Weekly Florida Personal Injury News Roundup

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Florida is chock full of personal injury news, laws, and updates to accidents that have made national news. Here’s what’s going on around Orlando and the rest of Florida in the world of personal injuries.

Videos of FIU Bridge Collapse Released

Florida International University released time-lapse videos last week, giving the public an idea of what happened during the construction, the days leading up to the horrific collapse, and the moment the bridge gave way.

Workers can be seen standing atop the structure tightening steel rods which held a vital support truss. Their actions may have caused the bridge to collapse, which will be argued since the structure had visible cracks prior to their re-tensioning job.

Six people lost their lives when the $14.3 million bridge collapsed. Insurers for FIGG Engineering, the company responsible for the design and construction of the bridge, are fighting claims they’re liable in any manner. Conservative estimates dictate personal injury and wrongful death suits may amass $90 million.

Legislative Logjam Over PIP Reform

State Farm, alleging Florida’s no-fault insurance system is fraught with fraud, filed suit on Aug. 1 alleging several clinics cheated the insurance giant out of $4.7 million. Will this compel legislation to make personal injury protection policies (PIP) optional in Florida? Highly unlikely, according to Senator Tom Lee.

The three clinics – Pain Relief Clinic of Homestead, Health & Wellness Services Inc. and Medical Wellness Services, Inc. – are the masterminds behind the fraud, according to State Farm. The complaints allege the clinics entered patients in predetermined treatment plans without respect to injuries sustained. Bills for services such as X-rays and unneeded therapies were submitted and paid by State Farm. Defendants have yet to respond to the complaint.

Meanwhile, it appears PIP will find its way back onto the legislative floor, as will worker’s compensation and abuses surrounding assignment of benefits.

Paramedics to Blame for Woman’s Death?

A Hillsborough County woman’s death spurned the mother to retain a medical negligence attorney, but the events surrounding the potential civil suit is what is drawing the ire of family and friends.

The decedent, Crystal Galloway, had given birth six days prior to her death by cesarean section. After coming out of the procedure and returning home, Galloway, 30, complained of massive head pain. Her mother eventually discovered her slumped over in her tub and phoned 911 around 3:00 a.m.

Deputies and paramedics arrived on scene, with Galloway begging to be taken to the hospital. The deputies believed the woman was under the influence and not seriously in pain, questioning her ability to foot the $600 ambulance bill. Paramedics believe they heard Nicole Black, Galloway’s mother, the state she’d take her daughter to the emergency room – she just needed paramedics to carry Galloway three stories to Black’s car.

Black eventually took Galloway to the hospital, where CT scan revealed she had bleeding on her brain. She would slip into a coma, passing away five days after the 911 call and just shy of her 31st birthday. Black now takes care of Galloway’s three children.

Four paramedic workers were on administrative leave pending an investigation and formal disciplinary hearing. Black’s attorney is looking over the particulars of the case to determine if civil remedies are possible.

Lime Rock Road Fire Beginning Civil Process

12 residents who were impacted by the July fire on Lime Rock Road have initiated four civil suits against the contractor who was reportedly contracted by Florida’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to perform a controlled burn. That burn is what allegedly caused a massive wildfire on July 24.

Also, Wildlands Service Inc., the Tallahassee contractor listed in the suits, stands accused of negligently setting several properties ablaze under the tutelage of the FFWCC, rendering most of the 12 residents’ properties unusable.

The exact acreage decimated by the fires is unknown, although conservative estimates would be roughly 700 acres. The negligence of the contractor caused residents to lose personal property and endure escalating health issues like asthma, emphysema, and exacerbation of asthma, according to the suit.

Although the outcome of this case is anyone’s guess, the Shuler brothers’ case 10 years prior will be undoubtedly cited. Michael and Gordon Shuler lost 835 acres of trees due to gross negligence, ultimately winning their suit against the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Proposal 88 Could Hit November Ballot

Negligent care in nursing homes has long plagued Florida’s senior citizen community. With the help of Proposal 88, elderly persons would have greater constitutional rights in assisted living facilities.

Under the proposal, residents’ rights would be ‘on par with’ the rights of others. It would establish a Bill of Rights that would be in Florida’s constitution. While many believe this inclusion is long overdue, others believe this move provides greater compensatory flexibility when pursuing claims of nursing home abuse.

It would require 22 of 37 commission members to sign off on the proposal to move the proposal to November’s ballot. It passed through the Declaration of Rights Committee back in January.

Mobility Scooter Kills Man on Bus

Mark Settipane was riding a Broward County bus when a sharp turn slammed him onto the floor. Above all, it’s the rider that decides to use equipment to strap wheelchairs and mobility scooters or not.

When contacting EMS, Settipane denied treatment and was free to leave.

After the accident, Settipane went to Broward Health Imperial Point complaining of pains in his chest area. Afterward, having collapsed lung and fractured ribs, he went into surgery and slipped into a coma.

The county, claiming in court documents preexisting conditions caused his death. Also, the bus driver did not face punishment for the sharp turn.

Personal Injury Lawyer Serving You

An accident can happen at any time that leaves you seriously injured. If it does, we hope you know that our lawyers are on your side.

Burnetti, P.A. offers free consultations without obligation in all matters of personal injury. Contact the firm at 1-888-BURNETTI to begin your journey toward settling your case.

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