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Gainesville Florida Personal Injury Law Blog

Woman sues theater after husband's death

The widow of a man shot in a Florida movie theater in 2014 is suing the theater where the shooting took place and one of its employees. She is seeking $15,000 in damages related to physical, economic and psychological damage after the incident, which started over the use of a cellphone. The suit claims that Cobb Theaters and an employee at the Wesley Chapel location failed to uphold its gun ban at the time of the incident.

The woman's husband was shot and killed by a 73-year-old man while the woman was shot in the hand. He is currently facing second-degree murder charges, but plans to invoke the state's "stand your ground" law as a defense. A hearing in April or May 2016 may determine if the charge will be dropped.

Senator demands action after deaths linked to keyless ignition

The death of a Florida woman from carbon monoxide poisoning is one of several that has prompted a U.S. senator to demand that keyless ignition systems in automobiles be made safer. The Florida death was one of six in 2015 that happened when cars with keyless ignition systems were left running.

Unlike a traditional car that requires a key in the ignition, keyless ignition vehicles can still run after the driver has left the car and taken the fob. This technology has sometimes led drivers to inadvertently leave their cars running after they have left them parked.

Research shows link between cortical plasticity and pain

Many Floridians suffer spinal cord injuries each year, and some experience either paraplegia or quadriplegia as a result. Recent research into people with paraplegia and quadriplegia demonstrates a link between suffering neuropathic pain and cortical plasticity.

Cortical plasticity is the brain's ability to reorganize itself when old pathways are damaged. This ability is key for people to have better outcomes following a spinal cord injury. Researchers at the Spinal Cord Injury Center of the University of Zurich studied 24 patients who had suffered spinal cord injuries and who had either complete or incomplete paraplegia or quadriplegia. For the control group, researchers used 31 people who were healthy.

Family settles lawsuit against Florida paramedics

The survivors of a woman who died after paramedics failed to take her to the hospital settled a lawsuit on Dec. 10 that they had filed against Palm Beach County The woman, aged 35, had been previously diagnosed with pneumonia and had a 102-degree fever. Her family stated that the paramedics were again called the next day and she was transported to the hospital but she later died.

County documents indicated that the woman began to feel unwell in late December 2013. She went to a local hospital after experiencing breathing problems. She was given medicine and then sent home. On New Year's Eve, paramedics were called to her home but did not transport her to a hospital. By the time paramedics came the next morning, she had stopped breathing. A medical examiner ruled that she died from influenza pneumonia.

New FMCSA rule requires electronic tracking of driver hours

Florida residents may know that federal rules are in place to restrict the amount of time that truck and bus drivers can spend behind the wheel without taking a rest break. The goal of the rules is to reduce the number of road users injured or killed each year in accidents caused by a fatigued truck or bus driver. Keeping track of the hours worked by drivers has traditionally been done using paper logs, but new rules introduced in December 2015 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration require commercial vehicles to have sophisticated electronic tracking devices installed within two years.

Accident investigators have been vocal critics of using paper logs to record the amount of time truck and bus drivers spend behind the wheel. They say that these logs can be manipulated easily and drivers sometimes do not fill them out correctly. The electronic devices required by the new FMCSA rule will record the position and movements of trucks and buses and determine how long drivers have taken between breaks by monitoring engine hours and miles covered.

Understanding anterior cord syndrome

Florida residents may recognize that a spinal cord injury can be debilitating and permanent. An incomplete cord injury may resolve over time, but a complete injury may cause permanent loss of motor and sensory functions. Anterior cord syndrome has one of the worst outlooks due to the fact that this injury is actually caused by interference with the blood supply to the anterior spinal artery.

There are various issues that can cause the occlusion of the anterior spinal artery. Atherosclerosis, for example, involves the buildup of fatty material on the artery walls. An aortic aneurysm can also cause issues. Clotting in this artery can interfere with blood movement. While many of the potential issues are related to the condition of the artery, some are attributed to external factors. For example, a herniated disc, posterior bone spur, or neoplastic mass could result in pressure on the artery. Kyphoscoliosis, a deformity of the spine, can also create pressure on the artery. Direct trauma from a stab is another potential cause of anterior cord syndrome.

Paul Walker's father sues Porsche

Florida residents who were fans of the late 'Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker may be interested to learn that Walker's father has filed a wrongful death claim. Walker's father sued Porsche for the fatal car accident that killed his son in 2013. According to the claim, the Porsche Carrera GT that Walker was riding in when he died lacked safety features that would have prevented his death.

The wrongful death lawsuit is just one of several actions that have been filed against Porsche over the Carrera GT. Walker's daughter filed a claim against Porsche, as did the wife of Walker's friend who was driving the car when the two men were killed. Walker's father's claim alleges that the Carrera GT was manufactured without side-door enforcements, a stability control system and a breakaway fuel line that would have prevented the vehicle from bursting into flames on impact.

Three semi-trucks and six cars involved in Florida crash

On Nov. 18, a crash on a Florida highway that left one person deceased was reported. The accident occurred on Interstate 75 near Southwest 40th Boulevard, causing traffic to become backed up.

It was clarified hours after the accident that six cars and three semi-trucks were involved in the collision, though it was not reported how the accident actually occurred. In addition to the deceased person, four others appeared to have suffered injuries. The cause of the crash was still under investigation at the time of the report, and the Florida Highway Patrol had not released a report on the incident.

Investigators believe driver was high when accident happened

Florida residents may remember the horrific accident that occurred in Oklahoma on Sept. 27, 2014. In the accident, a large truck crashed into a bus carrying a women's athletic team back to Texas to their college. Four women were killed in the accident, and the truck driver was charged with four manslaughter counts as a result.

According to sources, the investigating officers found a pipe containing residue of synthetic marijuana in the driver's truck. They believe he smoked it before the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the man did not brake, turn or slow before careening into the bus.

Daughter of late rapper MC Supreme files wrongful death suit

Florida music fans may be interested to learn that the daughter of late rapper MC Supreme has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who struck and killed him. The 47-year-old, who was best known for the hit "Black in America," died on June 15 in Malibu, California.

According to authorities, MC Supreme, whose real name was Dewayne Coleman, was sitting in his parked car on the shoulder of the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu when he was struck by a pickup truck. The impact caused Coleman's vehicle to roll into an embankment above the beach. Medical personnel pronounced him dead at the scene of the crash. A female passenger in his vehicle was hospitalized with undisclosed injuries. Police charged the driver of the pickup truck with DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

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