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Leesfield Scolaro’s continued growth welcomes our newest lawyer, Thomas D. Graham. Tom is admitted to the Florida and Pennsylvania Bars bringing new perspectives to our practice as he continues the Firm’s tradition of high level advocacy. As an Assistant State Attorney, Tom completed over 25 jury trials and 100 bench trials, and will continue his trial practice which now will be directed towards civil justice and protecting victims of negligence and wrongdoing.

Although Tom is experienced in admiralty, maritime and cruise ship litigation, he also is committed to the complete array of cases handled by our Firm. An added plus, is his admission to the Pennsylvania Bar where we actively represent and protect Pennsylvania travelers to the Sunshine State. Tom is active in numerous associations and leadership activities, now joining the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”) and its New Lawyers Division.

Our firm remains active in statewide litigation, resolving cases from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys. We are particularly proud of the recent influx of cases from Florida’s Gulf Coast and appreciate the opportunity to co-counsel serious matters with lawyers from that region.

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Collapse of Garage on Miami-Dade College Campus in 2012

Whether a developer is trying to make a delivery deadline on a construction project, or cut costs because the project was under-budgeted at inception, or hire fewer workers in the face of safety, typically construction incidents stem from developers, contractors, and subcontractors cutting corners.  In recent memory, a garage collapse on Miami-Dade College campus in 2012, which caused injuries to eleven people, including four fatalities, ended in multi-million dollar settlements with the victims and Miami-Dade College.  Four years later, the rebuild of the same garage collapsed again, injuring two workers.

In an article titled “Identifying Root Causes of Construction Accidents”, published in the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, several causes were discussed and ultimately identified after studying thousands of different cases.  The authors concluded that one of the top three causes stems from management procedures which create and fail to identify, rectify and remove unsafe conditions that exist on and around a construction site.  The other two causes were linked to workers lacking sufficient training or knowledge.

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Over the Christmas holiday weekend, 107.3 million Americans will be in transit.  Leesfield Scolaro wishes everyone a safe holiday and best wishes for the new year.

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For more information, the Travel Tort Division will represent all clients involved in transit incidents, regardless of the method of travel.  This includes motor vehicles, airplanes, boats, and trains.

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2-panel-Texas-mailer_New_Proof-236x300Leesfield Scolaro, through its leading verdicts and results, has established a 43-year reputation representing injured clients throughout Florida, nationally and internationally. Our goal remains to resolve cases and bring financial security to injured clients. Representative of 2017 are the following results: (This is a partial list with the full compilation found in our website at this link)

A 14-year-old boy from Miami-Dade County who sustained extensive injuries to his leg caused by the defective bicycle bar handle manufactured in China. This case is set for trial.

A 61-year-old Miami Beach resident awarded $450,000 as a result of his toe being crushed and amputated when a negligently installed marble counter at a residential building collapsed on his foot.

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Photographer: Tim Shortt
Media: Florida Today

Last week, two out of four boaters were killed after their airboat flipped in the air while traveling up the St. Johns River in Melbourne, Florida. Eyewitness and fellow airboater Timothy Young told USA Today the airboat “was going kind of fast” and the “back half of the boat was sitting kind of low” before the incident occurred, suggesting operator error may not be the sole cause for the tragedy.

Like in any boating incident, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) is in charge of the investigation and finding out whether the driver was negligent or whether the incident was precipitated by some sort of maintenance issue or mechanical failure.

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https://www.floridainjurylawyer-blawg.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/257/2017/11/medical-appointment-doctor-healthcare-40568.jpeg-300x200.jpgTurned down by other law firms, a young widow whose husband had been abhorrently ignored by ER doctors at a Florida Hospital turned to Leesfield Scolaro for help. Ten months later, Partner Thomas Scolaro and Attorney Mason Kerns were able to secure a multi-million dollar settlement during the claim’s pre-suit period, for the loss of her husband and for her young son’s loss of his father.

Earlier this year, Scolaro and Kerns reached another multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of an adolescent girl whose doctor failed to recognize that his patient had sustained a stroke. The doctor’s unbelievable failure to diagnose caused delay in administering known effective treatment. Due to this physician’s negligence, our 17-year-old client was left with permanent cerebral sequelae which have drastically altered the quality of the remainder of her life.

These catastrophic medical malpractice cases were the main target of previous Administrations who actively sought (and succeeded to) limit the recovery of medical malpractice victims through arbitrary and unconstitutional laws. Indeed, since 2003, Justice for medical malpractice victims has been very hard to obtain due to insurance company-friendly laws. Governor Jeb Bush at the time forced the passage of statutory caps for plaintiffs who had been victims of medical malpractice, limiting the monetary compensation they rightfully deserved. The preeminent argument was that malpractice insurance premiums for Florida doctors were skyrocketing and causing good doctors to flee the state as a consequence.

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This week, Partner Justin Shapiro won a $36.6 million verdict on behalf of the parents of a skateboarder struck and killed by a distracted driver. That skateboard verdict follows a very recent jet ski settlement in Key West by Thomas Scolaro and Justin Shapiro in the amount of $2.88 million. “In the last decade, recreational injuries from all sources have skyrocketed, in spite of our law firm’s attempts urging remedial and protective legislation” says, Ira Leesfield, founding partner.

Leesfield Scolaro’s long-term interest in protecting the public from dangerous and unregulated recreational activities began over 25 years ago when Ira Leesfield took on the motorcycle and ATV industries, rounding up over $100 million in settlements and verdicts including a $19.8 million verdict against American Honda in Erie, Pennsylvania. The motorcycle sidestand defect has long been remedied. “3-wheeler ATV’s” have been totally replaced by the more stable 4-wheeler.

However, new activities and enticements have sprung up, including exotic water sports such as jet ski, parasailing, zip-lining, scuba diving, boating collisions, and an entire resort industry promoting “fun” while disregarding safety.

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Nursing-Home-AbuseWhen Ira Leesfield was attending school in Hollywood, Florida, where he grew up, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills did not exist, but the building was part of Leesfield’s paper route and residence area. Leesfield, recipient of the South Broward Professional Women’s award, was shocked reading about the recent gross negligence which caused the tragic death of eight patients at the facility, in violation of Florida Statutes 400.022. Ira Leesfield’s law firm, Leesfield Scolaro, P.A. has handled hundreds of nursing home and institutional injury cases due to nursing home neglect. The most vulnerable and least able to defend themselves are the elderly.

Obviously, this facility was operated on a very thin margin with inadequate staff in number and training. It just took this incident as the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” There is no explanation and no justification for a senior citizen to lose their life while under the care of a nursing facility. “After all, says Leesfield, that’s the whole purpose of a family selecting a nursing facility.”

A long history of successful nursing home litigation by Leesfield Scolaro includes the following:

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Since 2014, Leesfield Scolaro has represented multiple victims of accidental gun discharge, including by “drop fire” where a loaded firearm discharges upon impact with the floor without the trigger ever being pulled.

The increase in accidental gun discharge cases has gone hand-in-hand with the increase in gun sales in the United States – and the numbers are telling. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of firearms processed by the National Firearms Act Branch (NFA) which maintains the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record has skyrocketed. In 2006, the NFA processed 296,127 firearms. In 2016, that number jumped by 850% with 2,538,397 processed firearms.

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Why has this unprecedented increase in gun sales resulted in the explosion of accidental gun discharge cases in last decade?

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Hotel, travel and tourism injuries rapidly increase with inadequate security and safety neglect on premises. Once again, Airbnb has been sued by a guest claiming another host at the property assaulted her. Of course, Airbnb and Vrbo do not do a background check which would have prevented this alleged sexual assault, nor do they have any security measures and typical keys, locks and door protection. This is a wide open area of vulnerability according to Leesfield Scolaro Founding Partner, Ira Leesfield who chairs the American Association for Justice Resort Torts Litigation Group.

There are ongoing battle rages between the hotel/public accommodation industry and Airbnb about the increasing shift of travelers from traditional hotels to less protected “homey” environments.

Airbnb not only fails to check on the guest, but also does not run background check or security analysis of the host renters. The lawsuit filed by Leslie Lapayowker, and reported in The Guardian contends that a background check would have uncovered the fact that the owner had been arrested and charged with battery, and prevented from listing his property on Airbnb. The plaintiff alleges that she was held in a chair, against her will, as the host proceeded to masturbate in front of her.

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