Six members of a Kansas family returning from a vacation in the Bahamas were killed recently when their 2006 Pilatus PC-12 single-engine light aircraft crashed into the Tiger Creek Preserve near Lake Weohyakapka around 12:36 p.m. According to their flight plan, they had stopped to clear customs at St. Lucie County Airport (FPR) at 10:15 a.m. that morning. After clearing customs, they taxied and took off from St. Lucie at 12:05 p.m. en route to their home in Junction City, Kansas.
Floridians are very familiar with the sad story of Robert Champion, the Florida A&M drum major who died from injuries he received in a well-publicized hazing incident in Orlando. What they may not know, however, is a Florida legal concept called “sovereign immunity,” which could limit the amount of money his parents could receive in a lawsuit. Champion was fatally injured on a charter bus in Orlando while he was being hazed by fellow members in the school’s marching band, and his parents are seeking damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. For a full explanation of sovereign immunity, parents and close family members of wrongful death victims should speak to an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney. A simple explanation of sovereign immunity is that it limits the ability for people to collect wrongful death damages from several public agencies.
After working a very long 17-hour shift, Tim Roth and three coworkers began their trip home from their worksite, a natural gas well in Ohio. They hit the road around ten in the evening for the four-hour trip back home to West Virginia. When they were just ten minutes away from home, the driver fell asleep at the wheel, causing their truck to drift off the highway, where it struck a sign. The impact tore one side off the truck, killing Mr. Roth and injuring his three coworkers. The fatal crash came two months after another incident when another worker from the same company fell asleep at the wheel driving home after a long shift and struck a utility pole, nearly killing Roth.
Three longtime friends and passionate cyclists were halfway through an 850-mile journey when the trip ended in tragedy. Two of the Sanford men were killed and the other injured when they were struck by a van while riding through rural Georgia. The men were indulging their love of cycling and spending time together while raising money for a DeBary-based Christian mission. Their journey began when they loaded their bikes into a rental van bound for Washington, D.C., where they posed for pictures in their riding gear in front of the White House and began their trip back home to Central Florida.
Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham has seen Orange County and the rest of our state change in many ways since he began practicing law in 1977. Some changes have been for the better, and others have been decidedly for the worse. Our state’s auto accident statistics would definitely fall in the latter category. To illustrate the scope of Florida’s auto accident problems, consider the following 2010 auto accident statistics:
House of Raeford has announced that they are voluntarily recalling more than 4,100 pounds of a cooked chicken breast product due to possible bacterial contamination. After conducting an investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said that the chicken may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which can lead to listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease. The product was distributed to delicatessens and food service facilities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina for further processing.
Nearly 40 former factory workers who have developed cancers and other serious illnesses from drinking and washing with tainted drinking water have settled a multimillion-dollar five-year legal battle against Siemens Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. The victims claimed that the companies negligently handled toxins that leaked into nearby drinking water sources that eventually caused a variety of cancers and other life-threatening illnesses. Gladys Elder, a 32-year employee at the Lake Mary plant that makes telecommunications equipment was pleased that the long legal battle with the corporations was at an end.
A hazing incident at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University has led to serious injuries for one freshman and the arrests of three people who broke the victim’s leg and caused other injuries. Tallahassee Police arrested three young men aged 19, 22 and 23 for felony battery for injuring the 18-year-old member of the school’s “Marching 100” band. In addition to a broken femur, the victim suffered blood clots and bruised bones in her legs. The victim said she suffered the beatings on October 31 and November 1 while the Marching 100 band was in Orlando to perform at halftime of the Florida Classic football game. Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham is closely following developments in this case, as it is distressingly similar to a similar hazing incident that claimed the life of a 26-year-old FAMU drum major who collapsed and died in October. Police suspect that hazing led to this victim’s death.
Orlando City Council member Daisy Lynum’s recent close call while crossing the street has given her a new sense of urgency about making Central Florida streets and highways safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Early last summer, she was crossing a street in a crosswalk in west Orlando when she was nearly struck from behind by a car. The near-accident drove home what Orlando personal injury attorneys and concerned citizens have been saying for years. They have been urging policymakers on the state and local level to finally do something about our area’s reputation as the most dangerous place in the country for people who prefer to walk or ride their bikes to get around.
A 32-year-old Holly Hill man is facing murder charges after a 14-year-old boy died from a methadone overdose after finding the drug in the trash. The Volusia County State Attorney’s Office recently issued an indictment for the man for first-degree murder and a felony charge of delivering a controlled substance to a minor in connection with the boy’s death. The man is accused of driving the victim and another 17-year-old minor to Whitney Labs near Ormond Beach on Highway 1 early on the morning of May 24 and showing the boys how to find methadone the company has discarded in a dumpster.