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Thomas-Scolaro-Justin-Shapiro-Leesfield-Scolaro-03-1“There has never been a case more fit for a resounding punitive damages award. Nothing will prevent the jury from considering every sickening detail of Corizon’s neglect and every profit-driven decision that resulted in Evan Kennard’s agonizing death now that we have secured punitive damages on behalf of Evan’s wife and 9-year-old daughter.”

-Partners Thomas Scolaro and Justin Shapiro

Evan Kennard (age 29) was admitted to Polk County Jail with a life-threatening heart infection and symptoms so alarming that any competent healthcare professional would have immediately rushed him to an emergency room. Instead, the jail’s private healthcare contractor, Corizon, ignored Evan’s worsening symptoms and deprived him of life-saving treatment for seven days as he deteriorated into a corpse. Corizon neglected Evan at every turn and only sent him to the emergency room after he became unresponsive, brain-dead, severely septic, 40 pounds lighter, with pressure ulcers, soaked in his own urine, with no chance of survival. Corizon’s own Medical Director, Margie Gomez, MD, admitted in deposition that her medical staff committed “egregious violations of protocols” in Evan’s care and treatment throughout his limited time in the jail.  In fact, every single Corizon doctor and nurse deposed in this matter admitted to numerous protocol violations, and they blamed each other for Corizon’s grossly indifferent lack of humanity to this dying husband and father.

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Over the last 45 years, especially in the last 1000 days, Leesfield Scolaro’s negligent security practice has seen first hand the dire consequences of the escalation of violent crime and the increasing number of innocent victims needlessly killed, battered, or raped.

The last two years have brought on much anxiety to all of us. The ripple effect of world economies shutting down has caused local economies and its people to suffer the most. The atmosphere of uncertainty has been a significant contributing factor to the resurgence of crime in our communities, especially the most violent crimes.Petition-Family-Safety-Issue_Page_5_resize-300x261

According to Statista, violent crimes are the worst they have been in the last 10 years. The number of aggravated assaults is the highest we have seen in the last 23 years, and the number of murders & non-negligent manslaughters has been this high since 1995.

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Last week, the driver of a scooter was fatally injured in an incident with a UPS driver in Miami Beach. The reports at the time have collectively made a point to say that the operator of the scooter was not wearing a helmet, almost impuning them. Florida drivers know full-well that helmets are not required to operate a motorcycle or a scooter/moped. Whether in the court of public opinion or court of law, not wearing a helmet is not a reason to accuse an innocent driver of wrongdoing, without knowing all facts surrounding an incident, including this latest fatal collision.

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Read Ira Leesfield and Justin Shapiro’s article published in Trial on ways to approach litigation involving e-scooters and sharing services.

Let us be very clear. In general, when a scooter operator -not wearing a helmet- is thrashed by another vehicle, the focus is not and never should be on the helmet. The one and only cause for the incident in that scenario is the negligent, often reckless driver of the at-fault vehicle, who expressed utter disregard for other motorists on the road. Defense attorneys attempt to take the focus away from the main thing, which is their client’s negligence. The strategy is to appeal to the general population’s biases against motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in general, which makes us look for a reason to blame the victim. For the past 45 years, Leesfield Scolaro has litigated countless cases while representing families whose spouse, child or parent was killed by another vehicle, including commercial trucks.

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Everyday 1,000 people go to emergency rooms across the country to treat for dog bite injuries, and approximately 15,000 people need to be hospitalized with life-threatening injuries every year. Florida has a 40% dog ownership rate, and many owners have more than one dog. Consequently, it is not uncommon for guests, bystanders, neighbors and relatives to be bitten while visiting the home of a dog owner. When injured, where can the victim turn to? What about insurance exclusions?

Below are five different scenarios – five cases handled by Leesfield Scolaro – which resulted in the victims receiving compensation despite low odds of recovery.

Florida Law

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casino-594157_640-300x200Earlier today, an explosion happened at the Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, FL.  The floor of the casino was open to patrons and workers were performing maintenance checks of the casino’s fire suppression systems.  The early reports describe that the workers were checking an area of the casino with quite a lot of equipment.  Once the check was over for one of the gas tanks used to suppress fire ruptured.  An explosion followed, sending debris to the main casino floor where patrons were located.  In all, 26 people were injured in the event, 6 of which were transported to the hospital with significant injuries.

Partners Thomas Scolaro and Justin Shapiro recently represented a client involved in a similar case where an explosion at a home caused significant burn and orthopedic injuries to the resident resulting in a 6-figure settlement.  In another matter, Ira Leesfield and Thomas Scolaro represented an employee who became injured while performing maintenance at a large international outlet store.  The store’s negligence caused the worker to fall 10 feet without notice and sustain catastrophic injuries.

In the Seminole Classic Casino explosion, several claims will have to be brought forward not only to compensate the victims, and to make certain that such event never occurs again. The question of tribal immunity will be discussed in the coming weeks and months, especially if one or more of the hospitalized victims sustained catastrophic injuries.

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Partner Justin Shapiro has recently represented a family whose minor son (JD) was ran over by a distracted motorist as he was about to board a school bus. After a arduous legal battle, the family ultimately prevailed and settled against the at-fault driver and the school district for the school bus driver’s negligence.

Like every weekday, JD reported to the designated gathering area on the corner of the intersection just before 6:00 a.m. At approximately 6:10 a.m., the school bus arrived on the opposite corner of the intersection and stopped in the middle of the road. It was pitch dark outside as there were no street lights in the area. Despite the long line of buses situated “bumper-to-bumper” ahead of the bus, the driver initiated the flashing lights and signaled the children to cross the street and board the bus. There was no designated crosswalk from the gathering area to the corner where the bus stopped. Relying on the driver’s direction, JD and the other children began to cross the street.

school-bus-TOP-300x258At that time, a motorist traveling southbound in the direction of the group of children could not see the mobile traffic devices on the school bus due to the heavy traffic and numerous school buses in the northbound lane with their headlights on. Tragically and inevitably, the vehicle crashed into the child at a high rate of speed. JD was left unconscious, laying motionless on the ground. He was airlifted to the hospital, diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injuries from which he and his family will never recover.

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Once again, the team at Leesfield Scolaro has achieved important success for passengers who become ill or otherwise require evacuation from cruise ships for medical needs.

In the matter of the Estate of Jeffrey Eisenman v. Carnival Cruise Lines, former Chief Judge James Lawrence King has denied the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and further denied defendant’s  Motion for Summary Judgment against plaintiffs’ claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Jeffrey Eisenman was seriously ill while ship was docked at port.   The family purchased evacuation insurance and pleaded with the Captain and medical crew to  transport Mr. Eisenman to a location with adequate medical facilities.  The cruise line refused to evacuate and set sail for Puerto Rico, 21 hours away.   Mr. Eisenman died 14 hours later during the voyage.   His family was grief stricken.  To make matters worse, the cruise line refused to have Mr. Eiseman’s body removed from the ship, forcing family members to stay onboard with their deceased father for the entire cruise.  The Eiseman case joins five other seven figure recent results obtained by the firm for failures to provide adequate medical care or otherwise make proper arrangements to obtain appropriate medical attention.   These failures resulted in passenger deaths, and life altering conditions, which were avoidable and unnecessary.

Additional cases include:

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Your clients (and family) must be protected, safe and secure, at shopping centers, apartments, gas stations, office buildings and hotels, including parking lots/garages and any commercial property where they may be vulnerable to crime.  Leesfield Scolaro represents victims who have been attacked, abused, injured or killed because security was inadequate. We are on the legislative and civil justice forefront of public safety.

MOST COMMON CRIME SCENES:

  • Shopping malls/strip malls
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Valisure, the online pharmacy that batch-tests chemical composition of medications and consumer products, has just sounded the alarm on several sunscreens and after-sun products that contain dangerous levels of benzene. Whether in Europe (since 1967) or in the USA (since 1978), benzene was withdrawn from consumer products due to the very high toxicity of the chemical.

What is benzene?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), benzene is an odorless and colorless chemical. It evaporates into the air very quickly and it float on top of water, only slightly dissolving.

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Since earlier this month, a family from Sarasota has been living in hell, thrown into a nightmarish world, condemned to go through life with an irreplaceable missing piece of themselves. April 8 was the day it all started, the day they received the news that every parent fears. Their most precious and vulnerable child, aged only 3 months, died while in the care of licensed staff at a DCF-licensed child care facility.

Leesfield Scolaro has a long history of fighting for the most vulnerable among us. Children, especially infants and toddlers, are often neglected and abused. Day care institutions, schools and other youth organizations are too often fertile grounds for neglect and abuse. These failures result in babies losing their life, in toddlers being crushed to death, in small children breaking bones, rendered blind, amputated, sexually assaulted or molested. Protecting the vulnerable is paramount.

Most recently, Thomas Scolaro represented a family who lost their young daughter in a terrible failure to resuscitate event – the claims resulted in a 7-figure settlement.  While parents were at work, baby was entrusted with a nurse and a therapist. Both providers were present when the girl’s tracheostomy tube became dislodged and ultimately disconnected. Baby was quickly thrown into distress and the providers sprung into action by using an ambu bag and performing CPR on the 15-months-old girl. Our investigation quickly established however that, during the entire resuscitation process, until fire rescue arrived, both baby’s providers had placed the ambu bag on her mouth and not the trach. As a result, baby could not, did not get any oxygen for almost 10 minutes, and she ultimately passed away.

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