Recently, a national news report described several parents’ accounts of issues they encountered while using a popular, patented baby formula dispenser. Parents across the United States issued complaints to the company after pediatricians discovered that some infants consuming bottles from this machine were failing to gain weight and subsequently diagnosed with “failure to thrive.” Currently, there are more than 100 complaints against the company and various product liability lawsuits. Florida parents and caregivers who believe their child has suffered injuries or illness because of a defective product should contact an experienced Florida injury attorney to discuss your rights and remedies.

This particular product, Baby Brezza, is widely available at various physical and online retailers, and markets itself as the “most advanced” way to mix and create baby formula and water. However, many babies who used the product began to exhibit signs of hunger, including, temperament changes, sleep disturbances, and weight changes. One couple rushed their child to their doctor, where tests revealed that the baby was not consuming enough nutrients and calories. The culprit was the baby formula maker, as it was dispensing incorrect ratios of water to formula, resulting in a watery nutrient-deficient final product.

There are currently two class-action lawsuits against the company, in addition to various individual claims. The company’s marketing team stands by its products and contends that they precisely calibrate their machines to work with thousands of formulas. They further argue that they regularly test their devices, and any issue is likely the result of user error, including failure to maintain the product by cleaning the machine.

Under Florida medical malpractice laws, individuals who suffer injuries because of a negligent physician, nurse, or another healthcare provider may file a lawsuit against the offending party to recoup their damages. These legal proceedings are often adversarial and onerous and require a thorough understanding of complex statutes and regulations. Even though many Florida medical malpractice cases will end in a negotiated settlement, the preparation leading up this result is the same as if the case is going to trial.

In many situations, a party may ask the court to grant them summary judgment and rule in their favor before the trial even begins. This is an integral part of pre-trial proceedings, and these motions often rely on expert witness testimony. The parties will typically present the testimony of expert physicians that will testify to applicable standards and whether there was a breach of the standard of care that the defendant owed. The party opposing the motion for summary judgment must be able to establish that there is a genuine issue of material fact that must be resolved. The sufficiency of a motion for summary judgment often hinges on the expert’s opinion.

For example, recently, a Florida medical malpractice victim appealed a lower court’s ruling granting a hospital’s summary judgment motion. In that case, a man filed a lawsuit against a medical facility, alleging that they were negligent during his cardiac bypass surgery. The man argued that he suffered severe injuries, including a double amputation of his legs, because the facility failed to remove recalled heparin from their medical supplies. The hospital moved for summary judgment, reasoning that the victim did not prove that the facility administered contaminated heparin to the plaintiff.

When individuals purchase or use products, they naturally expect the product to work as advertised and, if used as directed, not cause the person harm. If someone is injured by a dangerous product, Florida’s product liability laws allow victims to recover for their damages. Under Florida law, manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers of a defective product may all be defendants in a product liability lawsuit.

Generally, there are two main theories that a Florida plaintiff may pursue against a defendant: negligence, and strict liability. Claims often arise from design defects, manufacturing defects, label defects, breach of warranty claims, fraud, and misrepresentation. The negligence theory allows Florida product liability injury victims to recover damages if they establish that they suffered injuries because the defendant was negligent in some aspect of the design, production, or marketing of the defective product. Under a strict liability theory, a Florida injury victim may successfully recover compensation against a culpable party if they can establish that the product caused the plaintiff’s injuries because it was unreasonably dangerous. The law does not require plaintiffs in these cases to prove negligence or carelessness.

Design defect claims allege that the inherent design of a product makes it unsafe for its intended purpose. Manufacturing defect claims arise when an injury victim concedes that the product’s design is safe, but some error in manufacturing occurred that renders the product unsafe. Finally, defective warning claims typically arise when a manufacturer fails to warn consumers and users about the inherent dangers of a device or product.

Florida biking accidents are a common cause of serious injuries in the state. In fact, the cyclist death rate in Florida is over 50% higher than in surrounding states. Miami leads the list of the Florida cities with the highest fatality rates. Bikers, motorists, and pedestrians must take special precautions while operating their vehicles or walking in roadways. Individuals who have been involved in a Florida bike accident should contact an experienced injury attorney to discuss their rights and potential remedies.

Late last month, an appellate court issued an opinion in a plaintiff’s appeal of summary judgment in favor of a county in a Florida negligence lawsuit. The biker filed a lawsuit after he suffered injuries when he lost control of his bike and fell into a drainage ditch. In his lawsuit, he alleged that the county had actual or constructive notice of the ditch. The country argued that it was not liable for the biker’s injuries because the plaintiff did not establish the element of causation.

According to the court’s opinion, the biker could not remember the exact moments right before falling into the ditch. However, the biker recalls that he was heading west when he approached the intersection and noticed a car stopped on the northbound lane. The plaintiff attempted to proceed south, but he did not know what the car was going to do, so he tried to go around the corner and stay on the shoulder. However, he was then struck by a vehicle and blacked out for several hours.

Those who have experience dealing with a Florida insurance company, know the process can be a difficult one. Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in an insurance dispute case arising from a fatal Florida car accident. The case illustrates the difficulties that many accident victims face when attempting to recover for their injuries through either a Florida personal injury or a wrongful death lawsuit.

According to the court’s opinion, a driver caused a fatal accident while using his step-father’s vehicle. At the time of the accident, the driver had his step-father’s permission to use the vehicle. There were several insurance policies in effect at the time of the accident. Specifically, the driver had three policies with three different insurance companies, one of which was with Geico. In addition, the driver’s step-father had a policy with Allstate.

Allstate paid out $250,000 to the plaintiffs, which was the policy maximum. Pursuant to that agreement, the $250,000 was not an agreement to release the driver of all liability, but would offset any other recovery obtained by the plaintiffs.

Many individuals in Florida have purchased some sort of insurance policy, whether it be car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or another form of insurance. Insurance can protect an individual when accidents occur, but, unfortunately, sometimes insurance companies can be difficult to work with, or may refuse to cover a claim even when they are supposed to. Insurance disputes are common because insurance companies pour significant resources into legal teams to limit their liability. One form of insurance dispute occurs when the parties disagree on the amount of loss suffered by the insured. Depending on the policy, there are different ways to solve this type of dispute; one common way is through an appraisal.

For example, take a recent Florida appellate case. According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiff had a homeowner’s insurance policy from State Farm, the defendant. The policy stated that when the two parties could not agree on the amount of loss suffered by the plaintiff, both parties would choose a qualified, disinterested appraiser who would then set the amount. In September of 2017, the plaintiff submitted a claim under the policy, and State Farm issued her a payment for her loss. However, the plaintiff disputed the amount of the loss, and notified State Farm that she was going to use a public adjuster as her appraiser. State Farm objected to this, because the plaintiff and the adjuster had an agreement that the adjuster would assist her and then receive a ten percent contingency fee. Because the adjuster received a portion of the final amount, State Farm argued that he could not be truly disinterested as the terms of the policy stated he must be.

The court ultimately agreed with State Farm. Under Florida law, when interpreting the terms of a contract, courts interpret plain and unambiguous language in accordance with its plain meaning. If a term has an ordinary meaning that it is usually assigned, then the court will give it that meaning in a contract, unless the parties specifically define it otherwise. The court found that the term disinterested could not apply to an adjuster who had a direct financial interest in the outcome; the higher the appraised value, the higher his commission. As such, the plaintiff was unable to retain the adjuster as her appraiser, and instead had to find an independent, disinterested appraiser who did not have a financial stake in the final outcome.

Asbestos is a series of naturally occurring heat-resistant, fibrous minerals that are often used in fabrics, tiles, shingles, and other industrial or building materials. These materials become harmful when it suffers a disturbance, such as a break or crack. Long-term exposure to asbestos can lead to severe and permanent injuries or death. Asbestos exposure in Florida has been a serious threat to residents, especially those that work in the construction industry or military. Although many countries have implemented total bans on asbestos products, the United States continues to allow the material, in limited quantities. Individuals who believe they developed an illness because of asbestos exposure should contact a Florida asbestos exposure attorney.

Asbestos poses dangers because the microscopic fibers can easily become airborne and attach to a person’s respiratory system and lung tissue. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even minimal amounts of exposure can post great dangers. Most individual’s immune systems cannot fight off, break, or remove the fibers. Exposure to asbestos can cause many health risks, such as scarring, inflammation, tumors, cancer, and chronic respiratory illnesses. The deadliest conditions are Mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.

There are many different ways that Florida residents can suffer asbestos exposure; however, there are some occupations that face an elevated risk of exposure. The most common at-risk professions are construction workers, industrial workers, farmers, hairdressers, refinery workers, and military personnel. Additionally, the families of these individuals may also suffer through secondary exposure because workers can easily and unknowingly transfer fibers through their clothes or equipment. Asbestos is also used in cement, construction materials, hairdryers, and talcum powders.

When someone is injured while on the job, Florida law sometimes allows a person to file a civil negligence suit against their employer for negligently putting them in a hazardous situation or otherwise causing their injuries from an accident. These suits, if successful, can result in significant monetary compensation to the employee, covering their injuries, lost wages, past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. However, they can also be very difficult to win, especially when the defendant is a large company and has invested significant resources into their legal team. Because this is a complicated area of law, potential plaintiffs should consider working with a personal injury attorney to maximize their chances for success.

Recently, a federal appellate court considered a case which highlights the difficulties of bringing a suit after a workplace injury. According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiff worked for a construction company that was hired by an electric company to install, replace, and repair high voltage transmission lines. While working, the plaintiff climbed a pole to change out a wire and suffered an electric shock. As a result, he suffered serious burns to his hands, arms, and right leg, as well as brain damage. He ultimately had to have his left hand amputated and is now dealing with chronic pain and permanent disfigurement.

The plaintiff filed suit against the electric company, and the defendant company then filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed. The court found that the defendant electric company could not be held liable because they employed the construction company as an independent contractor. Generally, those employing independent contractors cannot be held responsible for injuries that happen in their work unless they had sufficient control over the independent contractors. Because the electric company left control to the construction company and only was concerned with the final product, not how the project was completed, the court found they could not be held liable.

Recently, an appellate court issued a written opinion addressing when and to what extent joint and several liabilities apply in Florida premises liability lawsuits. The case stems from an incident that occurred when a woman was attending a party at her friends’ condominium beach club. At the time of the party, the Beach Club’s boat dock was undergoing maintenance and repairs, however, work on the portion right behind the woman’s friends’ condos was halted because of a contract dispute between the Beach Club and the construction company. While walking on the unfinished portion of the boat dock, the woman fell into a hole and suffered serious injuries.

The woman filed a negligence lawsuit against the Beach Club, the construction company, and her friends. The plaintiff claimed the Beach Club breached its non-delegable duty to maintain the dock, the construction company failed to repair and replace the dock reasonably, and her friends violated their responsibility to keep their common areas safe and warn her of any hazardous conditions.

At trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff and apportioned damages amongst the parties, finding that Beach Club was 15% responsible, the construction company was 25%, the friends were 50%, and the plaintiff was 10%. Post-trial, the plaintiff asked the court to find that Beach Club and the construction company were jointly and severally liable for 90% of the damages. One of the main issues on appeal was whether Beach Club could be responsible for more than its proportionate share of the damages. On appeal, Beach Club argued that under Florida law, they could not be liable for more than their share of damages because the woman’s friends failed to warn the plaintiff.

Late last month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida premises liability case involving a woman who slipped and fell while at her local grocery store. The case required the court to determine if an affidavit of the plaintiff’s sister was properly excluded from consideration by the trial court before it granted the store’s motion for summary judgment. Ultimately, the court concluded that the sister’s affidavit should have been considered, and thus, summary judgment was inappropriate.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff and her sister were shopping at the defendant grocery store when the plaintiff slipped and fell after stepping in a puddle of water. The plaintiff filed a Florida slip and fall lawsuit against the store, and presented an affidavit from her sister in support of her claim. In the affidavit, the sister explained that the puddle was right next to a large cooler, was oblong in shape, and looked to have been stepped in by other people.

The grocery store asked the court not to consider the sister’s affidavit because it “baldly repudiated” the testimony that she gave at a prior deposition. At the deposition, however, the sister was only asked two questions, including the origin of the puddle and whether it consisted of a transparent liquid. Neither counsel asked the sister about the shape of the puddle.

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