Articles Posted in Child Safety

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As the holidays approach, the demand for new toys will be high, both in stores and online. Buyers must be cautious when purchasing items to make sure they are following the manufacturer’s age recommendations and that they stay tuned to any reports of injuries or news of a potential toy recall.injury lawyer

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued its annual Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries report for 2016, revealing that last year, there were a total of 240,000 emergency department trips spurred by dangerous or defective toys. That doesn’t represent a significant statistical trend

While not every toy-related injury is cause for a personal injury lawsuit, if plaintiff can show the product was unreasonably dangerous or defectively designed or defectively manufactured, there may be grounds for legal action. Serious injuries can occur when toys are made cheaply, with toxic materials or sold with inadequate warnings. Defendants in these cases can include anyone in the chain of distribution – from the product designer to its manufacturer to its distributor. Continue reading →

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In Florida, property owners are generally liable for dangerous conditions that are not obvious and cause harm to those who are lawfully present. There are varying degrees of a property owner’s responsibility in this area of law – known as premises liability – depending on the status of the individual who was hurt. For example, someone who is invited onto the property for the financial benefit of the property owner is owed a higher duty of care than someone who is trespassing. child injury lawyer

In most cases, trespassers are not owed any duty of care, except that property owners can’t intentionally harm them or set traps. When it comes to children, though, the standards are different. Children are generally owed a greater duty of care than adults in the same situation, and this is true also when children are trespassing. The doctrine of attractive nuisance, for example, holds that if property owners maintain dangerous conditions likely to attract young children to the site, the property owner must be sensitive to that potential danger (which a child may not appreciate) by posting a warning or taking some other affirmative steps to protect children from that danger.

Recently in Minnesota, the state supreme court there considered property owner liability in the case where a 4-year-old boy nearly drowned in the Mississippi River and suffered severe and permanent brain damage.  Continue reading →

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In most Florida wrongful death lawsuits, it’s often a simple matter to link defendant (the person alleged to be legally at-fault) with the conduct that resulted in death. For example: A drunk driver swerves off the road and slams into a tree, killing a passenger. The defendant’s negligent conduct caused the passenger’s death.wrongful death

It can get complicated, though, when we’re dealing with liability for a loved one’s suicide. This is where that causal link (referred to in court as “causation”) becomes difficult to prove. A person who commits suicide is the direct cause of his or her own death. But the question becomes: Was defendant’s action or inaction a substantial factor in decedent’s suicide? Courts will also ask whether decedent’s actions were reasonably foreseeable. There are no hard-and-fast rules for when a defendant may be legally liable for someone else’s suicide, but we have noticed an increase in such cases.

Recently in Wakulla County, the parents of a 15-year-old who tragically committed suicide have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school and one of his middle school teachers. The lawsuit alleges the teacher and the school are party to blame for the teen’s death following allegations of inappropriate contact between the teacher and the 8th-grader. Continue reading →

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A 3-year-old girl was recently killed in a South Florida pedestrian accident while walking with her mother as they returned from dropping her older brother off at the bus stop. pedestrian accident

According to The Press Republican, the girl, her mother and a neighbor were walking at the intersection of Hampton Meadow Way and Bright Street in Riverview when they were struck by the 33-year-old driver of a pickup truck. The driver said he looked before he turned onto the street, where he saw the two women and the dog. However, he said he did not see the little girl. As soon as he heard the sickening sound of the impact, he immediately stopped and realized he had struck the girl.

The girl’s mother, meanwhile, asserts the driver was operating on the wrong side of the road. Her daughter, she said, was approximately two arm’s lengths ahead of her as they made their way home. The girl had made it nearly to the sidewalk right in front of her home, where she stood waiting for her mother, holding a sippy cup.  Continue reading →

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A recent playground injury involving a child reached a state supreme court, which was tasked with considering whether sovereign immunity laws protected defendant school district from liability for allegedly defective equipment. playground

Sovereign immunity is a legal principle handed down by the English that held the “sovereign” or government could not be held liable for tort actions. The theory is that the government needs to be able to carry out basic function and policies without fear of liability. But this is not absolute. In Florida, there are exceptions under F.S. 768.28, the state’s waiver of sovereign immunity.

Sovereign immunity laws vary from state-to-state. The case in question was weighed by the Colorado Supreme Court, which decided a piece of playground equipment that was not negligently constructed or maintained can’t be considered a “dangerous condition” for purposes of the sovereign immunity exception.  Continue reading →

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The Florida Supreme Court was asked to consider whether four female students at a school in South Florida should be allowed to proceed to trial with their lawsuit against a teacher and the county school board, alleging negligence for sexual molestation that reportedly occurred.crying

The personal injury lawsuit was originally filed in July 2006 by the four students and their parents. In a third amended complaint, filed in 2011, respondents alleged claims of negligent supervision, negligent retention, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Respondents also filed a claim for violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which centers on the prohibition of sex discrimination by entities that receive federal education dollars.

The school board sought to remove the Title IX claim (and another claim not relevant), arguing that this particular claim was prohibited at this point by the statute of limitations because it didn’t relate to the original filing. Continue reading →

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A 1-year-old girl was injured in Fort Myers in a back over accident at a family gathering. childbicycle

According to a news report by NBC-2, the family was gathered for an outdoor cookout on a recent Friday afternoon.

The girl’s mother told authorities a relative was pulling his truck out of the driveway when the toddler suddenly ran behind the vehicle. She then fell over, and the truck ran over her arm. Continue reading →

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Every year in the U.S., an estimated 200,000 children under the age of 14 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for playground-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Many of these injuries are preventable, caused by either defective playground equipment or inadequate supervision.playground

Three-fourths of these incidents occur at schools or daycare centers. Almost half are considered “severe” injuries: Concussions and traumatic brain injuries, dislocations, fractures and even amputations.

Several recent cases in litigation highlight the danger.

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It is well-established that schools, daycare centers, camps and other similar institutions owe a duty of care to students and minors in their care. This includes the duty to properly supervise, protect against abuse during compulsory attendance periods, and to immediately report it if such abuse becomes known. girl2

In cases where schools have failed in these duties, victims of sexual assault have grounds to pursue a civil tort – or injury lawsuit – against the school for compensation.

For many victims, it is not about the money, though many do require extensive therapy and treatment to regain emotional stability. It’s often more about holding the school or center accountable, and ensuring such failed oversight doesn’t harm other children.

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Memories of summer in childhood should be recalled with fondness – splashing by the pool, road trip vacations and long, lazy afternoons.
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However, parents and caregivers must take note: Summer is also a time when hazards abound. Our Fort Myers child injury lawyers have seen cases here in Southwest Florida in which children have suffered from heatstroke. Tragedy on the roadways has occurred when children weren’t properly belted into a car seat or they encountered fatigued or drunken drivers. While on bicycles, children have serious suffered injuries after being struck by a vehicle. Children left unsupervised by the pool have drowned, and others injured by fireworks or defective products.

While it’s true that injuries to children can occur at any point in the year, summer carries its own unique challenges, and it’s important for parents to become educated. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a campaign to encourage awareness of potential injuries children may suffer in summer.
Continue reading →