other vehicle. The plaintiff was seriously injured as a result of the crash. The other driver stated that he could not see the plaintiff as he approached the intersection due to several palm trees that were in the center median.

Florida product liability law is primarily based on strict liability. Strict product liability refers to a claim in which the plaintiff alleges that the product at issue was defective or unreasonably dangerous. The focus of these claims is on the product itself, and these claims do not require a plaintiff to show that the defendant was negligent in any way.

While strict product liability may seem like a straightforward doctrine to apply, determining which parties are subject to strict liability can actually be quite complicated. A recent state appellate decision illustrates the concept of successor liability as it pertains to the plaintiff’s strict liability claim against a rental car company.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was seriously injured when the rental car she was riding in was involved in a head-on collision. The vehicle was previously rented through National Car Rental Systems (NCRS); however, NCRS sold the vehicle to a private party years before the plaintiff’s accident. The plaintiff filed her claim against Enterprise rental car company because Enterprise eventually acquired NCRS’s rental car business after the NCRS assets were transferred several times through various companies in a complex series of transactions.

Under Florida law, all motorists carrying any load must make sure that the load is secure. This law makes driving on Florida roads safer by ensuring that a motorist’s cargo does not shift during transport, fall onto the road, and cause a serious Florida car accident. However, not all drivers follow the rule, and some who try to tie down their cargo do not do a very good job. The result is hazardous. A recent case illustrates the risks unsecured cargo can pose, as well as the legal issues that may arise in a lawsuit against a motorist who fails to ensure they are transporting cargo safely.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was driving when, suddenly, she looked up and saw a mattress flying towards her vehicle. The plaintiff did what she could to avoid the mattress, but ended up crashing into a nearby barrier. Witnesses to the accident tracked down the truck that was carrying the mattress, and provided the truck’s information to law enforcement. The truck was towing a trailer with seven-foot sides.

Police officers stopped the truck and talked to the driver. The driver told police that he was not aware of any mattress in the trailer, but that there may have been a mattress back there. The motorist told police that he wasn’t sure about whether there was a mattress in the trailer because co-workers were responsible for loading and unloading the trailer.

In a Florida personal injury case, the jury consists of six average citizens. Because of this, in some cases, the issues raised in the case may be beyond the common understanding of the jurors. In these cases, courts allow parties to call on expert witnesses to testify as to their opinions.

While not every case requires an expert witness, many personal injury cases can be made stronger with the presentation of an expert witness. In some cases, such as Florida medical malpractice cases, expert witnesses are almost always required due to statutory requirements. Regardless of the type of claim, expert witnesses can be extremely important, as is the decision on which expert to select in any given case. A recent state appellate opinion discusses why it is crucial for personal injury victims to thoroughly vet and interview all potential expert witnesses.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was sitting in her vehicle at a stop sign when the defendant crashed into the back of her. The plaintiff immediately began to experience pain in her head and neck, and was went to the hospital later that day. The plaintiff tried various treatments for her pain, but none were effective. Eventually, the plaintiff saw a doctor who told her that she had reached maximum improvement and that her symptoms were likely to continue for the rest of her life.

In most Florida personal injury cases, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant violated a duty of care that was owed to the plaintiff, and that the defendant’s breach of this duty resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. However, in some situations, Florida accident victims can utilize the doctrine of negligence per se to prove the first two elements of a negligence claim: duty and breach.

Negligence per se is a legal doctrine that results in a legal finding that the defendant acted negligently. For negligence per se to apply, a plaintiff must present evidence that the defendant violated a regulation, law, or statute that was passed to protect people in the plaintiff’s position. If a plaintiff is able to establish that negligence per se applies, the plaintiff must only prove that the defendant’s actions were the cause of their injuries. A recent state appellate decision illustrates a situation in which the court determined negligence per se applied.

The court explained the facts as follows: the plaintiff was driving when she looked up to see a mattress flying towards her car. The plaintiff tried to avoid the mattress, but in so doing crashed into a cement barrier. Witnesses to the accident were able to obtain the other vehicle’s license plate number, and police officers eventually caught up with that driver, who was towing a trailer.

When someone is hurt in a Florida workplace accident, they can pursue a claim under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act. If approved, a workers’ compensation claim provides an injured employee with medical treatment and ongoing compensation for the time they are unable to work. Doctors have a critical role in a workers’ compensation case because many of the determinations that dictate whether a claim is approved, the amount of benefits an injured worker receives, and the length of time that benefits will be paid are in a doctor’s hands.

Given the importance that the selected doctor plays in the claims process, one question that frequently arises in Florida workers’ compensation cases is whether an injured worker can request a change in doctors. The answer, as is often the case, is “it depends.” Generally speaking, an employer is able to select the treating physician except in cases of emergency medical care. However, there are several situations in which a worker can choose their own doctor. Both, however, require that an employer drop the ball when it comes to an employee’s request.

The first scenario involves a situation where an employee requests medical treatment, but an employer fails to provide treatment within a reasonable amount of time. In this case, an employee can seek out their own care, pay for it, and then ask to be reimbursed by their employer.

Earlier this year, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida slip-and-fall case in which the court discussed the difference between a plaintiff’s claim that the defendant landowner failed to maintain their property and a claim that a landowner failed to warn visitors about a known hazard. The case arose after the plaintiff slipped and fell on a portion of damaged sidewalk in the condominium complex where she lived.

Evidently, the plaintiff had lived in the complex for the past decade, and was familiar with the area where she fell. In fact, according to the court’s opinion, she regularly traversed the area without a problem. After her fall, the plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the complex, making two claims. First, the plaintiff asserted that the complex was negligent in failing to warn her of a known danger. Second, the plaintiff claimed that the complex was negligent for failing to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition.

The complex’s main defense was that the plaintiff knew of the hazard, and that it was open and obvious. The complex argued that these facts should negate any potential liability and that the court should dismiss the case against it. The lower court agreed, finding that the hazard was open and obvious, and holding that the plaintiff assumed any risk of injury by crossing the area she knew to be hazardous.

Contact Information